CB CONVOY JAMS TOWN

1981

TRAFFIC CHAOS was caused in Folkestone and Hythe on Saturday when 150 cars, parading in convoy, brought both town centres to a standstill. For two hours frustrated motorists were caught up in the procession which travelled through the streets at 20 mph. Shoppers were bewildered by the colourful and carnival-like presentation of the motorcade which had a police escort. And there were complaints about the behaviour of some people taking part in the motorcade. Citizen Band Radio users, known as breakers, were the case of the mayhem as they demonstrated in protest of the Government's refusal to legalise CB on 27MZ AM. The Folkestone-based CB club, the Rural Breakers Association, organised the event and were supported by breakers from Canterbury, Thanet, Romney March, Ashford, Dover and the Medway Towns. Other CB radio demonstrations were going on all over the country, in towns and cities such as London, Birmingham and Blackburn. About 500 people were involved in the Folkestone demo which started at the East Cliff Pavilion car park and made its way to the town centre via Dover Road, through Cheriton, along the A20 and turning off at Newingreen into Hythe. It stretched for about two miles, totally circling Hythe and blocking off all the traffic which tried to enter or leave the town. In Folkestone, a petition stating the sort of CB radio specifications breakers want was handed to the chairman of the Chamber of Trade, Mr Pat Attwater. He was asked by the breakers to pass it on to Home Secretary Mr Willie Whitelaw. Mr Attwater told the Herald and Gazette: "The demonstration was impressive and I will be sending the petition on." Chairman of the Rural Breakers Association Mr .......... (Crazy Jock), said: "The demonstration was a great success and I think we have managed to inform the public of what we are fighting for. "We are not criminals, as several authorities would have people believe. All we want is CB legalised on the frequency AM and not the proposed FM so that our radios will be compatible with the rest of the world. "It is not too much to ask and, after all, CB radio is the right of every person in the country." But this week there were complaints from residents who claimed that a number of "illegal" activities had taken place during the procession. A Hythe man said that protesters were continually sounding their horns, driving with passengers hanging from their vehicles, flashing hazard lights and using an American-style police siren. Superintendent ......................, Head of Shepway's Police, said: "there are obviously a minority in any demonstration who will cause problems. I could have stopped the whole procession and jammed up the town for two hours but I didn't feel it should be policed in that way."Basically it was a peaceful procession with no incidents."
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