What was life like in 1980’s Britain ?
1980’s Britain heralded the age of computer technology. Building on a history of space travel in the 70’s when we sent a man to the moon, the 80’s began in a confident and pioneering spirit. We weren’t constricted by the mere shackles of our terrestrial planet; we were only limited by the bounds of our imagination. So, the possibility of extra-terrestrials and encounters of a third kind were something that we were all secretly looking out for. We explore what life was like in 1980’s Britain in more detail :
Pushing the boundaries of space and time, was the inimitable mad scientist Doc, who, looking suspiciously like Albert Einstein, was intent on taking Marty McFly back to the future in a futuristic gull wing De Lorean car which was made in Belfast. Strange times indeed where the impossible seemed possible and there was an air of hope and optimism.
Perhaps the rose-tinted glasses of hindsight colours our memory of a decade and helps us to forget such events as Chernobyl in 1986, and the explosion of the Challenger Shuttle in the same year. We prefer to remember our favourite things like the Kids from Fame, Dynasty, Dallas, shoulder pads and power dressing.
With the launch of MTV in 1981 and music videos dominating our Top of the Pops, music was a huge influence on the decade with Run DMC’s Walk This Way being just one of the soundtracks that was blasted on our Ghetto Blasters and Walkman’s. Our sad goodbye to John Lennon and heralded the end of innocence and the age of peace and love in 1981.
However despite this, we were all glued to the love story of the century in the early 1980’s when we saw Charles and Diana’s royal love story unfold and culminate in the ultimate fairy-tale princess wedding of the century complete with princess wedding dress and golden carriage.
The 1980’s vintage toys that we played with were barbie dolls and Action Men and techno toys like Simon Says and Nintendo games consoles. We lounged in our shell suits and permed and coloured our hair using used afro combs to tease our mullets into shape and watched glued, as Charlene and Scott from sunny Neighbours fell in love and got married.
The 1980’s was definitely the era of technology when the Apple home computers and Sinclair computers were on everyone’s Santa list. The first mobile phone bricks were spotted in films and were to provide a hint of our future connectedness. Sci-Fi films such as Alien were popular fodder for the masses and the popularity of Star Wars and sci fi such as Dr Who and Star Trek continued unabated.
The hunger for space travel fed into the zeitgeist with the launch of the Russian Space Station the Mir where astronauts were able for the first time, to live and work in space. Meanwhile, those who had time and were lucky enough to have the chance, were playing video arcade games like Pacman and Asteroids on their televisions and home computers.
In 1987 in a remarkable thaw of east-west relations between Reagan and Gorbachev, President Reagan challenged the Russian leader to “tear down the wall”. Two years later, the uprising German citizens on either side of the wall did it for him watched by an incredulous international audience who were critically aware of the significance of the act.
Teenage mutant ninja turtles who lived underground crept into our Santa sacks in the form of cuddly toys and we all fell in love with Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo. We all looked west to the U.S and the Bratpack for our diet of scary movies such as Halloween and a Nightmare on Elm Street and then there were the coming of age films like St Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink and Footloose to uplift us and make us feel like we could take on the world.
We chomped our way through a lot of 1980’s retro sweets like refresher chews, space dust popping candy, everlasting gobstoppers, sherbet spaceships, fizz bombs and several quarters of bon bons and brandy balls, whilst we chanted the theme tune to Ghostbusters and played with green ectoplasm. Meanwhile, irreplaceable memories were captured instantly on our polaroid cameras.
Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a great range of 1980’s Gift Ideas. Come and have a look at what life was like in 1980’s Britain, our products give you a warm nostalgic flavour for this wonderful decade. Our range covers the whole of the 20th Century, so there’s something on our site for everyone interested in the most influential century that the world has known to date.