John Hurt in a fun run and Reginald Marsh in handcuffs in 1990

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Imagine the scene – you’re an enthusiastic young police officer and you’re called to The Hawth to take part in a publicity stunt for a new thriller.

All you have to do is slap your handcuffs on a much-loved star of stage and screen and pretend to arrest him.



What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Well, you could lose the keys to the cuffs...but what are the chances of that?

Quite high, apparently!

WPC Mireille Lawrence was left red-faced when she did just that in 1990.



The actor in question was Reginald Marsh, star of such classics as Terry & June, George & Mildred and Crossroads and he was appearing in The Last Gamble.

After mugging for the camera, Reginald and Mireille had to wait half and hour while a spare set of keys was brought to the Hawth from Crawley police station. You have to wonder what they talked about while they waited.

Another big star was feeling a lot less restrained when he took part in a fun run to raise money for a children’s cancer research charity.

John Hurt, star of Alien and The Elephant Man, was joined by international show jumpers David and Marion Mould at Handcross Park School and more than 100 children and parents for the run, which raised £3,000 for the Neuroblastoma Society.



Looking through the Crawley Observer archives for 1990, it’s amazing how much has changed in the past 26 years. You could buy a three-bedroom terraced house in Ifield for £98,000 or rent a one-bedroom flat in Bewbush for £350 per month. When making a phone call, the area codes did not start with ‘01’ – unless you were in London – though that changed later in the year.

On the TV, Mr Bean, Stars In Their Eyes and Art Attack aired their first episodes, while everyone in the UK was asking ‘who killed Laura Palmer?’ when the wonderfully weird Twin Peaks received its first showing.

As for work, you could earn £8,000 as a clerical assistant for BAA or £12,000 as a security guard at Gatwick.

One group of youngsters who were between jobs in 1990 – along with more than one million others – were given a chance to mingle with the stars when they took part in a week of workshops with the Prince’s Trust.

The group were part of a 400-strong party which travelled to Caister, in Norfolk, where they worked to develop their skills with the likes of boxer Frank Bruno and Genesis star Phil Collins.

Phil, who was one of the trustees, regularly worked with youngsters to bring out their musical abilities.

Did any of these teenagers return to Crawley with a new musical ambition in life?

While not all of us were lucky enough to be taught by a major pop star, we all have memories of teachers who went that extra mile to ensure we left their schools with more than fluff between our ears.

Many of us have wished we could find those teachers and thank them for their patience and dedication – and for any times we may have made them wonder why they chose teaching over a less stressful profession...such as brain surgeon or astronaut...

Paul Gorman was one of those special teachers – but his students made sure he know how much they appreciated him.

In 1990, Paul, who taught at Broadfield North School, was one of the front-runners in the popularity stakes when he was nominated for recognition in the Radio Mercury teacher awards.

He is pictured with DJ Danny Pike and many of his rather over-excited pupils!

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