Last week we looked back at The Star Women’s Circle, now it’s the turn of Readers’ Club. The club was launched in February 1984 and was free to anyone who had The Star delivered six nights a week.
Offers, competitions and giveaways appeared on the Readers’ Club page every day.
The very first member was 78-year-old Dora Taylor from Littledale, Sheffield, who received a bouquet of flowers as a reward.
The club was so popular that by July Janet Utley from Dronfield Woodhouse was receiving a bouquet and gifts for her family on becoming the 50,000th member.
When the club celebrated its first birthday in February 1985 that number had risen to 60,000. It stood at 75,000 two years later when Carole Eaton took over as club organiser from Helen Ward.
Members celebrated the first birthday in Sheffield City Hall with entertainment from Butlins Redcoats and BBC radio personality and comedian Tony Peers.
Incidentally, on the day that the party was announced, The Star reported that a new soap, EastEnders, was about to hit TV screens.
The fifth birthday celebration took place in the Memorial Hall and included entertainment from Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club, the Okra steel band from Bolsover and 15-year-old Paul Needham at the organ.
The then editor, Michael Corner, cut a cake baked by students at Castle College.
Readers’ Club day trips and holidays always proved popular – and once trippers witnessed dramatic scenes.
A party of 36 readers were visiting the Taj Mahal as part of a tour of the Far East tour in November 1984 when the news broke that Indian president Indira Gandhi had been assassinated.
Holidaymakers had to hide their Sikh coach driver under a blanket as two of Mrs Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards had killed her and feelings were running high.
The trip organiser John Murdoch told of the group’s terror amid violent scenes as they made their way to their hotel through a riot-torn New Delhi.
Fred Ogden from Oughtibridge said: “I have never seen anything like it before and I never want to again.”
Lynn Frolish of Abbey Lane, Sheffield added: “I kept thinking about my family and whether I would ever see them again.”
Some of the pictures on these pages are of a trip to the World War Two Normandy beaches in France. That brought back a lot of memories for those taking part who fought there or had lost family members.