The Hartlepool star who rushed back from Australia to represent his town

Mal Hughes in action.
Mal Hughes in action.

It was the year of television hits such as Cagney and Lacey, The Fall Guy and Family Fortunes.

Barry Took was telling us all about the nation’s Points of View on BBC1 and Roobarb was a big hit for the younger generation.

Danny Poulter, left, with Scott Lester.

Danny Poulter, left, with Scott Lester.

Closer to home Bert Bousfield, Scott Lester and Mal Hughes were making the news in Hartlepool and the Tees Valley in 1983 - and for very different reasons.

Bowls star Mal Hughes from Hartlepool was in Australia and made a frantic dash home from the sun to snow-bound Hartlepool.

He did it to represent Hartlepool in the Lombard English Indoor Championships which were being held in the town that year.

He arrived home just eight hours before play began yet he showed no ill effects to win his opening triples match with his colleagues Ken Illingworth and George Turley.

They defeated their opponents from Southend, led by Bert Anderson, 16-6.

Sadly, for the trio, they exited the competition at the quarter-final stage but still did the town proud.

Bert Bousfield was another town hero in a different way, after amassing a record of donating 91 pints of blood.

He was honoured as the town’s champion donor. He said at the time that he was doing it as his wife once needed blood and added: “I like to think that I am repaying that debt.”

David Evans, the regional donor organiser in 1983, confirmed that Bert had given more pints of blood than any other donor in the town at the time.

And Bert’s total may have been even higher as he remembered donating blood as well when he was in the Army.

Scott Lester’s claim to fame at the time was that he was a 15-year-old actor who was about to star in his school’s production of Dazzle, where he was playing the leading role of space hero Sam Galactica.

But as the spotlight beckoned, he broke three bones in his hand in an accident.

Undaunted, Scott still continued with rehearsals even though he also had a dislocated shoulder. He had to turn up with his arm in a sling at one point.

He also spent ten days in hospital when he had to have an operation and only gave up his part in the show on advice from his doctor.

Even then, he continued to play a part when he was allowed to do a voice over in the play.

Pat Ferguson, head of the drama department, said his contribution had been marvellous.

The role of Sam was taken over by Danny Poulter, 17, a student at Stockton and Billingham Technical College.

What are your memories of 1983 in Hartlepool? Get in touch with your recollections.

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk