1984 Lancashire nostalgia: Lenny Henry, public poison alert and pensioner power

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1984:
Comedian Lenny Henry sat some of his exams in Preston in 1984Comedian Lenny Henry sat some of his exams in Preston in 1984
Comedian Lenny Henry sat some of his exams in Preston in 1984

Lenny puts his thinking cap on!

Zany comic Lenny Henry put his thinking cap on this week... to sit his O Levels in Preston.

The woolly-hatted funnyman was put in a class of his own at the town’s Tuson College - to stop his infectious humour disrupting the exams.

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Lenny, one of showbiz’s busiest stars, has been cramming English studies into his whirlwind schedule for more than a year.

He applied to sit the language and literature O Levels in Preston “for convenience”.

But scores of other students who took the papers at Tuson never saw the star pupil.

College staff put him in a room on his own in case he proved to be a distraction.

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Lenny, who left school in the Midlands to work in a factory, expects to hear his results before Christmas.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1984 here

Poison Mars bar alert spreads to Lancashire shops

Mars bars were being taken off shop shelves after animal rights campaigners claimed they had injected them with rat poison.

The Animal Liberation Front claimed to have “spiked” bars in York, Leeds, Coventry, Southampton and London.

But the scare spread to Lancashire and throughout the country as the Mars organisation pledged to check every single bar on sale.

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The animal rights campaigners say they are attacking the company because it funds a tooth decay project involving monkeys.

At Woolworths in Preston Mars were taken off the shelves as soon as the alert broke.

Other retailers were removing the sweets in time for opening.

The ALF say the bars which have been tampered with are marked - except those at Boots stores.

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The Front say they are singling out Boots, the High Street chemists, for more disruptive action because they claim they are “particularly notorious for their animal experiments.”

Boots staff turning up for work in Fishergate, Preston found black graffiti sprayed on the doorstep.

The words “Stop Butchering Animals” had been sprayed in black paint. Police are investigating.

Muggers beware of pensioner power

A group of pensioners is shaping up to give vicious muggers a hard time.

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For the senior citizens in part of Lancashire have given up dominoes and are preparing to knock spots off the bully-boys with newly-learned Far Eastern martial arts skills.

Weekly classes in Lancaster are showing elderly men and women how to fight off would-be attackers.

Self-defence expert Bill Rankin - himself 68 - is passing on the techniques he has learned over a lifetime.

One of his proteges is young-at-heart Bill Clement, aged 84. Bill is mastering the Chinese art of T’ai Chi to prepare himself to face muggers.

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He and his classmates - who have a combined age of 515 - no longer need fear attacks from cowardly thugs.

Mr Rankin said: “I thought it was about time something was done to help the older folk. I am sick of hearing about them being assaulted on the streets. After 50 years experience in this field I hope to give them some idea of how to protect themselves.”

Mrs Edna Clark, 67, and the only woman in the classes at Lancaster’s Gregson Institute, was also highly enthusiastic.