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Stafford Hospital
Stafford's showpiece hospital, where the outbreak took place.

An outbreak of the deadly bug legionella in Staffordshire claimed two more victims in May, bringing the death toll to 33.

The Legionnaire's Disease lung infection was named after an outbreak at a 1976 American Legion convention.

The victims of the latest outbreak were out-patients attending the showpiece Stafford District General Hospital, officially opened just the year before.

The disease was traced to the hopsital's cooling towers where the bug was found to be breeding.

Health chiefs came in for criticism after it was learned they turned down help from one of the world's leading firms specialising in killing off the bacteria.

People wanted to know why 11 people died before the public was told, another five before the experts were called in and another 11 before Legionnaires was diagnosed.

The big freeze: A Wolverhampton butcher died after struggling to work in heavy snow as blizzards paralysed the West Midlands.

Kenneth Blackburn, aged 63, collapsed after arriving at Edwards butchers in Belton Avenue and was dead on arrival at hospital.

Meanwhile traffic came to a standstill, trains and planes were stranded and hundreds of accidents were reported as more than nine inches of snow in February turned the region into a no-go area.

Fight lost: Black Country transplant patient Tony Rich died almost three years after receiving a new heart at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

He was taken ill with what was believed to have been a kidney complaint and died shortly afterwards. The 53-year-old former transport manager, of Langley, Oldbury, was the hospital's 38th transplant patient.

He had received his new heart in a six-hour operation in what were pioneering times for transplant surgery

Tin tub art is attacked: A tin tub with a sardine can attached became an exhibit at Wolverhampton Art Gallery - and was immediately condemned as "rubbish" by a Tory councillor.

The 500 work of art, called Toy, was symbolic of the Falklands war, according to its creator Richard Wentworth.

But Councillor Jim Carpenter said it was belittling to the people of the town to describe it as art.

Three dead in the fires of hate:

Burning Post Office
The burning post office in Lozells in which three people died.

Three people were burned to death in a night of violence on a sultry September night in Handsworth as marauding gangs of petrol bombers wrecked more than 50 shopsand offices.

The bodies were discovered by firefighters at dawn as they damped down the burned-out shell of Lozells Road sub-post office.

For more than seven hours 500 policemen had fought non-stop battles with rioters who rampaged through shopping centres in a night of shame that wreaked 3m damage.

The following afternoon Home Secretary Douglas Hurd came under a hail of bricks and bottles when he arrived to survey the devastation.

Over the next month there was major violence, including two deaths, during riots in Brixton and Tottenham.

Harry Penfold
I was to be moved a long way south to an area I hadn't even heard of before...