Nostalgia – What made the news in South Wales this week in 1981

The clock was turned back at the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum at Cardiff Docks in 1981 when a replica of Trevithick’s locomotive got steam up for the first time. The replica’s inaugural journey around dockland came 177 years after the world’s first journey by steam locomotive – between Merthyr and Abercynon on February 21, 1804. The real Shakin Stevens speaks out

This Ole House swept Shakin’ Stevens to stardom – but the real Shakin’ Stevens is still at home in Cardiff. Stephen Vanderwarker, below never tried for the big time – but he had the act that inspired rock star Shakin’ Stevens when the two of them were pals on the street corners of Ely.

In Cardiff last week Shakey told reporters he had taken the stage name from an old schoolmate. “When I was a youngster we use to play cricket and used a bit of wood for a bat,” he said.

“There was a boy called Stephen Vanderwarker who used to imagine the wood was a guitar. He used to say: ‘I’m Shakin’ Stephen’ – and I thought it sounded good. “Mind you, he couldn’t sing then.”

Mr Vanderwarker, aged 34 and married, is now a truck driver and still lives in Ely, in Fonmon Crescent. “He was quite a rough singer when he first started,” he said of Shakey. “We used to knock about in the nights together. There used to be a big group of us hanging about on Marcross Road in Ely when we were 10 years old.

“We’d play baseball, chase girls, and all had nicknames. Mine was Shakin’ Stephen, and Mike (now Shakin’ Stevens) was called Badger because of his surname Barrett.” Mr Vanderwarker said he used to be interested in singing himself. “Looking at him know I wish I had kept on!” he added.

Stranded quarry climber rescued A Cardiff schoolboy’s rock climbing expedition nearly ended in disaster yesterday. A few feet from the top of a quarry face on Caerphilly Mountain.

16–year–old Robert Wood found there was no more rock outcrops to hold on to – and it was impossible to move in any direction. Robert’s school friend Michael Gallego, ran for help and eventually hitched a lift to the nearby Travellers’ Rest public house. Two men went to the quarry and lowered a rope to Robert holding, holding him there safely until Caerphilly firemen and police arrived to make a full rescue.

The two pupils at Bishop Hannon High School, Fairwater, had intended walking to Taff’s Well, but ran out of time. So climbing enthusiast Robert decided to tackle the challenge of the disused quarry.

Cardiff gangs in rail line battles Rival gangs of teenagers have been fighting pitched battles across the main London to South Wales railway line near St Fagans, on the outskirts of Cardiff every night this week.

People living in the area are so frightened of the scenes in which up to 200 youngsters hurl bricks, bottles and stones at each other that they have threatened to form a vigilante group to protect their homes and families. A senior Cardiff police officer admitted today: “We have a major problem on our hands and we are deeply concerned about it.” The gangs – from Ely, Pentrebane and Fairwater in Cardiff – used the track as a demarcation line, battling each other for control of three bridges across the River Ely, near Plymouth Woods, St Fagans.

The “war” has been raging since last weekend. On Saturday and Sunday alone 25 arrests were made but many are too young to prosecute. At one stage the battle continued as a High-Speed train sped past at 70mph.

Bricks and bottles were thrown over the train as it passed through. Keegan helping to find super kid Kevin Keegan, Brendon Foster and Donna Hartley spent yesterday falling off bikes, throwing bean bags at traffic cones and jumping bamboo canes at Western Leisure Centre, Ely, Cardiff.

It was all in an effort to find Britain’s first “Superkid,” a competition sponsored by a national food firm. Seven heats have been held all over the country, encouraging school children to take part in games for fun. The event was televised by the BBC and will form part of a children’s programme to be transmitted next August.

Nostalgia - What made the news in South Wales this week in 1981

Brendon Foster said: “In athletics at this age it really shouldn’t matter who wins.

Superkids is all about taking part.” The competitions vary from cycling to swimming and give every child a chance to prove themselves. The winner will be presented with a minibus for the school.

Stephen Stiling, 12, a pupil of Cardiff High said he enjoyed meeting the stars: “Kevin Keegan’s a good laugh, really.” Vandals ‘tried to spear ducks’ Vandals have caused thousands of pound of damage at a Cardiff park, where they tried to spear ducks with stakes, tore down about 60 young trees and ransacked flower beds.

Mr Graham Harry, head gardener at Thompsons Park, Canton, said: “It’s disgusting, our work has been ruined by this attack.

Nostalgia - What made the news in South Wales this week in 1981

“None of the ducks were injured, but it will take some time before the pools can be cleared of litter, stakes and park benches,” said Mr Harry

Residents said they were often troubled by gangs of youths running down the street at night.