Our Century

Kidnapped student dies

Lesley WhittleTeenage heiress Lesley Whittle was found dead in March at the bottom of a 60ft sewer shaft in a Staffordshire country park two months after her meticulously planned kidnap by the notorious Black Panther.

The 17-year-old Wulfrun College student had been strangled using wire.

Her killer was already wanted for three post office murders, including one in Langley, Oldbury.

Lesley's family owned the Whittle coach business, based at Highley and Kidderminster, one of Britain's biggest private coach firms.

Det Chf Sup Bob Booth, who led the murder hunt, said she was never intended to be returned.

In December, Donald Neilson was arrested near Mansfield after forcing two policemen to drive him in their Panda car at gunpoint.

The officers managed to overpower him with the help of passers-by who handcuffed the gunman to the railings of a fish and chip shop.

Molineux's farewell to the Doog:
Derek Doogan Molineux rang to the chant of "Dougan, Dougan" on the last Saturday of April as a crowd of 30,000 said goodbye to one of their all-time favourites.

The North Bank led the cheer as Derek Dougan was brought on for Wolves in the 65th minute against European Cup finalists Leeds, marking the end of a 22-year football career.

In just over eight seasons at Wolves, the Doog had scored 123 goals in 323 games.

Chairman of the Professional Football Association and winner of 43 caps for Northern Ireland, he helped Wolves win promotion to the First Division in his first season with the club.

Three times their highest goal scorer, he also helped the club reach the final of the UEFA Cup in 1972 and win the League Cup in 1974.

Sadly his reputation was tarnished when he returned to Molineux as chief executive, heading a consortium which included the Bhatti brothers, a partnership which brought the club to the brink of financial ruin.

Shark, chips and mushy peas: A Wolverhampton fishmonger's received a special delivery - a 25-stone shark.

Reg Haswell, manager of the Dudley Street shop, had to ask the help of nearby builders to manoevre the giant fish inside.

The unusual offering had been caught off the Danish coast and landed at Grimsby the day before.

Villiers men vow to keep working:Workers at Norton Villiers took control of the threatened Wolvrhampton plant in October and voted to fight to keep the factory working.

Workers accepted a plan by shop stewards to be temporarily laid off while the Official Receiver prepared his case for the winding up of the historic motorcycle manufacturers.

But the decision had been taken so that workers would still be able to draw social security benefits.

The workers planned to occupy the plant and maintain a 24-hour picket.

There had been more bad news in the motor industry in February for luxury car makers Jensen - the firm behind the legendary Interceptor sportscar.

The West Bromwich based company announced 700 sackings.

The figure amounted to two thirds of the company's workforce.

Mark Pugh
It was different. It was a chance to have a crack at the Berlin Wall...