Gallery: What did the 1970s mean to you?

Janice Poulson Janice Poulson

Saturday, July 5, 2014
11:10 AM

The 1970s has been in the news a lot recently, not always happily. But our readers have many warm memories. What are your most vivid memories from the 1970s?

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I was making music history - sort of...

Music, football, cricket, table tennis, a married father with two young boys (not all in that particular order of importance I hasten to add) but much that centred round my life in the decade that was a super 10 years of the 70s.

After starting married life in 1971 in Trimley St Martin before the A14 was built and when lorries thundered past our bedroom window a move to Ipswich beckoned just before our younger son was born in 1975.

Life seemed to be pretty carefree for us all and I was also living the dream of playing in a band as well as holding down a full time job in the print industry.

This photo (I’m bottom left and pictured with, left to right, Keith Richmond, Dave Robinson, Dave Barrell and Andy Barber) captures the essence of those years when we went “on the road” (Norwich was probably the furthest we travelled in truth) trying to make our own breakthrough with a host of original songs with our funk/rock/jazz material.

It didn’t quite make the charts but boy did we have a lot of fun.

Russell Cook, Bury St Edmunds

We wore cheese cloth and flares!

The 70s were a lovely time. My husband to be ran a disco - The Sweet Music Disco show - and we used to drive around with all the equipment in the back of a Morris Minor pick-up truck. The records jumped if people got too close to the sound system! That wouldn’t happen now. My husband played a lot of Tamla Motown and my favourites were Slade and Rod Stewart. I always loved a man with long hair - sadly, there aren’t so many about these days as there were then! We wore flares and cheese cloth and lots of Indian cotton. We went camping in the summers to Wells-next-the-Sea - it was just innocent fun (mainly!) with a few Bacardi and Cokes which were all the rage. There was a flicked up hairstyle I had in 1979 which was quite Lady Di and a bit of a mistake but otherwise, I look back on those old pictures and think, you know what, I was alright!

Alison Pettitt, Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds

Mum cried when Elvis died

I was born in 1973 so was just six years old when the seventies ended.

Memories are a bit sketchy - but like all times in your life, you remember good times and bad.

In terms of good times, I remember starting school, beginning to like football, watching Rainbow or Jamie and the Magic Torch on TV whilst eating my Mum’s brilliant beans on toast at lunchtime.

My sister used to love horses so I have fond recollections of watching her compete at gymkhanas.

If we were ill, I recall drinking from those big old bottles of Lucozade with the orange cellophane on.

In terms of bad times, I remember my mum being upset when Elvis died in 1977.

Unfortunately my brother Mark passed away in the seventies when he was just three months old.

I didn’t really understand the gravitas of this situation as I was too young.

But I do remember the joy of getting a new brother a couple of years later in 1979 when my brother Jimmy came along to say hello.

Like I said earlier, all eras are defined by good times and bad times.

I think we are defined by how we overcome the bad and celebrate the good – no matter what the era.

John Nice from Easton and Otley College.

I had an X-rated Sindy and Action Man

Mum used to dress me up in ridiculous outfits like bright yellow flared trousers and a yellow smock top. I loved my Sindy doll because she had so many different outfit choices and I stole my brother’s action man (I won’t say why but it was quite romantic at the time, although my brother didn’t think so.) I remember etch-a-sketch. summer holidays in Cornwall which took all night - we had to sleep in the car. It’s a Knockout was all the rage and I remember our town organised a really crap version of it but we loved it anyway. I used to meet my friends at the corner shop and we’d buy Jackie magazine and penny chews and we took out the posters of Donny Osmond and the Bay City Rollers and put them on our walls. Happy days.

Michelle Giles, now of Bedford, formerly of Lawshall, Bury St Edmunds

We had black and white TV!

The 1970s were to me a bit ‘laid back’. Everything went at normal pace - nothing was complicated - not until they introduced the decimal system in 1971 then everyone was in the shops buying sweets to get some ‘new money’ in their change! People used libraries because Kindles and Ipads were not even thought about. My first computer was a Dragon 32 - you could do some ‘basic’ language on it and one or two games like the original ‘ping pong’ - but people made their own amusement and entertainment, There were only three channels - One, Two and Three - and they were only black and white!

The schools were very different to now. You had to wear full school uniform or else you were told to stand up in school assembly and were ‘told off’. You respected the teachers and stood up every time an adult entered the classroom. There was no back chatting - you would not dare, otherwise you would be sent off to the headmistress and she ruled with a rod of iron. When she shouted the whole school stood still.

There was no Health and Safety, I think this has gone out of proportion in all respects, don’t do this, don’t do that. No wonder children are clothed in ‘cotton wool’. They haven’t lived!

There were no ready meals or McDonalds or KFC or Burger King - you would do your shopping and no shops opened on a Sunday! Oh, and I remember the skin heads with everyone wearing tartan and bovver boots! I could go on forever but think I have covered most things. It was a wonderful, psychedelic time - all those wonderful colours of turquoise, green, purple, yellow. Things just aren’t the same!

Janice Poulson, Kesgrave

I was grateful that platform shoes were in fashion!

“I’m under 5ft and my husband, Clive, is 6ft so I needed big platforms under my crimplene halter neck dress, which I wore with a crochet shawl and big floppy hat outfit.

“This photo was taken by our best man, whose light meter wasn’t working properly....no point and shoot camera and no money for a professional.

I was from East London, Clive was a West London boy and we met at work in the city and married at Hammersmith registry office. We’ve lived on Stoke Park for 30 years now.”

Beryl Shepherd, of Ipswich

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