Spring 1968


The Hunter Hawkins Incident 

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane”

April 5, 1968 marked the Royal Air Force (RAF) 50th anniversary.  The RAF top brass did not make many plans to celebrate the anniversary and this disappointed many RAF personnel. One Flight Lieutenant in particular was outraged and decided to mark the occasion in style. On April 5, 1968, Flight  Lt. Alan Pollock of the 1(F) Squadron led four Hunter aircraft on display from RAF Tangier in Sussex to RAF West Raynham in Norfolk. At some point, Pollock left the formation and flew his Hunter low over London circling the Parliament buildings snd the RAF Memorial. In a moment of what some would call sheer lunacy, Pollock flew his Hunter under the top span of Tower Bridge.



Years later when recalling his adventure, Pollock said, ‘Until this very instant I’d had absolutely no idea that, of course, Tower Bridge would be there. It was easy enough to fly over it, but the idea of flying through the spans suddenly struck me. I had just ten seconds to grapple with the seductive proposition which few ground attack pilots of any nationality could have resisted. My brain started racing to reach a decision. Years of fast low-level strike flying made the decision simple.”  Empire of the Clouds: When Britain’s Aircraft Ruled the World, James Hamilton-Paterson, London: Faber and Faber, 2010, pp. 344–50

Upon landing, Pollock was arrested.  He was dismissed from the RAF but not court-marshaller.



The original Wembley Stadium (demolished in 2003) in London, featuring the Twin Towers.


European Football Final at Wembly Stadium

On May 29, 1968, Manchester United football team beat Benifica of Portugal in extra time to win the European Cup Final. It was England’s first win of the football title.  The score was 4 to 1.



Enoch Powell’s “River of Blood” speech and

the Race Relations Act, 1968

Enoch Powell, Member  of Parliament (MP) for Wolverhampton gave this speech on April 2018 to a conference of the Conservative Political Centre in Birmingham, UK. His speech strongly criticised mass immigration, especially Commonwealth immigration to the United Kingdom and the then-proposed Race Relations Bill, and became known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech,

Excerpt from the speech provided byThe Telegraph, April 2, 2018

“For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the means of showing that the immigrant communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”


From the National Archives. read an extract from a government booklet giving information about the Race Relations Act of 1968. Some landlords refused to rent houses to non-white families, and often employers would not give jobs to foreign workers. The Act made such discrimination illegal. It also set up a Community Relations Commission to ‘promote racial harmony’.

Catalogue reference: LAB 44/286 (1968) http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/brave_new_world/immigration.htm



Post your comment

Your email address will not be published.