THE Observer invited local rock and pop groups to enter its very own contest 37 years ago and promptly received a staggering 55 entries.

The winners were called General Seven, from High Wycombe, who had been playing locally for the previous two years, also supporting Howard Jones and Jo Boxers on tour.

Their latest single had sold 1,000 copies in just two months, and the prize for winning the competition included £2,000 worth of studio recording time at the Sound Mill Studios, Burnham.

Plans to close Slough’s Fulcrum were being branded as “pathetic and ridiculous” in 1986, with many local users bemoaning the loss of the town’s major audience hall.

The closure could, it was feared, mean no more performances by Slough’s Philharmonic Orchestra, the end of the Scouts’ annual ‘Gang Show’ and the Marks and Spencer fashion shows.

Local promoter Gary Trotter told the Observer: “The Fulcrum has a lot of potential and could be run at a profit, but the council don’t seem to learn from their mistakes or their successes.”

He continued: “The place has built up a bad reputation and the atmosphere is uninviting, Slough is becoming a ghost town at night, people have nothing to do here.”

Marathon runner David Porter was under starters orders with the help of his son, James (8) as he limbered up for the 1986 London Marathon.

David, 35, from Farnham Common, worked in the ‘chocolate room’ at Mars Confectionary, who were once again sponsoring the race.

Slough’s ICI Paints Division were preparing to mark the route at the London Marathon after the organisers approached the firm to see whether a temporary ‘thin blue line’.

The new product they came up with was to use a quick-drying paint called ‘Tempro’.

A year earlier he had been the first Mars employee to cross the finish line, and he was hoping to collect the Mars Trophy for the second time.