Where there really lots of dead bodies in the street? AIBU to doubt that was true

(47 Posts)
SodaStreamy Tue 09-Apr-13 12:44:22

Any older posters here who were teenagers/adults in 1979 to confirm or deny this fact that is being cited in lots of news interviews referring to Thatchers death

I keep hearing 'There were lots of dead bodies in the streets' Is this true? i was 10 and don't recall that being an issue.

If it was true how on earth did that happen?

YouTheCat Tue 09-Apr-13 12:45:53

It's bollocks.

There was plenty of rubbish and some rats due to the rubbish.

Mandy2003 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:46:56

Were they referring to the Winter of Discontent, 1979, when many local councils were on strike and temporary storage facilities were declared to cope with the backlog of burials and cremations. I think so. I can't remember any riots getting that exciting TBH.

givemeaclue Tue 09-Apr-13 12:47:39

There were tonnes of uncollected rubbish in the streets.
there were unburied bodies eg in morgues.

The bodies were not in the streets.


yaimee Tue 09-Apr-13 12:47:55

As far as I know there were no bodies on the streets but bodies did pile up in mortuaries as those that worked there were on strike.

kotinka Tue 09-Apr-13 12:49:29

SodaStreamy - I'm from Liverpool. We were one of the cities hit very hard by Thatcher's policies. There were NO dead bodies in the streets (well, no more than usual wink)

A lot of people went hungry, a lot of people became malnourished, a lot of people found it very hard to rebuild a future.

allmycats Tue 09-Apr-13 12:49:40

There were NO bodies left in the streets - I am old enough to remember well. Lots of rubbish but definately no bodies of people.

kim147 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:50:03

Leicester square was piled high with rubbish.

squeakytoy Tue 09-Apr-13 12:51:01

Everyone was on strike, but I dont recall ever seeing bodies in the street!

BreconBeBuggered Tue 09-Apr-13 12:53:39

Nope, no bodies. I recall there being some localised gravedigger strikes being reported, but not where I lived. Strikes seemed to be part of everyday life throughout the 70s, whichever government was in power.

alienbump Tue 09-Apr-13 12:54:34

There was a two week strike by gravediggers in Liverpool and I think parts of Manchester - that may be where the fictitious bodies came from.

Feminine Tue 09-Apr-13 12:55:15

Was 9 then. In my hazy memory of then I don't remember any dead bodies in South West London.

I do remember strikes.

givemeaclue Tue 09-Apr-13 12:56:59

Kotinka, op is talking about before thatch was elected, in the

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 12:57:44

This was pre-Thatcher - winter of discontent.

I can remember power cuts every night, and bodies not being buried (grave diggers on strike?). No rubbish collections - rodents running riot.

Pretty grim from memory.

kotinka Tue 09-Apr-13 12:59:07

I do apologise, my misunderstanding.

Tortington Tue 09-Apr-13 13:00:36

I have a relative who paid his solicitor in candles smile

SodaStreamy Tue 09-Apr-13 13:00:52

thanks i was starting to doubt myself watching the news yeaterday and today and loose women blush and all these references to dead bodies in the street.

They are making 1978/79 sound like the black death times

HollyBerryBush Tue 09-Apr-13 13:04:53

Loose Women? Just a panel of drink addled and raddled old bags who would be hard pressed to remember yesterday, let alone 40 odd years ago.

signet Tue 09-Apr-13 13:07:43

Lots of unburied dead, so much so that the bodies had to be stored in an empty factory in Liverpool because the morgue was too full. But no bodies in the street!

Flobbadobs Tue 09-Apr-13 13:10:31

Think they got 2 things mixed together. The gravediggers went on a 2 week unofficial strike and ended when they accepted a 14 1/2% payrise I think. It was suggested that sea burials may have been an option if the strike went long term.
There was apparently a few streets blocked by rubbish here as it got that bad. No bodies in the streets (although in Rochdale -where I'm from- that can never be totally discounted...).

Flobbadobs Tue 09-Apr-13 13:11:13

Hollyberrybush that is the most accurate description of Loose Women I have ever read grin

kotinka Tue 09-Apr-13 13:11:20

although in Rochdale -where I'm from- that can never be totally discounted grin

kotinka Tue 09-Apr-13 13:12:04

I always substitute "Louche Women" for their name.

SodaStreamy Tue 09-Apr-13 13:12:17

was it only liverpool that had the problem with on trike gravediggers?

Tortington Tue 09-Apr-13 13:12:31

<lollage at Rochdale> so true

Flobbadobs Tue 09-Apr-13 13:13:42

Room for more when they open the river up.. It would be funny if it wasn't true!

cantspel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:14:53

The grave diggers were on strike and so no one was getting buried.
The bodies were not in the street but the coffins would have been piling up somewhere.
In liverpool it was getting so bad that the city’s chief medical officer suggested that the authorities would have to consider burial at sea
if the unofficial strike didn't end soon. Luck it never got to that.

Ah i remember the good old labour days well. The joy of the 3 day week, unofficial stikes and flying pickets making sure the workers did as they were told by the unions.

SoniaGluck Tue 09-Apr-13 13:18:43

Loose Women? Just a panel of drink addled and raddled old bags who would be hard pressed to remember yesterday, let alone 40 odd years ago.

Misogyny and ageism are alive and well and living on Mumsnet. hmm

twofingerstoGideon Tue 09-Apr-13 13:21:04

Yes, I remember the piles of rubbish in Leicester square <nostalgic...> but no dead bodies.

cantspel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:21:24

SodaStreamy Only Liverpool and Tameside had the grave digger strikes.

stressyBessy22 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:21:25

the three day week

LittleEdie Tue 09-Apr-13 13:23:29

Some burials were delayed.

OxfordBags Tue 09-Apr-13 13:27:06

It's one of those bullshit things that someone made up or embellished from less dramatic facts that has now passed into being presumed to be true without question. Right-wing propaganda.

Like Feminists supposedly burning their bras. That happened ONCE, in an organised protest at the 1968 Miss America pageant, where restrictive underwear like pantygirdles, etc., were set alight in a trash can. Never happened before that or since. Yet everyone still bangs on about it like nary a day passed in the 60s and 70s without crazy women setting fire to their bras, FFS.

Lemonylemon Tue 09-Apr-13 13:27:56

"Ah i remember the good old labour days well. The joy of the 3 day week, unofficial stikes and flying pickets making sure the workers did as they were told by the unions."

That's what I remember about the 70's strikes. I've posted on another thread about bread rationing, sugar rationing, power rationing etc. We only had candlelight during that time. Oh yes, and the piles of rubbish in Leicester Square.

But then, I'm an old gimmer now.....

Lemonylemon Tue 09-Apr-13 13:28:44

"Like Feminists supposedly burning their bras." I think that the 'Find Your Ancesters' ad on TV might be to blame for that.....

RustyBear Tue 09-Apr-13 13:32:38

Cantspel - you don't seem to remember the labour days all that well - the 3 day week was in 1974 under Tory Ted Heath....

OxfordBags Tue 09-Apr-13 13:34:12

Lemony - grin

cantspel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:36:11

I remember trying to revise for my o levels by candlelight due to the powerstikes and no coal for the fireplace as all the drivers were on strike.

The army had taken over the TA hall and were on standby as the ambulance drivers were on strike and you couldn't get a copy of The Times for about a year as they were on strike as well.

pigsDOfly Tue 09-Apr-13 13:43:04

Do these people listen to themselves when they open their mouths.

I worked in central London during the 70's and tbh apart from power cuts and not being able to use the lifts when I worked on the 5th floor, I don't think we were really affected that much. Although plenty of other areas were very hard hit and had an awful time, as other posters have said.

The only bodies I ever saw in the streets were those of one or two city boys after a particularly heavy lunch; don't think they were actually dead though.

cantspel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:43:11

and why did we have a 3 day week?

It was to conserve power as the unions had a strangle hold on the country and due to their actions we had power shortages. We might have elected a con government but it was meaningless as the unions controlled the country.

Lemonylemon Tue 09-Apr-13 13:49:00

"Were they referring to the Winter of Discontent, 1979"

James Callaghan was PM then.

RustyBear Tue 09-Apr-13 13:49:34

Well, quite - the point is that Ted Heath was no more successful than Harold Wilson/Jim Callaghan at controlling either the unions or inflation -it wasn't just that Labour let them run riot....

Lemonylemon Tue 09-Apr-13 13:52:46

RB, you're absolutely right. I wasn't apportioning blame - just putting something into a "timeline" context. Ted Heath was dire.

thegreylady Tue 09-Apr-13 13:53:26

I grew up in a mining community in the North East.The pits where I lived were long closed but the Thatcher era dug the graves of the remainder and squeezed the soul out of whole,previously vibrant, villages and small towns.

thegreylady Tue 09-Apr-13 13:54:40

Many miners were starving and we had a freezer in the garage which we kept full of food which could be distributed to families in need.It was a bitter time.

Dahlialover Tue 09-Apr-13 13:59:02

The 3 day week was during the power cuts during the Heath government. Strikes were common throughout the 70s, whichever government (and they changed frequently). We just worked round them. There were one or two bad ones and I think the Liverpool one was the one when the gravediggers were on strike. There was no rubbish on the streets where I lived - you just had to wait another week for the bin men to come (and they used to come into the backyard, pick up the bin, empty it and return it)

Viviennemary Tue 09-Apr-13 14:02:57

There was a lot of uncollected rubbish. And scare stories on TV about how there would soon be dead bodies in the streets but not many people believed it. But mortuaries were getting worryingly full.

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