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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Your 80s: Key events
Live Aid
Live Aid made history
The Magazine is compiling a people's history of modern Britain - featuring your written memories and photos. We started with the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s and continue this week with the 80s.

It was the decade of Thatcher, yuppies and chunky mobile phones.

But for many of you it is the key events which stick in the memory - the 1987 hurricane, the Royal Wedding (twice), Live Aid, the miners' strike and the Falklands War. Or those personal moments which for you define the decade.

Here is a selection of your comments.


Charlotte Ackrill
I remember the hurricane, I was six and remember seeing it on TVAM with Ann and Nick the next day, I was wearing a tracksuit with elasticated wrists and ankles and velcro shoes all of which have sadly never it back into fashion apart from Ann Diamond.
Charlotte, Sidmouth, Devon

I remember sitting in the school hall aged six to watch the live broadcast of the raising of the Mary Rose. We had been told that this was an historic occasion and something of that atmosphere did transmit its self even to us little ones. But the sense of history did not last long, I remember a lot of talk about what a great day it was but very little actually happening. Eventually the whispering built up to such a level that the teachers herded us back to class.
Jennifer Groves, Tipton UK
I awoke one October morning in 1987 to discover the devastation of Kent by a hurricane. Working for Sevenoaks Council at the time, I was only able to get to work by motorbike. The next few weeks involved full-time co-ordination of the Council's workforce, the emergency services and even the Army in removing dangerous fallen trees from property, clearing the roads and finally re-opening all of the district's public footpaths.
OG Nash, Doha, Qatar (formerly Sevenoaks)

I remember Live Aid (everyone had it on) round at my friends watching every time a band came on we liked. The Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies which changed the game forever in this country (Thank God) The A Team, Knight Rider and later Miami Vice. I was 17 in 1987 and got my first job with Natwest in Tonbridge and I was told upon arrival that this would be "A Job For Life" on more than one occasion, I was made redundant in 2001!! I remember my parents buying our first video recorder with a remote control that plugged into the machine.
Andy Ward, Ashford/Kent/UK

Suppose I was one of "Thatcher's Children"! The early 80s were a lot more simple. Four TV channels that ended at midnight with a Public Information Film that gave you nightmares, no gadgets, REAL cold winters, Mini Metros, Big Ron Atkinson, Daley Thompson and World of Sport!
Jonathan Cale, 1988
As a 12 year old I was convinced the world was going to end by 1985! BBC had "Threads" that killed everybody except Sheffield dentists and traffic wardens! Scared the living daylights into me when I saw it. Everybody seemed to be on the warpath in the early 80s. Everybody was skint, everybody was angry! Then there was Bob Geldof and Live Aid. Who remembers watching it with your mum and dad; the moment he loses it and says "Don't go down the pub, give us your *** money right now"!!? Good times!
Jonathan Cale (right, in 1988 aged 16), Gloucester

Born in the late 1970s, my memories of growing up in Northern Ireland in the 1980s are strongly overshadowed by the Troubles. Two memories in particular sum up the decade, and that particular time of the Troubles for me. The first occurred when I was walking with my older sister through the main street of our small town aged around seven years old.
Simone Hazlett
Army patrols armed with automatic machine guns were dotted along the street, crouching in the corners that joined the pavement with the houses that stood on them. As I walked past, one of them pointed his gun in the direction of my head as I stared down the gun in fear. He continued to aim his gun at my head menacingly as I walked along until I finally turned away. I didn't look back. The second incident occurred right at the end of the 1980s when I thought, rather prematurely, that I was old enough to hold down a part-time job. Stopping outside a department store that was advertising for staff, I turned to my mother and suggested I might apply. 'Read on' was her succinct reply, and when I did, the advert stated clearly 'Catholics need not apply'.
Simone Hazlett, now living in Brighton, England.

The 80s were great! No more flares, The Police, The Smiths, Duran Duran. Raiders of the Lost Ark, BladeRunner, the Terminator. Playing Jetpak on my Sinclair Spectrum, and two great World Cups - I particularly remember Brazil v Italy in 1982 and Gary Lineker almost equalizing against Argentina in Mexico. In politics I remember it being trendy to support CND and the miners, but SO glad Maggie faced them down. If they had won we would now be in the grip of the Unions and/or the Russians.
FM, London

How could I forget the October 1987 hurricane? My dad took us out in it at 3am, and we thought it was amazing that we could barely stand, and the noise was hair-raising - looking back, probably a foolish and dangerous thing to do! Our terrace was miraculously unscathed but most of Kent was devastated. I remember school friends whose roofs had been torn clean off, or walls had collapsed. That was the same winter when a few months later, we had six feet of snow, and we were snowed in, here on the Isle of Sheppey because the Ferry Bridge was inaccessible. Now, we have a new road crossing.
Michelle, Isle of Sheppey, Kent
The cold war still raging, Afghanistan.
Peter Smolenski, 1988
The death of Brezhnev, Chernenko and Andropov, then finally Gorbachev arrived. Spitting image and Not the Nine O'Clock News as well as The Young Ones and Blackadder. I was a teenager through the first half of the 80s. I also remember being snowed in for a week during the winter of 81 and having frozen pipes and ice on the inside of the windows. Going to my very first concert to see the Clash.
Peter Smolenski, 2007
My first motorcycle at 17. When I left school I came to London, now that was a shock but I loved it. And who can forget Maggie and Reagan?
Peter Smolenski, Walton-on-Thames

I remember playing trolley dash in the car park of the local supermarket - they were never chained up then, and you didn't have to hire them for a pound!
Anna Morgan, Porthcawl, Bridgend CBC

The 1980s can be summed up in one phrase. The discovery and spread of HIV/AIDS. Originally thought to be a gay disease limited to that section of the community it turned out to have a much broader range of victims. I don't think anyone then could have envisaged how much the disease would ravage countries on a global scale 20-25 years later. Luckily by the end of the decade it wasn't quite the death sentence that it was at the beginning due to advancement in drug treatment and campaigns promoting safe sex (the infamous advert).
Rich, UK
I think my most abiding memory of the 80s was the great storm and Michael Fish telling us not to worry. We knew something was up the next morning when we saw some of the local damage, but when I got to work we found the office closed as a tree had collapsed onto the building and took out all the windows. Other memories include spending all my school holidays playing Pacman, feeling disappointed when I first saw Return Of The Jedi, drinking over-priced cocktails and getting my first filofax.
Chris Irvine, Rochester, Kent

Being a Fleet Street journalist for over 20 years my most enduring memory of the 1980s was returning from the Falklands War on Canberra. For most part I had been based on Ascension Island, a bleak windswept blot of volcanic dust in the middle of the South Atlantic. Canberra by the end of the war was streaked in rust and carrying over 2,000 troops as we sailed home.
Bob Bryant
As the morning dawned before we docked at Southampton there was a fine mist over the Channel. We had eaten out last supper aboard the old ship, breakfasted well with more champagne and our guest Prince Charles raised a flute as we toasted the Queen. Within an hour the sea was a mass of small ships welcoming us with sirens and flags. One boat even had a number of beautiful girls who with regimental precision lifted off their bras and done a wiggle. At Southampton I was one of the first off the Canberra and even though I was wearing military fatigues felt a little embarrassed by women wanting to hug and kiss me. One gave me a rose and a bearhug. I still have the rose pressed in a bible. They said 100,000 people had flocked to the port to welcome Canberra home and I wondered whether I would ever be able to spot my wife. But one look on the P & O veranda for guests was enough. There she was having drunk enough champagne to keep the Canberra afloat. I had to drive my old Ford Cortina home and it was World Cup final day. By the time I had reached my 300 year-old cottage I was knackered and fell asleep in an armchair where I stayed for 16 hours. That is my indelible memory of the 80s and as I reach 62 it remains in my memory as though it happened last week. I still have my khaki trousers and Army boots and my war correspondent credentials and of course dog tags to show blood group and faith. What relics, what memories! I now thrill my grandchildren with the tales.
Bob Bryant, Welwyn, Hertfordshire

In the 80s Dad was a police officer in the Met. He saw colleagues injured and killed in the Brixton riots and was sent away for weeks at a time all over England to help local forces with the miners' strikes. Mum was looking after a four-year-old me back in London and was pregnant with my younger sister. She had a perm and almost every item of clothing she owned had shoulder pads, even her jumpers. I remember Dad coming home one day with a new gadget for the kitchen called a microwave. Plus there was quality TV - the A Team, Knightrider, Scott and Charlene's wedding...
Siobhan, then London, now Birmingham

OTHER 80s MEMORIES
As a schoolkid growing up I remember the 80s vividly. Pop music everywhere, seeing the Challenger disaster on Newsround and learning what a "yuppy" was. But above all the weather caught my interest. We had tons of snow here in Kent in the mid 80s and I assumed that would happen every year. It culminated with being cut off for two weeks in January 1987 with bread and milk being delivered by Chinook helicopter. You can imagine my crushing disappointment when not a single flake of snow fell the following year, or the year after that! We also had the "great storm" which cut down a great swathe of Kent's woodland. There was a palpable unease after that, as if a switch had been flicked in our weather - and 20 years later we've only had a couple more cold and snowy winters.
Darren Prescott, Leysdown, UK

I remember the Royal Wedding of Charles and Di in 1981, when we lived in Pembrokeshire. I was six years old and at infant school. All the children were given mugs with sweeties in. I remember being fascinated by Lady Di's dress as we watched it all happen on the TV - she really did look like a princess. On the couple's tour of Wales later in the year, Diana waved to me and my mum as the Royal car swept past us in the street. We felt very privileged!
Amanda Andrews, Cardiff, Wales

I was about seven for the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana, I remember dressing up in red white and blue to go to a street party to celebrate their wedding.
Melanie Harris
I remember the build-up to it and remember how exciting it all was... it was truly magical. I also remember getting a microwave oven and my mum cooking up speedy microwave meals... mmm! Later in the late 80s I remember going to a school disco wearing pink lace gloves with pink hoop earrings and a matching bangle trying to look like Madonna! Space Raider crisps were only 10p and amazingly are still only 10p now!
Melanie Harris, United Kingdom

Seeing Genesis in '87, laughing at Boy George's outrageous outfits whilst still admiring his music, Inspector Morse, Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple on the telly (still the best ever productions), winning the Falklands War and watching the likes of Seb Coe and Daley Thompson!!
Tony C, Bradford

My third daughter was born in Portsmouth on 31st March 1982. The day she came home, we could hear the cheering and hooters from the hospital when the task force sailed for the Falklands War. Nick Taylor, with whom I'd trained at the RAF College, Cranwell, became the first British casualty when his Sea Harrier was shot down. It was ironic, Nick had been 'chopped' from Cranwell for being a bit of a wild man and subsequently joined the Fleet Air Arm, so determined was he to fly. It made the war personal for me. I remember newspaper stories about young men flocking to recruiting offices, such was initial the surge of patriotism following the invasion. Before then, most people wouldn't have been able to point to the Islands on a map.
Mac Eddey, Beaminster

I remember Mrs Thatcher visiting our school in 1986. She had been the Head Girl and all the adults fawned all over her. She wasn't a bit interested in us girls, although she did scan the rows with beady eyes. It put me off the Tories for life!
Julie, Lincolnshire





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