A HOME-BUILT super-car was being built by local engineers Rob Oldaker and Andy Smith 38 years ago, but it was the unusual engine from an Austin Allegro that was turning heads.

Having entered their car in various rounds of the RAC and ABRC Hill Climb Championships, the pair had impressed many onlookers, with two winning races, against more expensive and exotic machinery.

Two hundred horse power was available from the 1100cc engine and some of the new components under the bonnet included a unique electronic ignition, using crankshaft triggering instead of the traditional distributor.

Although the project was a low budget one, making ingenious use of Austin Morris production car parts, the engineering department of the company were keeping a close eye on developments.

Five mothers celebrated Christmas with their new-born babies in 1980, all delivered on the big day itself, and then posed proudly for the Bracknell News photographer on Boxing Day.

The first festive baby to arrive was Larissa Abl at 5.30 am, weighing in at 6lbs 14 oz and the other four baby boys arrived right up until just before midnight.

Only six weeks after its inception, the Ken Thomas Body Scanner Appeal had raised over £6,000 and been recently been recognised as a Charitable Trust.

In an exclusive interview with the News, Mr Thomas revealed his hopes for the charity: “Once we are established as a charity, we will be able to hold flag days, make door-to-door collections and appeal to powerful


Ken continued:” It is our intention to buy the best equipment on the market and the £2 million we need to raise would buy the scanner for £500,000 and the rest would be for a building and subsequent running costs.”

The appeal’s ultimate goal was to have a scanner installed in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, which would be capable of scanning 20 to 25 patients per day.

Priestwood Primary’s “After School Drama Club” hosted a pantomime version of Cinderella 38 years ago, upholding the school’s long tradition of inspiring pupils towards the performing arts.

The choir were also involved in the two New Year performances as part of the climax to the previous terms hard work under the guidance of drama teacher Mrs Lawson.

The first in a new series of photos taken from the air over Bracknell was published in 1980, highlighting the north eastern section of the town, dominated by the 3M building.

Many Bygones readers will now recognise that most of this part of the town has been replaced by the Lexicon shopping centre.