An experiment to try and keep the graveyard at St.Peter’s Church,Burnham tidy by allowing sheep to crop the grass had seriously backfired in 1979 and local residents rammed home their objections in the letters pages of the Slough Observer.

One reader told the Observer that they were devastated after a visit to a relatives graveside saying:”I found all my plants and flowers had been eaten by the sheep and every gravestone was smothered in sheep droppings.”

The vicar Rev. David Thomas replied by stating that the church council decided to run the experiment in an effort to keep the grass down,because the mowing machines could not get in between the graves.

Another four-legged animal hit the headlines in Slough 38 years ago when local police and R.S.P.C.A were being deluged with reports of an escaped Wallaby roaming the streets of Wexham.

Although some residents reported it was a huge rabbit-one resident chased the offending animal away in her nightdress-convinced it was a large dog!

Eventually it turned up in a nearby garden where Inspector Guy Harrison captured ‘Wally the Wallaby’ who turned out to be a small deer called a Muntjac.

The Mayor of Reading was driving local residents to distraction about the cost of ‘replacing’ the Daimler car-used for official duties at a cost of £20,000.

In a specially commissioned opinion poll the Reading Chronicle found that 98 per cent of people asked if the car should be replaced replied with an emphatic ‘No’.

In reply to the Chronicle the Conservative leader Deryk Morton dismissed the poll result stating that there was no other suitable cheaper vehicle available to purchase.

Liz Mitchell,lead singer with the hugely successful chart-topping group “Boney M” was settling in to her new Caversham home with fiancé Tom Pemberton whilst squeezing in arrangements for her wedding in 1979.

The group were based in Germany and had had a string of ’70’s gold discs for such ‘poptastic’ songs as “Ma Baker” and “Hooray,It’s a Holi-Holiday.”

Three men and a dog from Wargrave undertook a 50-mile charity rowing challenge by travelling down the Thames recreating Jerome K Jerome’s famous book “Three Men in a Boat.”

After two days of rowing and bailing (their boat sprang a major leak) they raised over £800 for the Children’s Society.

South Hill Park in Bracknell staged its annual Beer Festival but there was an unexpected development-the bars ran out of ale-with many punters being turned away.

The Bracknell News reported that this caused many grown men to be seen positively snivelling on each other’s shoulders.

Terry Wogan opened a new holiday unit for epileptic youngsters in Crowthorne with the help of funds from the Variety Club of Great Britain.

The star of TV show Blankety Blank told visitors that he was delighted to be at the opening saying:”People like myself really do very little to help organisations such as the British Epilepsy Association-all I can do is lend my name to encourage others.”

Hatfields of Crowthorne-a specialist in motorcycles,bicycles and scooters-was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in 1979 and to mark this anniversary its owners posed in front of the store with an extremely rare 1919 ‘Diamond’ motorbike. Mrs Hatfield told the News:”We believe in riding our bicycles rather than keeping them in a museum.”


Words and archive photos:Chris Forsey