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Voice35Years: A tale of beauty - and the police

FINGER ON THE PULSE: The Voice issue had stories on a beauty queen’s drug arrest,

NEWS THAT a former beauty queen was remanded in custody after being charged with attempting to illegally import cocaine into Britain was the headline story in the 14th edition of The Voice, which appeared on the newsstands 35 years ago on December 4, 1982.

The front page headline read, ‘Miss Bermuda held on drug charges’ accompanied by a photo of 24-year-old Heather Rose who had represented the country at the recent Miss World pageant. The Voice story said the former beauty queen was arrested as she flew into Heathrow from Amsterdam.

The story went on to say that a customs officer questioned Rose after roughly £160,000 worth of drugs were found on her. It concluded that she was to reappear at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later in the month before the case was set to be passed to the Crown Court for trial.

Also dominating the busy front page of this issue was a picture of sisters Sandra and Shirley Dean, who were the joint winners of the newspaper’s Great Voices Competition, which was celebrated at the Mayfair salon of fashion house Jeunesse et Or.

The Tottenham sisters received £600 worth of designer clothes for winning The Voice competition and both declared that they were Voice readers since its launch in August that year. The newspaper was also promoting its Search for a Star talent competition on the front cover, announcing that the grand final was set for The Ace Brixton, where the special guests included the likes of Musical Youth, Jean Adebambo, Janet Kay and The Blackstones.

A promotion for the ‘Beautiful Baby Competition’ inside the issue capped off the front cover. On page two, the lead story heralded the news that the black-run Ujima Housing Association had been given five properties on Railton Road, Brixton to provide accommodation for black homeless families, a move approved by the Under Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment, Sir George Young.

The article went on to state that the Metropolitan Housing Trust would develop the hostel project for Ujima and subject to the scheme meeting the Housing Corporation’s detailed requirements, the Corporation would finance the acquisition of the properties and the renovation work.


Commenting on the proposed transfer of the properties, Sir George said: “The transfer of these properties in the heart of Brixton to Ujima Housing will meet a real need and be a useful step improvement of the area.“

Also on the page was a story that former Conservative Greater London Council (GLC) leader Sir Horace Cutler was compared with another notorious politician – former American President Richard Nixon by the GLC leader Ken Livingstone.

SPEAKING OUT: GLC leader Ken Livingstone

The Voice quoted Livingstone as saying: “Rumours and other enquires cannot be separated from the style and quality of Cutler’s leadership.” The article revealed that Cutler had set up a private fund in 1977 to which leading firms contributed thousands of pounds in exchange for promises extracted from him for future contracts.

Cutler, it reported, used the funds to fight his election campaign to the GLC and the contracts are now under scrutiny. Livingstone admitted that the fund may not have been illegal, but it was inconsistent with a Council member’s inter- ests and would inevitably lead to rumours.

Four stories dominated page three, including an article that the headmaster of a Middle School in West Yorkshire was under fierce attack for an article he wrote in The Times against multi-racial education; another stated that Lewisham Councillor Russell Proffitt had the backing of 25 fellow councillors in his fight with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) to retract the libel and slander action the union was taking against him over remarks he made against its branch Secretary.

The lead story on page four carried the headline ‘Brent car- pets police over racist rookies’, which reported on a heated debate of the education coun- cil at the Kilburn Polytechnic after its governing body endorsed recommendations for civilian control of multicultural classes at Hendon Police college and the reinstatement of John Fernandes as its head.

Mr Fernandes, an Asian lecturer, had resigned his post after exposing on TV the so- called ‘Racist Rookies’ essays. The Voice article said since his resignation, the Hendon Police Authority had taken over the multicultural classes and offered no explanation, but it was clear the academic board of the Kilburn Polytechnic had complied with the takeover.

Chairman of the governing body, Ron Anderson, said: “The situation that the board has got itself into is ridiculous, more so as the police authority’s action contravenes the principles of academic freedom.”

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