A pint of beer for thirty pee,
University all for free,
Glam Rock Stars on Top of the Pops,
New Faces and Opportunity Knocks,
The Sweeney, Porridge and Morecombe and Wise,
Patrick Moore scans the night skies,
Match of The Day and World of Sport,
Johnny Craddock with a glass of Port!
Bill Shankley and Brian Clough,
The players were fair but tough,
Francis Lee and Colin Bell,
City in heaven, United in Hell,
Reggy boozed up for News at Ten,
Interviewing Tony Benn,
Diesel Trains in BR Blue,
Cheap as chips and regular too,
Balmy summers at Mill Hill Pool,
Endless summers and looking cool,
Strawberry Mivvy and Flake 99,
Watneys Red and Bulls Blood wine,
Back to the 70's?
That's fine by me,
The greatest decade,
Copyright 2017 Roger Tichborne
So come on, do you agree? Was the 1970's the greatest decade. We had the pill, but we didn't have AIDS, we had Ska, Reggae, Glam and Punk. Our rock stars were Bowie, Bolan, Lydon, Strummer, Marley, The Faces and Slade. Our football heroes were mercurial players such as Stan Bowles, Rodney Marsh, Colin Bell and Tony Currie. Our politicians had personalities and charisma, Ted Heath sailed boats, conducted orchestras and appeared on the Parkinson show. Wilson smoked his pipe and spoke of how the White Heat of Technology would transform the world. British TV was about high production values and taking chances. Programs like the Naked Civil Servant broke down barriers, whilst World in Action and Panorama set the agenda. Niche programs such as The Sky at Night and Gone Fishing educated us and built cult followings. Motorways were clear and not full of speed cameras. Trains were relatively cheap and through ticketing available. They were not plagued with penalty fares and arcane ticketing rules. Pubs were pubs, smokey bastions of working class culture and political incorrectness, not pseudo restaurants and beer was cheap. Juke boxes had vinyl singles and Radio 1 had John Peel [playing The Buzzcocks, The Fall and Steel Pulse. We had our tribes, Teds, Punks, Skinheads, Rude Boys, Glam Rockers and Rastas. Comedy was funny instead of edgy. The likes of Morecombe and Wise made high quality hilarious Xmas specials, whilst Ronnie Barker and Leonard Rossiter made the seemingly drab a deep well of laughter. The Sweeney were showing us how Cops should treat robbers and Alex Hayley wrote Roots, which was perhaps the greatest ever TV series for educating a generation as to the evil of slavery.
Perhaps the best thing was, we all thought we had a chance. Punk rock made us realise we could all form bands. Free University education offered a chance to better ourselves. Property was affordable and council housing was plentiful. The NHS was not a political football and unemployment was viewed as an evil and a short term issue.
There were a few downsides. We were four minutes from nuclear incineration. The shops shut at 5pm. If your mate told you that John Peel had a great show, you'd missed it, no chance to listen again. Cars broke down incessantly and were rust buckets. School meant sitting in desks and peeing yourself if you couldn't hold on till playtime. Exotic foreign travel was difficult and expensive. But that aside it was a brilliant time