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Thread: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

  1. #1

    Default The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    Hi guys,
    Not been on here for ages, as I haven't been too well, it's gonna take ages before I've caught up with all the new posts!

    Anyway, I've just put up another one of those French TV news videos. This time, it's about the Winter of Discontent in 1978-79, when snow and ice combined with trade union industrial disputes to bring Britain to a halt for about three weeks.
    It was filmed in Manchester, any local posters able to identify exactly where?

    Hope you find it of interest, whatever your political views.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    I can just remember the water standpipes although i don't think we had any in my area, it certainly looked bleak back then. The french are keen on a good strike or two so no wonder it made their news
    The only thing to look forward to is the past

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    Welcome back SPY. Hope you are feeling better

    I always enjoy watching these old news reports as it's a good way of seeing what the past was really like beyond the rose-tinted visions that I tend to have. Loving the French take on the Brits - bowler hat and tea and all. Well it was the 70's they could get away with it then I suppose. What I find odd is that this seems so very old to me. Everything looks as though it was well before my time but it wasn't! I was two. I find it hard to comprehend that I was toddling around somewhere in that world.
    1976 Vintage

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    I love all the little things in it... like the picket in the parka who, aware he's talking to French television, starts talking very slowly and deliberately - 'Enough. We want. Free. Collective. Bargaining.'

    Love all that Irene could have bought for 82 and a half pence... a big loaf of bread, two bottles of milk and what appears to be a box of Typhoo tea. Though when you think of how most prices have shot up in thirty years, if that's all she was buying, it's not too far out of the realms of what we'd imagine.

    Supermarket is definitely M and S, I recognise the style of writing on the Patesserie and Desserts sign, lol.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    Quote Originally Posted by Trickyvee View Post
    Welcome back SPY. Hope you are feeling better

    I always enjoy watching these old news reports as it's a good way of seeing what the past was really like beyond the rose-tinted visions that I tend to have. Loving the French take on the Brits - bowler hat and tea and all. Well it was the 70's they could get away with it then I suppose. What I find odd is that this seems so very old to me. Everything looks as though it was well before my time but it wasn't! I was two. I find it hard to comprehend that I was toddling around somewhere in that world.
    Ha ha, well I was nine, and the main thing I remember was that it was marmalade on Kraka Wheat for breakfast, dinner and tea almost every day for a week, because that's all my mum could find to buy! Even Kelloggs were on strike, so no Corn Flakes. And I wasn't even able to get a school dinner that week as it was shut!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    That sounds really grim. I wonder what they were feeding me? Not marmalade I hope because I hate it. Perhaps that's why I hate it lol.
    1976 Vintage

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    I seem to remember all the TV stations being on strike, The only channel we could get after sticking an ariel on some screw together poles against the side of the house was Tyne Tees albeit a very grainy picture.
    unless im confusing it with some other union dispute.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    I know the BBC went on strike for a few days leading up to Xmas 1978, & Yorkshire (& possible some other ITV companies) also was off-air at the time.

    The big ITV strike was in the late summer - autumn of 1979.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    Yes, I remember all those strikes, when I was in my mid-teens and still at school. I remember piles of bin bags lining both sides of the street topped with snow, which looked odd. I also remember a strike by our school caretakers. Their union was NUPE (National Union of Public Employees), and they displayed a poster showing Snoopy from Peanuts, with the caption: Snoopy supports NUPE. Since Snoopy's creator, Charles Schulz, was American, I doubt he'd heard of NUPE.
    The present is a foreign country. They do things differently here.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Winter of Discontent, 1978-79

    Hard times no doubt for my parents. No electricity, coal getting low, no bread in the shops, then the flour ran out and what with power cuts never enough time to cook anything decent after dad got home from work. Some of the shops really did start to run out of things. Hard to believe that shelves really could run empty in some areas. Even candles started to move quickly from the shop shelves as everyone seemed to fall back on them for light. It was quite an experience sitting in the dark eating or reading by candle light as a kid. We used a small camping stove until we found you could not buy the gas as it was in such demand. These strikes seemed to go on for ages without end. No sooner one lot of strikers were sorted another lot would go out for something else or in sympathy with another lot. I have a feeling in the end they lost the support of my parents and much of the community. It simply became too much to expect of people.
    As a kid it was just another adventure, something else to talk about with my mates on the streets in excited tones.

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