Jump to content

!970's Cost of Living


algy

Recommended Posts

A condense picture of life in the UK in the 1970's.

 

But would we that experienced it like to return to those times. :unsure:

 

A 14% devaluation of the pound shattered Britain's insular complacency.

The outside world intruded (most spectacularly when a man walked on the moon, which the nation saw on colour television) and the UK embarked once again on a course of doubt and irresolution, compounded by an outbreak of savage violence in Northern Ireland.

 

Economically, inflation started to matter as the cost of living rose. It stood at 6.4% in 1970 but, by 1974, after decimalisation and a massive rise in oil prices, inflation soared to 15.9%.

 

Catalogue shopping once again reflected the increasing pace of electronic innovation. They also mirrored the economic downturn and the effects of the new currency.

 

But there were plenty of new lines on offer, including electric can openers, coffee makers and hot plates; tumble driers and spin driers and the electric overblanket joined the underblanket.

 

And home shopping maintained its competitive edge against not just the supermarkets, but the discount houses too.

 

A portable radio was listed now as costing "£6.65, or 20 weeks at 33p a week"; the traditional -but much flashier -three-piece suite cost £75.75, or £1.51 a week over no fewer than 50 weeks.

 

A Hotpoint washing machine was priced at £131.29 (50 weeks at £2.52), and a Hoovermatic at £10:3.85.

 

For parents of young families, a deluxe pram cost £19.95, a pushchair £15.95, a playpen £19.60 and the first car baby seats £10.85.

 

A trendy leather swivel armchair was listed at £37.50 and a divan with headboard cost £29.95 (the practice of rounding up to just under the next pound was firn11y entrenched).

 

For the kitchen, a 51-piece dinner and tea set was still very reasonably priced at £9.85; a three-piece aluminium saucepan set cost £3.80 and a pressure cooker £10.48. New gadgets included a food slicer for £5.50, sets of non-stick pans for £7.99 and food mixers priced at £9.85.

 

An upright vacuum cleaner was listed at £41.80 and the most innovative gadget of all, a dishwasher, cost £112.25.

 

Cine cameras were as plentiful as box cameras had once been and were listed at a range from £43.30 to £79.65.

 

The "cabinet gramophone" had been refined into a sleek stereogram at £96.25 (50 weeks at £1.9:3).

 

At £7.85 an electric shaver cost twice as much as an iron; hair curlers, anew invention, cost £8.70.

 

The first rotary clothes lines went on sale for £4.49, and the first garden rotavators cost £69.95.

 

Other leisure and labour-saving devices included instant cameras from £4.30, polaroids from £7.30, electric sewing machines from £36.95, and an electric guitar at £24.05.

 

The cheapest man's watch was listed at £3 (£9.99 for a Swiss one), and a young man could still buy a diamond engagement ring for £16.95.

 

With the benefit of 34 years' hindsight, life in 1970 appears to have been ludicrously cheap.

 

A loaf of bread cost 9p and the average weekly wage was around £32. Today, a loaf costs 53p and weekly wages are about £475.

 

Property prices have also risen. In 1970, homebuyers could expect to pay £4,975 for a house. Today, their children would not get much change from £140,000.

 

It was a similar story on the roads. The Range Rover, which was launched in 1970, could have been yours for £1,998. Almost a quarter of a century later, a 4.4 litre Range Rover Vogue will set you back £57,700.

 

The Mini, which celebrated its 11th birthday in 1970, cost around £600. Its redesigned descendant now sells for £10,500.

 

A glance at Britain's social life in 1970 is equally intriguing. A trip for two to the cinema cost less than 90p, compared with at least £9 today, while a bottle of plonk was about £1. Today it is £4.55.

 

For those with more spirited and extravagant tastes, a bottle of whisky cost £2.69 back then, compared with £12 now.

 

Pub prices, too, seem foreign. A pint of lager in your local was 20p, a far cry from today's average of £2.10. And cigarettes, which enjoyed a lot more popularity then, were 20p for 20. Today, the habit costs about £4.65 a pack.

Still, it's not all doom and gloom. Prices have gone up but so has our spending power.

 

And some things have even risen for the better. In 1970, the average life expectancy in Britain was 72. Today, it is 77 - giving us five more years of spending.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh! The good old days! But a loaf of bread cost only 53p? Where does he/she shop then? A loaf there now is around a pound. Was only looking on Asda home shopping last week, showing my son the difference in prices here and there because he thinks prices here are high. :unsure:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh! The good old days! But a loaf of bread cost only 53p? Where does he/she shop then? A loaf there now is around a pound. Was only looking on Asda home shopping last week, showing my son the difference in prices here and there because he thinks prices here are high. :unsure:

The information was from 2009-10 Cleo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The information was from 2009-10 Cleo.

 

That could explain it.

I remember when you could buy a loaf for sixpence (2.5p) but in those day I hated having to eat the crust. Momma used to make us eat it, "You get nothing else till you eat it! You will be saying you are hungry again in five minutes!" :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

That could explain it.

I remember when you could buy a loaf for sixpence (2.5p) but in those day I hated having to eat the crust. Momma used to make us eat it, "You get nothing else till you eat it! You will be saying you are hungry again in five minutes!" :lol:

I loved crusts with butter and loads of treacle on it, granddad used to call them "Tramstoppers"peanut-butter.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

they would certainly stop something :mellow: I was always told to eat the crusts as it would make my hair curly. Not something to tell a five year old with a crew cut if you want to impress them.

 

As always looking back at how prices have risen can make you resentful unless you have a comparison of the wages that people were on at the time compared to the same wages payed to a person today.

 

Read any novel set in victorian times and you will find that people who were receiving an income of £500 per year were on a very good income.Whereas today anybody with an income below £10,000 is struggling to cope.

Link to post
Share on other sites

they would certainly stop something :mellow: I was always told to eat the crusts as it would make my hair curly. Not something to tell a five year old with a crew cut if you want to impress them.

 

As always looking back at how prices have risen can make you resentful unless you have a comparison of the wages that people were on at the time compared to the same wages payed to a person today.

 

Read any novel set in victorian times and you will find that people who were receiving an income of £500 per year were on a very good income.Whereas today anybody with an income below £10,000 is struggling to cope.

As you say Sid it's all relative!.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As Sid says, it’s all relative to the wages and unless you can recall dates and wages, comparisons are pretty well meaningless. I know that as a young electronic engineer, my exact wage in 1972 was just £1000 per year. I also know that I bought my first house in 1975 for £7,400 and that the mortgage company would only lend up to three and a half times my salary.

 

Bill :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

they would certainly stop something :mellow: I was always told to eat the crusts as it would make my hair curly. Not something to tell a five year old with a crew cut if you want to impress them.

 

As always looking back at how prices have risen can make you resentful unless you have a comparison of the wages that people were on at the time compared to the same wages payed to a person today.

 

Read any novel set in victorian times and you will find that people who were receiving an income of £500 per year were on a very good income.Whereas today anybody with an income below £10,000 is struggling to cope.

 

And they call it progress. :roll:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a packet of Hula Hoops today on the motorway services which was called a "Grab Bag" which means it is supposed to be mahoosive.... it is the same size as the packets were when they were launched and a standard packet now has about 10 hoops in it!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...