06 February 2018

The Brand New "More Is More" 1980s Quiz...

Right! Cocktail glass at the ready... it's time for our brand new "More Is More" 1980s Quiz...

1) This was twisted by the pool - and everywhere else. It was Toy of the Year in 1980 and 1981. What was it?

2) What was Paws Inc, founded in 1981?

3) "Gissa Job!" We were in Left Wing bleeding hearts territory with this TV series. What was it? And which character had the catchphrase?

4) The 1982 opening night included Walter. What am I talking about?

5) Boy and toy. A wonderful American comic strip pairing which made its US debut in 1985.

6) Fill in the ad jingle lyrics gap: "You can't get better than a Quik Fit fitter - we're the boys to ___!"

7) Can you name the 1980s pop song from the lyrics - without Googling? Go for it! Here we are: "Your name is Dracula..."

8) Big Al and Little Norm - which TV series did they make their debut in?

9) When Fallon lost her memory in Dynasty, what did she call herself?

10) The incredibly young and unseeded Wimbledon champion of 1985.

11) Who did Rik Mayall play in The Young Ones?

12) Where were the 1980 Olympics held?

13) A young woman became a Page Three pin-up and (briefly) a pop star. Who was she?

14) Paul and Annabelle were characters in which soap opera?

15) Who was the female member of The Thompson Twins?

16) When Henry Nunn returned to his home town, he found things had changed tremendously. Can you name the sitcom?

17) This children's animated TV series, which ran from 1985-1989, had a title that suggested feline bad weather.

18) Still with children's TV, is this statement true or false? 'Henry only appeared occasionally in Henry's Cat'.

19) Which politician said that his father got on his bike and looked for work?

20) Big Bang on the Stock Exchange - which year?

21) Margaret Thatcher won two General Elections in the 1980s. Name the years.

22) Two men met for the first time in August 1981, and later formed the Pet Shop Boys. Name them.

23) Which magazine published the following answer to a non-existent quiz question? 'Roland Orzabal and a kangaroo'.

24) Who invented Tetris?

25) Who was said to have eaten a hamster in 1986?

26) In which year did the Apple Mac first appear?

27) Lesbian activists invaded the BBC Newsroom in which year?

28) In which TV series would you have found Mr Bronson in the mid-to-late 1980s?

29) Ferris Bueller had what in 1986?

30) Henry the vacuum cleaner arrived in which year?

31) "Beefy" played which sport?

32) Which 1980s year had to be shortened?

33) Edd the Duck was always absent from the Children's BBC Broom Cupboard one day a week. Where did he go?

34) Eurythmics formed in 1980. Who were they?

35) Who was Gilbert the alien's female co-presenter on Get Fresh and Gilbert's Fridge?

ANSWERS: 1) Rubik's Cube 2) The Garfield character merchandising company 3) Boys from the Blackstuff; Yosser Hughes 4) Channel 4 5) Calvin and Hobbes 6)  "... trust!" 7) Once Bitten Twice Shy, Vesta Williams 8) The Beiderbecke Affair 9) Randall Adams 10) Boris Becker 11) Rick 12) Moscow 13) Samantha Fox 14) Brookside 15) Alannah Currie 16) Sorry, I'm A Stranger Here Myself 17) ThunderCats 18) False - he never appeared 19) Norman Tebbit 20) 1986 21) 1983 and 1987 22) Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe 23) Smash Hits 24) Alexey Pajitnov 25) Freddie Starr 26) 1984 27) 1988 28) Grange Hill 29) A day off 30) 1981 31) Cricket (Ian Botham) 32) 1987 - by one second to bring it in line with the Gregorian Calendar 33) Cubs 34) Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart 35) Charlotte Hindle

How did you rate?

1-9: Not very 'OK Yah, Down The Wine Bar!' 10-19: Oh globits! 20-29: Very much a body-popper! 30-35: Stop the clock! You win the cheque AND the Treasure Hunt board game! (Not really, we don't give prizes 'ere, mateyboots, but the thought's there.)

Suzy Lamplugh - And Some Personal Recollections Of The Summer of 1986...

Sturgis Estate Agents, 654, Fulham Road, 1986. Suzy began work there as a negotiator in early 1985.

The summer of 1986 is one I will never forget. It was a time of yuppies, big/bizarre hair, the Pet Shop Boys and Opportunities, a time of Power Dressing, of great friendships, parties - and me landing my own house in August (rented cheaply and unexpectedly and a boon to a twenty-one year old who wanted to party). It was a different world.

In June 1986 I went to London for a weekend with friends. A feature of the weekend was a disco on a boat on the Thames. And, as ever, I was not impressed with London. The banks of the Thames as we chugged along often looked like a derelict nightmare to me. I recall seeing a high rise office block, with just one light on high in the building. Who forgot to switch their light off? I wondered. I had always found the capital to be a seedy hole, and though it was interesting to see protesters campaigning for the release of Nelson Mandela with their WE'RE HERE TO STOP! banners, speakers at Hyde Park Corner, and Petty Coat Lane Market, I found myself glad to get away again on this occasion.

'I always enjoy a visit to London,' one of my friends commented as we roared out of the grimy city into what seemed to me like the real world again. 'It always reminds me of the depths mankind can sink to!'

London was not somewhere I often visited, not somewhere I identified with, and I confess that the mystery of Suzy Lamplugh as it unravelled in the newspapers and on the TV just over a month later did not interest me much.

People disappeared. It happened. It always had. I remember well the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Martin Allen in London in 1979 - never to be seen again. He'd only been a year older than me at the time. The tragedy had particularly resonated with me for that reason. And yet life went on.

The summer of 1986, although recorded as being lousy weather-wise, was  lovely in my bit of England. The sun often shone. The air was vibrant, and full of the smells of expensive perfume and aftershave, of alcohol and flowers.

My diary from that year reveals many parties, often outdoors or garden barbecues, and I used the glorious weather to photograph various beauty spots in my locality.

It wasn't that I was uncaring about the events unfolding in the lives of the Lamplugh family - if I could have helped solve the mystery and find Suzy I certainly would have done, with no hesitation. It would have been an absolute priority. It was just that it was all so far away and I was immersed in my own life, young and free and happy.

And, after an unhappy childhood, I was making up for lost time, finding out about myself and life. I was living at a frantic pace.

According to The Suzy Lamplugh Story, 'Suze', as she was more often known to those closest to her, although not subject to an unhappy childhood, had been doing something similar. From the time she joined the QE2 crew as a Steiner beautician in 1982, her life had opened up in entirely new ways, and it seems not all of these ways would have met with the approval of the folks back home.

I know the feeling. My mother and step-father would have had a blue fit if they'd known certain details of my life after I left home - and I think it's common for a lot of young people.

Less than three weeks after the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh, news came which focused my attention fully elsewhere. A friend of mine committed suicide. The poor guy was the same age as me, and had suffered a nervous breakdown not long before. Difficulties in gaining access to his baby son led him to kill himself in his car, via carbon monoxide poisoning. Twenty one. So young. I was devastated.

And I blamed myself for not having been in touch with him more.

The summer of 1986 was oh-so-colourful, oh-so-vibrant, oh-so-sweet... oh-so-bitter.

Looking back, I see it as a time when I felt more alive, riding a roller coaster of emotions, than I ever have before - or since.

So, back to Suzy. What happened?

Susannah Lamplugh (named after the actress Susannah York) was born in 1961. By the mid-1980s she was dependable, caring and upwardly mobile. She came from a middle class family, but she was keen to 'better' herself, once asking her mother if she should marry for love or money? She organised family events, made the family Christmas puddings, made some of her own dresses, was willing to give up days off work to help friends.

A former employer described her as caring, good with her colleagues, and as someone who always thought the best of others.

She enjoyed swimming, windsurfing, skiing, parties, restaurants, night clubs and wine bars. Suzy was dyslexic, but with the help of her father and private tutors worked hard to keep up with her peer group at school.

She shared her flat with a male friend - on a purely platonic basis - but it seemed had a number of boyfriends in her short life. The problem, it later transpired, according to The Suzy Lamplugh Story, was her urge to keep some of what went on secret.

Of course, she didn't want to court her family and friends' disapproval; she was in with the well-heeled 'Putney Set' and aspired to a 'Sloaney', yuppie lifestyle - she was a regular at such trendy hang-outs as the Crocodile Tears Wine Bar, which was handy for her work in Fulham Road, and Tokyo Joe's Nightclub in Piccadilly.

But, in living life full throttle, Suzy was to leave behind unanswered questions. There was absolutely no reason why she shouldn't have a private life - and she wasn't guilty of any wrongdoings. But, in the light of what was to happen, difficulties would arise for those investigating.

A matchbook cover from the Crocodile Tears Wine Bar - one of many wine bars which catered to the booming yuppie/aspiring yuppie trade in London in the 1980s - and anybody else with a bit of brass.

Crocodile Tears wine bar clipping from a 1983 review of Fulham Road eateries and boozeries from Felix, the newspaper of the Imperial College Students' Union. Chicken Kiev! I don't think I even knew what a Chicken Kiev was in 1983!

The Crocodile Tears Wine Bar in the late 1980s.

On the morning of 28 July, 1986, Suzy joined her colleagues at the Sturgis Estate Agents branch in Fulham Road in seemingly very good spirits. She was concerned that her cheque book, pocket diary and a postcard had been lost, and cancelled the cheques by phoning her bank. The bank then contacted her to tell her that the items had been found at a local pub she had visited recently, and she phoned the establishment, arranging to pick them up at 6pm. 

The Prince of Wales pub in Putney. Suzy's lost cheque book, pocket diary and postcard were apparently found on the front step here.

The morning at Sturgis passed - and included Suzy and some of her colleagues going for a 'ciggie' in the back of the premises (oh, those days of smoking indoors!). At lunchtime, Suzy left to go to nearby Shorrolds Road to show a prospective buyer, apparently called Mr Kipper, the Sturgis property for sale at No 37. The time was around 12.40pm. 

The company car which had been allocated to Suzy had been used by a colleague earlier in the morning, and it was recalled that she turned round to ask where the car was before she left. Cars were parked in available spaces in side roads. The answer, on this occasion, was Whittingstall Road. 

Suzy left Sturgis.

And then she vanished.

Suzy's work diary - showing the fateful appointment: 12.45 Mr Kipper 37, Shorrolds O/S - 'O/S' stood for 'outside' - meaning that Suzy was to meet her client outside the property - and the word 'Shorrolds' was enough without 'Road' to identify the property.

Later in the day, Mark Gurdon, Susannah's boss at Sturgis, concerned by her failure to return from seeing Mr Kipper at Shorrolds Road, contacted the Lamplugh family home and then the police.

She wasn't at her parents. She wasn't at Shorrolds Road. She wasn't at her flat. Her friends hadn't seen her.

So, where was she? Suzy's company car - a white Ford Fiesta - was discovered in Stevenage Road, near the River Thames, where another Sturgis property was up for sale.

The car was parked slightly askew from the pavement and overlapping a garage door by about eighteen inches. It seemed to have been parked in a hurry. Her purse was in the map rack, her straw hat in the back. But there was no sign of Suzy. The handbrake was off. The driver's door unlocked but the passenger door locked, the driving seat positioned for somebody taller than Suzy. So, had someone other than Suzy driven there alone? And just when had the car arrived there? According to two local women, it had been there shortly after Suzy left Sturgis, leaving no time for her to go to Shorrolds Road.

Suzy's Sturgis company car in situ at Stevenage Road.

Two workmen laying pipes nearby in Stevenage Road had noticed nothing unusual during the day - no raised voices, nothing at all. The car had been parked without being noticed.

A woman reported seeing a man and woman in the road - the man was smartly dressed and the woman fitted the description of Suzy.

But what of Shorrolds Road? 

Witnesses said that a woman answering Suzy's description and a very smart man with 'swept back dark hair' had been seen outside the property in Shorrolds Road around the time of the 'Mr Kipper' appointment. The witnesses were puzzled however as the woman's hair appeared lighter in colour than Suzy's. This was explained by the fact that Suzy had had blonde streaks applied (a popular fashion at the time) shortly before the 28th July. The fact that the witnesses mentioned the lighter hair shade added weight to the notion that they had actually seen Suzy.

There were also witnesses to other odd things in Shorrolds Road - including a double parked white Ford Fiesta, and another white Ford Fiesta parked nearby with, perhaps, somebody inside it, an old dark blue BMW, and one witness reported a dark saloon car not long after 1pm, with two men inside, sitting motionless, unspeaking, staring directly ahead...

The Sturgis property for sale in Stevenage Road in 1986.

It seemed that Suzy might have been seen in Bishops Park with a man - lying on the grass with a bottle of champagne - and one witness stated that the man seen at Shorrolds Road was carrying a bottle of champagne too. It was thought to have had a red, white and blue ribbon around the neck - which had been part of a promotion by the Peter Dominic chain to commemorate the recent wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Other wine sellers may have had similar promotions.

Had Suzy been seen driving in her own car with a man later that afternoon? A friend thought so. The police sifted through various 'sightings' - there was an avalanche of information coming in - and tried to sort the chaff from the grain. It seems (according to some sources) that some probable sightings which came to the fore years later were not followed up, despite some of them being reported at the time. 

A van driver said he had to swerve and hit the kerb to avoid a white Ford Fiesta flying towards him. He reported seeing a 'strking blonde' at the wheel, arguing with a man in a suit. 

A blonde woman was apparently seen arguing with a man in a dark BMW or Mercedes, constantly sounding its horn, at around 1.50pm. A jogger, who left Bishops Park at the time, came forward with that - and reported that the woman stared at him as she passed.

Police reconstruction of Suzy Lamplugh's meeting with Mr Kipper outside 37, Shorrolds Road in 1986.

Nick Bryant, Suzy's friend and lodger, told the police that a couple of months before her disappearance she had told him she had been troubled by some strange phone calls. He intercepted some of these calls himself. Quoted in a 1988 Sunday Magazine article, he said: 'For a few weeks before Suzy went missing, the phone would ring but all I could hear was somebody just breathing for a few eerie moments before they rang off. I kept asking "Who's there please?", but there was never any answer.'

Rebecca Peters, another friend and former lodger, was quoted in the same 1988 article: 'When I lived with Suzy, there were always people calling who had nothing to do with her Putney set of friends or her work. Perhaps they were people from the QE2, where she worked for about nine months, or friends she made when she was a beautician at the Hilton. Whoever they were, they might know something which could be vitally important.'

Other friends reported that Suzy had said she hoped for a large commission - something like £3,000 in the near future, and was thinking of jointly buying a property. With whom? Her flat in Putney had been up for sale for some time.

Suzy's home in Disraeli Road, Putney, in 1986. Her flat was on the top floor.

A former client from Suzy's days as a beautician said that Suzy had spoken to her a couple of years previously about a man from the West Country, possibly Bristol, who had a luxury flat and cooked her wonderful meals. It seems that Suzy began to suspect he was married, and her talk of the man ceased. Mystic Uri Geller offered psychic help, but was unsuccessful. He bent a spoon for the family, which took pride of place on the mantelpiece, but was later stolen.

Other mediums also offered help, to no avail, and the police worked themselves into the ground over the case. The discovery of an abandoned BMW, which turned out to be owned by a Mr Kiper in Belgium, seemed like a major breakthrough. But it came to nothing.

The landlord of the pub which Suzy was due to visit at 6pm on the day she disappeared to pick up her lost diary, cheque book and postcard, reported that he had received a phone call from somebody calling herself 'Sarah' on the afternoon of that day, before Suzy's disappearance had been discovered. She left a message for Suzy to call her and a phone number. The landlord said that the phone call was followed by another from a man saying he was a police officer. But, once again, this was before Suzy had been reported missing! The landlord said he had given the telephone number from 'Sarah' to the police, but the police had never received it.

There was also the matter of two bunches of flowers - one delivered to the Sturgis branch and one to Suzy's flat, both for Suzy, but both anonymous, not long before she disappeared.

Headlines, headlines and more headlines were the order of the day in the nation's newspapers as the mystery of Suzy's disappearance deepened, and Diana, Suzy's mother, made many television appearances. 

The mysterious Mr Kipper... There were some real Mr Kippers in the country, and the police investigated them, but this Mr Kipper was plainly NOT real. Still, the police had to investigate a hoax note claiming that the writer was being held by Mr Kipper.

Years later, Suzy Lamplugh's sister Lizzie described the impact of the news of Suzy's disappearance on the general public: 'I think Suzy's disappearance had an impact for a host of reasons. It was a golden time, it was the mid-80s, everyone was living the life. Then one of these people disappears. Suzy was 25, beautiful and with everything to live for and then suddenly she's gone.' 

Lizzie also said of her sister: 'She was a full-on '80s girl, always wearing the latest fashions, with beautifully done hair and full make-up. She had such a big heart too. She was my idol.'

Mr and Mrs Lamplugh decided that a book about their daughter's disappearance should be written, and that it should be written by an outsider, although they accepted that they might find the result difficult in some respects.

When Andrew Stephen, a respected journalist - and winner of the Feature Writer of the Year Award in 1984 - sent Paul and Diana Lamplugh the first six draft chapters of the manuscript for the book, the initial reaction from Mr Lamplugh was of approval. Then, a few days later, problems began. It's perhaps not surprising. Mr and Mrs Lamplugh had poured their hearts and souls into setting up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust - an organisation to help young women (and very soon men) stay safe at work. Some of Suzy's apparent doings, discovered during the police investigation and recorded in the book, had been unknown to her parents, and Mr and Mrs Lamplugh had been shocked and distressed by them - and, in fact, discounted them.

And both felt that certain information was taken 'out of context'.

Andrew Stephen responded by stating that the information had been provided by the police investigating the case - and the Lamplugh family itself. But Mr and Mrs Lamplugh never reconciled themselves to certain aspects of the character and lifestyle of their daughter as portrayed in the book, nor to the book's portrayal of the family in general, and, at the start of the 21st Century,  Mrs Lamplugh was lobbying Jack Straw to pass a law forbidding 'libel' of dead people.

It's easy to understand their emotions. They were bereft at the sudden loss of their daughter, startled by 'facts' they could not accept as such, and also concerned that the publicity might damage the newly founded Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which they viewed as bringing something positive out of the whole terrible situation.

As indeed it did.

But, at the same time, a book devoid of the 'difficult' details provided by the police and, indeed the family, would not have served a great purpose, apart from painting a picture of an unflawed and untroubled human being. And none of us are that. In delving into Suzy's life and providing as much information as possible, the book provided some hope that somebody might come forward to provide fresh information and perhaps help to provide some closure for the family.

The book is certainly not sensationalist and according to its publishers, Faber and Faber, quoted in the Illustrated London News in 1988, Andrew Stephen had 'left out some incredibly difficult stuff - material that would have been better suited to, let's say, the News of the World than Faber and Faber.'

But without examining all the facts, which are not available, I'm unable to form an opinion on any perceived wrongdoings in the facts reported.

Perhaps it would have been better for the book simply to have remained unpublished. I strongly believe that Suzy's parents and family should have had the final say. But the book was published, and I do think it has value.

The Suzy Lamplugh Story was published in 1988.

In more recent years, it has been said that Suzy discussed a worrying boyfriend with members of her family  - but, as far as I am aware, this was never publicly stated in 1986. Mrs Lamplugh alerted police to investigate certain people she knew of in Suzy's life, but each was innocent of any involvement in her disappearance.

The book reports that Suzy had confided in somebody close to her about a rich man who was married or about to get married less than a month before she disappeared.

Suzy was declared dead in 1994. But there was still no trace of her.

Detective Superintendent Nick Carter, seen here with Sue Cook, displays one of the distinctive Sturgis key fobs on the BBC's 'Crimewatch' programme, October, 1986.

Time moved on and, in recent years, the police have stated that they believe they know who abducted and murdered Suzy - and they have named him.

It appeared that Suzy may have come into contact with a psychopath called John Cannan.

Cannan had committed various violent and sexual crimes from the late 1960s onwards and spent five years in prison in the early-to-mid 1980s. He was a very smart dresser, a video of him made for a dating agency in Bristol in 1987 confirms this, and it was said that many women found him charming.

On 25 July 1986, three days before Suzy's disappearance, he was released from prison, but in the run-up to this had already been circulating in the community, living in the Wormwood Scrubs hostel as part of the Prison Release Scheme and working at the Superhire Prop Company in Acton. Significantly, fellow prisoners at the hostel recalled Cannan being nicknamed 'Kipper' on account of the fact he always asked for kippers for breakfast - and his ability to fall asleep easily.

Breaking the hostel curfew, it's believed Cannan gravitated to the fashionable wine bar circuit frequented by Suzy. One colleague at Superhire said that Cannan had spoken of a 'special girlfriend in Fulham' (although Suzy actually lived in Putney she socialised in Fulham quite a lot).

Was Cannan involved in mortgage fraud? Police suspect that he may have moved in such circles. Had Suzy stumbled upon some knowledge which  had 'necessitated' her removal? Or was it simply that she wanted to stop seeing him, was aware that he was 'Mr Kipper', and was going to use the time she was away from the Sturgis branch to tell him?

Still from a Bristol dating agency video - John Cannan in 1987.

John Cannan was arrested in Bristol in 1987. In 1988, he was charged with the murder of Shirley Banks, a number of sexual offences against two other women, and an attempt to abduct a woman the night before the murder of Shirley Banks.

In 1989 he was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of thirty-five years - and a recommendation from the judge that he should never be released.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust set out to help lone women workers to stay safe - and its work was quickly extended to men when it was discovered that seven out of ten of those experiencing personal safety problems at work were men. Its work continues to this day.

Andrew Stephen's book fascinated me not only because of its telling of Suzy's story, but also the background to that story. A background of aspirations, the housing boom, wine bars, Sloanes and yuppies.

1986 - a year when a lager could be advertised as being 'Reassuringly Expensive'.

The Suzy Lamplugh Story took me back to the summer of 1986. And it seemed like a different planet. It also struck me just how different people can be individually. I'm always glad to leave London when I visit. To me, there is no magic or 'vibe' there. However, when a boyfriend of Suzy's suggested she move elsewhere with him, she resolutely refused. To some people London is where it's all happening, but to others...

The book also deeply saddened me - the story of Suzy's final morning at work and immediate disappearance reminding me of how often happy, everyday routine can collide with terrible, unexpected tragedy in life.

Rather as it had with me when my dear old mate committed suicide that very summer.

According to reports, John Cannan has occasionally admitted to killing Suzy - although not to the police. Some believe that Cannan is playing games, enjoying his 'power' in refusing to reveal what happened to Suzy, totally without remorse, typically psychopathic. 

But as somebody who had been very close to Suzy recently said, they'd rather not know what happened to her. Indeed. What would be the point?

It wouldn't bring Suzy back. It would surely be a painful experience for all those who were close to her.

And t
he man thought by police to be responsible will never be free to harm again.

For years, her family have hoped for some closure, the discovery of Suzy's body and a chance to lay it to rest. But if the mystery is really perpetrated by John Cannan, a game-playing psychopath, then there is no point in letting him inflict continuing hurt. Suzy's memory is treasured by her family and nothing can change that. 

'Life is for living!' Suzy once told her mother, who was concerned that she was doing too much.

And with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust we can rest assured that, since 1986, many lone workers have been living life safer.

But the cost, a vibrant young life, was extremely high.

Police poster from 1986.