IRA bombers, fairy tale wedding, three-day week and heavy rock – all help make the world go round

Some years are full of events, others can be very quiet.

For me 1973 was one of those busy years.

It was certainly a year which sticks in my mind.

The year began with the UK, along with the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, entering the European Economic Market. Not something which impinged on my life that much. It was also when the Open University awarded its first degrees. Again, at the time it didn.t mean a lot to me although it would in years to come.

On the first of March Pink Floyd released their album Dark Side of the Moon which did affect me very much because I bought it and found it to be one of the greatest rock albums to that date. I’ve still got it.

Two days later IRA bombers set off two explosions in London killing one and injuring 250 others. Ten people were arrested at Heathrow airport suspected of involvement in the bombings. Five days later two more IRA bombs went off in London, one in Whitehall and one at the Old Bailey.

At the end of May, Anne, the Princess Royal, got engaged to Captain Mark Phillips and it was announced they would be married in November. Didn’t seem important to me then but that would change later that year.

In September the IRA were at it again with bombs exploding at King’s Cross and Euston railway stations and two days later a further two bombs at Oxford Street and Sloane Square.

In November eight members of the Provisional IRA were convicted of the March bombings in London. On the same day Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were married at Westminster Abbey.

As a result of coal shortages, caused by industrial action, Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath announced, on 17 December, that moves would be put into force to reduce electricity consumption. At midnight on 31 December, as we began New Year 1974, the three-day week came into force.

On a personal front it was the year I began my life in Basildon rather than just reporting what happened in the town; I got deeply involved with the union; took part in my first union action; spent a couple of weeks picketing my employers; met the love of my life; played an elderly CofE prelate; and began a journey which I am still on 49 years later.

I’ll fill you in on the details tomorrow.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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