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Archive August 2006

1979: continued from our July issue:

On top of the Piranhas' fatal road crash in January, the political situation up and down the country was worsening by the day. There seemed to be strikes in every sector. The army had been called in to transport petrol due to tanker drivers walking out. Fuel supplies to Brighton were virtually cut off, there was more ‘panic buying’ and schools were closed because they couldn’t be heated.

Snowstorms and blizzards swept the country, rubbish piled up in the streets as the Council’s binmen continued to strike. The weather was so bad that even the Albion’s FA Cup tie with Wolves at the Goldstone was called off. Nationally, film cameramen also stopped work and TV screens were blacked out as a result.

Gale force winds ripped across the south coast. One way or another, poor old Brighton was getting well and truly battered, including the beleaguered old West Pier. An estimated £300,000 was needed for urgent restoration work but Brighton Council refused to stump up any money. Local Tory MP’s Andrew Bowden and Julian Amery tried to get some funding from the government but it was not forthcoming and Brighton’s ‘Old Lady’ was left to the mercy of the elements as the weather worsened. (We're talking nearly 30 years ago!)

There followed a week of yet more chaos as railwaymen went on strike and commuters were prevented from getting to work. Even ambulance crews walked out in protest at their paltry wages of £36 a week.

Elsewhere, former Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, awaiting trial for the murder of Nancy Spungeon, died from a heroin overdose in New York. He was 21. It didn’t come as a surprise to any of us, we could see it coming. John Lydon, some time later said: “Sid was a wanker. He bought the whole trip: sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll and death.”

To be continued...

Does anyone out there have any photos or blurb on the Poison Girls or the Dandies? If so, please email us.

John Lydon said of Sid Vicious's smack overdose:
"Sid bought the whole trip - sex. drugs, rock 'n roll and death."