RESCUE workers sillohetted against a landscape of smoke and disaster continues The Independent's exclusive photo-history of the twentieth-century, with help from The Hulton Getty Picture Library. On October 21, a generation of schoolchildren were wiped out, with nearly 200 entombed inside the rubble of a school when a giant slag-heap engulfed it after heavy rains. The bad weather may have been unpreventable, but the regulations of man- made industries were put to question: The National Coal Board was accused of being forewarned as to the danger of slag heap, and the local council was found to have previously rejected a request for an examination on the tips' condition.

The previous year other horrors were found in a shallow and early grave, and in May, Myra Hindley was sentanced to two concurrent life terms and Ian Brady got three for the murder of three young children. When the all- male jury were presented with photographs, tapes of ten-year old Lesley Ann Downey's ordeal, following a trial of entrapment from Brady's frightened brother-in-law and a left luggage ticket hidden in a Communion prayer book, the Moors murders raised as harsh a visible spectre of unimaginable acts and twisted psyches.

"In a decade dominated by youth," began America's Time magazine in April, uttering the opinion-forming belief, "London has burst into bloom. It swings; it is the scene." These words from above authorised a counter- culture and helped to create Britain's culture of youth. In the following years this would prove indefatigable and as it morphed from one scene to another, often indescribable.

Jennifer Rodger