THIS week 15 years ago, the North was hardest-hit by the biggest strike in the UK since 1926.
Jubilant union bosses said more than a million council staff stayed away from work in a protest over pension rights.
Council bosses disputed the figure, with the Local Government Association (LGA) saying at the time that only 25 per cent, or 400,000 people, had taken part.
It was clear that the strike had been most solid in the North.
Some councils lost more than 70 per cent of the workforce, compared to some parts of the South, where the strike call was virtually ignored.
Traffic using the A1 between Newcastle and Durham, and the A19, between Newcastle and Sunderland, was gridlocked during the morning rush-hour due to the closure of the Tyne Tunnel and Tyneside’s Metro train service.
Newcastle city centre traffic was bumper-to-bumper again in the afternoon.
Police efforts to keep vehicles moving were not helped by a man who climbed on to the Tyne Bridge, forcing its closure for two hours.
Also that week, the official deadline for the handover of Wembley Stadium passed with the Football Association still waiting to hear exactly when the builders would finish the stadium.
Multiplex, the construction firm that was in charge of the £757m project, were due to make an announcement to the Australian stock exchange on what progress they had made.
The FA had already decided to hold the FA Cup final in Cardiff and contingency plans were in place to hold the Community Shield there too.
Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League were expected to turn to Twickenham if, as expected, Wembley was not pronounced ready to hold the Challenge Cup final. Around 35,000 tickets had already been sold and hotels booked, so the replacement venue would have to be in London.