With the help of some training and a few courses I had learnt my job and had got pretty good at it (my opinion, other opinions may be available) and I was looking for a new challenge. I applied for a few more senior posts around the Electricity Board, and was told I was pretty close on occasions, but no joy. It seemed like importing somebody from “outside the district” would be upsetting the local applecart. I applied for, and got a secondment to a business analysis project that was investigating how the different departments of the Board interacted (or didn’t as the case may be) with each other. That particular opportunity was blocked by my manager, which probably means I was good at my job. If internal opportunities were being blocked off then I would have to look elsewhere, I toyed with the idea of going to college to do an engineering degree and got a number of offers, I even agreed a place at Brighton Polytechnic, but in the end I didn’t take it up.
Having decided that I was leaving EMEB I set up some interviews, 3 on the same day and one telephone interview for the same week. On 16 October, I set off for Kent and Croydon, being fairly sheltered where we were I was driving along in blissful ignorance wondering what all the debris on the roads was about, I didn’t put the radio on, I was concentrating on the interviews and running through scenarios in my head. There were a few hold-ups and a bit of slow-moving traffic, but nothing to write home about. I turned up for my 1st interview in Canterbury to mild surprise, they hadn’t seen the worst of it either, but the main topic of conversation in the interview was the “hurricane” of the night before and just like Michael Fish I hadn’t seen that coming, perhaps I should have put the radio on. The surprise of my arrival at the 1st interview had escalated to incredulity by the time I had reached the 3rd in Croydon, again we spoke more about the storm than my capabilities and as I drove home I really could not have told you how I did in any of the interviews. A week later I had four job offers on the table and had to make a choice, it wasn’t that tricky I just went for the one offering the most money and my love / hate relationship with the London construction industry was about to begin.
I quite quickly hated the first job, things weren’t right at this company. There was a middle management power struggle taking place, which pervaded everything we did and led to a bad atmosphere between teams with everybody looking over their shoulders. Then reviewing the documents on a project I was due to take over it was obvious some shenanigans had gone on, I couldn’t put my finger on quite what, but again things weren’t quite right. Never mind, it seemed there were plenty of jobs about I’d just move on, which I did. I organised another job during the Christmas break gave a week’s notice on my return to work in the New Year, then handed back the car key and left on a previously arranged one week holiday. The job never even made it onto my CV.
I cannot let 1987 go without a special mention of I’m Considering A Move to Memphis by Colorblind James Experience, “it’s OK to disturb me it’s what I came here for”. But the track of the year could have been anything off an album again with 4 tracks in the top ten of the Festive 50, George Best was simply brilliant, Everybody Thinks He Looks Daft by Wedding Present is my pick for the year.
Gig of the year definitely wasn’t Bob Dylan at the NEC (Birmingham), we had been there a few times over the last few of years, for the blockbuster tours. Looking back none of them were particularly memorable. Pick of the crop this year was the Icicle Works at Leicester Poly’. The Poly’ had become our venue of choice for the 200 – 500 size concerts.
What else happened in 1987?
Big year in the UK for big incidents, the Herald of Free Enterprise sinks and the Hungerford massacre takes place. The “great storm”, the Remembrance Day bombing and the Kings Cross fire all add to the sense of gloom in the autumn. Terry Waite is kidnapped and Maggie Thatcher’s Conservative government is re-elected. While the Social Democratic Party merged with the Liberals.
The “Black Monday” stock market crash occurs, and completely unrelated, probably, Prozac gets approved for use in the USA. Prince Andrew lasts about as long in the Marines, as I did in the job described above. Edwina Currie states that “good Christians won’t get AIDS.” Klaus Barbie is tried and convicted of war crimes,
The General Synod vote to allow the ordination of women. Docklands Light Railway and London city airport open and an InterCity 125 breaks the world speed record for a diesel-powered train. IKEA opens its 1st UK store, Starbucks opened their 1st coffee shops outside Seattle and someone spends a million quid (not in IKEA or Starbucks) trying to find the Loch Ness monster.
Golliwogs are banned from Enid Blyton books and Spycatcher is banned from everywhere, Timothy Dalton plays James Bond, 26 million viewers watched Coronation Street on Christmas day (Hilda Ogden’s last appearance). Aretha Franklin becomes the 1st woman inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. The Simpsons cartoon 1st appears, as “shorts” on the Tracey Ullman show. The first-ever Rugby World Cup takes place in New Zealand, Coventry City win the FA Cup, giving the lie to the trick question in Monty Python’s communist quiz, Lester Piggott is jailed for tax evasion. In cricket, Mike Gatting has his on field row with (Pakistani umpire) Shaknor Rana, leading eventually to neutral umpires.