Britain in The 1970s
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
Who can forget the outrageous 70s fashion styles such as disco, glam rock, bell bottoms, hotpants, tie dye shirts and platform shoes?
The UK in the 70s
As much as we'd like to think about the 1970s as "the good old days", it would be hard to ignore the strikes that crippled Britain. A three day week was introduced in February 1972 to save on electricity, whilst the coal miners were striking.
Things weren't a whole lot better by the end of the decade when we experienced the winter of discontent. Not only was the weather freezing cold, but the unions were holding the country to ransom by demanding big pay rises. Prime Minister and Labour Party leader James Callaghan (pictured below) struggled to keep control, and after a strong tory election campaign in 1979 with the motto "labour isn't working", he was ousted by Margaret Thatcher who became Great Britain's first women Prime Minister.
James (Jim)Callaghan (public domain image)
By the end of the decade, some of us were playing interactive Pong style TV games made by Interstate and Binatone. They were about as basic as computer games could get, but this was the start of the computer gaming revolution.
Portable Cassette Recorders
Silver Jubilee 1977
Looking at the front cover above, I see there's a feature with footballer Steve Coppell who used to play for Man United at the time. He was bought by the club for £60,000 in 1975.
BONBONS SPACE DUST
CLACKERS (ALSO KNOWN AS KLACKERS, WHACKERS AND KLICK-KLACKS!)
Who'd have thought that banging two dangling balls together would be so much fun?
70S COMPUTERS AND VIDEO GAME CONSOLES
THE COMMODORE PET (2001 SERIES)
The original keyboard was problematic, and although it looked futuristic, it was awkward to type with due mainly to its small size. Commodore launched a new PET in 1979 called the 2001-N and this featured a full-size keyboard, green screen, but no in-built cassette unit.
BINATONE TV MASTER
THE POGO STICK
During the 1970s, the roads of the British Isles were dominated by British cars, with British Leyland and Ford dominating the car market. 60% of Fords were built in the UK, with the Cortina and Escort being the most popular of the 70s. The Mini and Morris Marina were not far behind, although the latter was plagued with mechanical problems, as we found out on a holiday trip to Scotland!