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Teenage rampage in 1976.

Byline: Dave Morton Nostalgia Editor

IN January 1974, glam rock band The Sweet reached number two in the pop charts with their single Teenage Rampage.

Exactly two years later, the song became reality as, indeed, hundreds of teenagers went on the rampage in Newcastle.

As the Chronicle reported, the only surprise was that the troublemakers on this occasion were all girls.

There was rebellion in the air at Heaton Manor School in Newcastle when headmaster Henry Askew announced a decision had been made to punish "uncouth and nasty" female pupils by using corporal punishment - the same as applied to unruly boys - for any wrongdoing.

At a time when strikes and industrial action were never out of the headlines, the girls immediately waked out and staged a noisy demonstration.

Two hundred of them went on the rampage for an hour, chanting "Howay the lads", hoping their male classmates would join the fray. Sensibly the boys stayed at their desks!

Next up, the burly girlies ran around the sports field and interrupted a football match by stealing the ball. The boys apparently left the pitch in dejection.

The girls, we reported, were egged on by their parents, who shouted encouragement through the school railings.

"No-one is going to beat my daughter. I've lost sleep over this," shouted one mother.

Three police cars finally arrived to restore order.

The teenage rampage came on the back of another story the Chronicle ran about the "Al Capone girls" of Westerhope Estate, who were terrorising elderly female residents.

The gang's victims were either very old or frail and the girls, aged from eight to 15, threatened them with violence if they didn't pay up or meet their demands.

The teeny gang bullied one pensioner into buying raffle tickets by sitting on her until she handed over 10p. Another woman had her curtains slashed with a razor.

Pensioners admitted they were "absolutely terrified" and handed over any money demanded.

Tut tut! And to think the many of the perpetrators will be grandmothers themselves now.


Popular glam rock band The Sweet had a hit single with Teenage Rampage in January 1974 T

Some of the 200 girls who went on the rampage at Heaton Manor School, January 1976. They were protesting at a decision to extend corporal punishment to girls. Below, police talk to parents at the school

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2016
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