From the South China Morning Post this week in 1974 You could spot someone with a Filipina servant over the Lunar New Year holiday, wrote the Post's weekly columnist Sheila. They were the ones who went around with broad smiles, clean cars, pressed clothes and managed to hold dinner parties at home too. 'I don't know if it's acclimatisation or changing moods, but Chinese New Year this year didn't seem to be nearly as bad as other years,' she said. In fact, there had seemed to be a 'concerted effort by 'the others' - non-Chinese - to actually enjoy the break'. Britain was in a mess. The Post ran a story reporting churches were requesting prayers for the United Kingdom from all Christians, whether they normally attended church or not. Parishioners were asked to go to a place of worship this Sunday and go down on bended knee for the state of the nation 'during the present social and economic crisis'. This week the British government drafted emergency measures to keep vital services running as the country's 270,000 coal miners threatened an all-out strike on February 10. More than 70 per cent of Britain's electricity came from coal. The government's measures included threatening to mobilise police and troops to prevent picketing of power stations, importing coal from abroad and stopping welfare payments to strikers' families. At the same time tens of thousands of commuters were forced to hitchhike, cram onto crowded buses or stay at home as Britain was without its state-run trains for the seventh successive week because of a go-slow by 29,000 engine drivers. With a three-day week already in force, the government said an all-out miners' stoppage would gravely damage Britain's hard-hit economy. Equality in advertising was a long way off. 'Women look beautiful through Vivitar Lenses', purred a large advertisement featuring several glamorous icons of the day. There was a doe-eyed blonde, a bespectacled blue stocking, a big-haired beauty in a floppy hat, a Brigitte Bardot-like fur-clad sex kitten, an elegant Somali girl and a sultry damsel who might possibly have been Indian. Either way, not a Chinese face in sight. Photographers were reduced to snapping pictures of rubbish piled high, post-Lunar New Year. Letters to the editor were equally trivial, focusing on rude bus drivers and Mid-Levels needing its own bus routes. The evils of pyramid selling prompted several to write in, as did the potential dangers of visitors being allowed to use their foreign driving licences in Hong Kong. The most exciting event of the week was simply headlined 'Manhunt'. Killer-on-the-run Ho Siu Cheung, 34, had escaped from Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre in the New Territories by climbing over wire fences, prompting a colony-wide search. A $10,000 reward was offered for 'the dangerous fugitive' who seemed to be 'quite normal' at first meeting, police warned. Ho had dodged the death sentence for killing a police constable because the then governor, the late Sir Murray MacLehose, had commuted his life sentence to 25 years in prison. Twenty-five years for murder seemed a light stretch compared with eighteen months for punching someone on the nose and pinching $100. The courts were busy with cases like that of robber Sze Chung-Chuen, 27, who was silly enough to return to the scene of the crime. Having followed Fok Mui-shing home to his Smithfield Road block, Sze hit him and demanded $100 in the lift. The next day, sharp-eyed Mr Fok locked the main gate and called police when he spotted Sze about to pounce on a second victim.