1982

Having “tied the knot” in November last year, I was a married man with responsibility, we had a mortgage to pay.  It didn’t really change that much for us, OK we were never flush, but there was enough money to go around so we just carried on doing what we did, what we did was go to the pub and play semi competitive sport.  In 1982 those 2 things were not the mutually exclusive activities they seem to be today, in fact the pub had a volleyball team and we were pretty good, if you compared us to other pub volleyball teams that is, I don’t doubt for 1 moment that if you had put us in a sports hall against a “proper” team we would have been rubbish.  There was a league of pubs that had big enough lawns to get a pitch on, which was (of course) organised by the brewery and like the winter pub games of darts and pool etc, simply a ruse to get us to spend more time and thus money in country pubs on an evening when otherwise they would have been inhabited by 1 man and his dog.

The summer was particularly busy, for a few short months Football gave way to cricket including mid-week evening leagues of works or pub teams playing knock about games consisting of 20 overs a side that were never taken that seriously.  That was over 20 years before professional cricket started to indulge in a similarly shortened version of the game, perhaps that’s why I can never take the T20 “bish bash” very seriously.

As the proud owners of our first house we had of course to redecorate it to our taste, which we would get on with just after we worked out what our taste was.  Actually, there was some urgency to redecorate as we already knew what our taste wasn’t, it wasn’t the huge plant patterns in dark “earthy” colours that currently adorned the walls of our new abode.  DIY decorating was a steep learning curve, we painted the woodwork in 1 room red, and then painted red again to cover all the tiny white splash marks we got on it when we painted the ceiling.  I had a go at wallpapering, replacing the big plant patterns with small plant patterns in a lighter colour.  It lightened up the room, was more pleasing on the eye, and was upside down.  I’m not sure but I don’t think that many people noticed, maybe they were being polite.

6otbclubThe track for 1982, is Temptation by New Order, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard it.  I was “strangling pipe” (bending conduit) on a building site for a new changing block at Stow School when it came on the Simon Bates show.  The memory is still vivid, the track was so different from the normal bland output of daytime Radio 1 (especially the Simon Bates show) that I stopped what I was doing and stared at the radio, the track jumped across the airwaves at me and changed the music I was listening to.  Gig of the year was the very wet Genesis (6 of the Best) at MK Bowl, it was the gig where the original line-up reformed in support of Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD adventure.

What else happened in 1982?

The year was dominated by the “Falklands War” between Britain and Argentina, and Mark Thatcher getting lost in the Sahara for 6 days.  The Pope and Ronald Reagan visit the UK and the IRA bombing campaign continues.  In Burnley the last steam driven weaving shed closes.  Ford ends production of the Ford Cortina and Laker Airways, the precursor to the likes of EasyJet collapses, as does the DeLorean motor Company, meanwhile, it’s owner is arrested for selling cocaine to undercover FBI agents.  Unemployment in the UK is at an all-time high.  Michael Fagan breaks into Buckingham Palace and has a chat with the Queen, and the Mary Rose is raised after 440 years on the seabed.

It’s a busy year for Spain, they join NATO host the football World Cup and open the pedestrian gate to Gibraltar.  Roberto Calvi (God’s Banker) is found dead hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London.  In Poland Solidarity is banned and Lech Walesa interred (and later released).  Ciabatta bread is invented in Italy [that was a surprise – I thought had been around forever] and the Population of China reaches 1 billion.  The Commodore 64 home computer is launched and the 1st computer virus is detected, it infected Apple II computers via floppy disk.  The 1st CDs are produced and emoticons published.

Mary_WhitehouseIn the UK Channel 4 is launched, Gandhi is on at the pictures and Mary Whitehouse complains about more or less everything, but her National Viewers and Listeners Association loses its court case against the National Theatre and the play The Romans in Britain.  Sport, Gilles Villeneuve is killed during practice for the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix.  Aston Villa win the European Cup and Bobby Robson becomes England manager when Ron Greenwood retires.

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