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Britain Since the 1930s

by Mandy Barrow
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Britain in the 1980s


The decade of British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, yuppies, chunky mobile phones and BMX bikes.


1982 - Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands and Britain went to war.

30 July 1981 - Prince Charles married Lady Diana

23 July 1986 - Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson

Homes and household goods

Fan heater, kettle, hair dryer, toaster, microwave, phone

Ball point pen, kitchen roll, aluminium roll, washing up liquid, household cleaner, electric plug, light bulb, disposable nappies


Front seat belts made compulsory in 1983.

Sinclair C5, a battery electric vehicle invented by Sir Clive Sinclair was launched in the UK on 10 January 1985.


Home computers such as Amstrad and Commodore were tested and among the best buys of 1981 was the ZX81

Windows program invented by Microsoft

World Wide Web first proposed by Tim Berners-lee


Population of Britain = (just over) 56 million


Over 50% of households now had a telephone.

Digital mobile phones invented (they were expensive and large).


Channel 4 began transmission in November 1982.

TV-am began in February 1983.


The reusable craft Columbia started to fly missions.

The space shuttle Challenger exploded on take-off in 1986 killing all seven crew members.


80s fashion

80s Music

The 1980s saw the rise of hip hop and rap music, with American influences powerful once again in the form of such groups as Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It also saw the rise and fall of the 'New Romantics', typified by groups like Adam and the Ants, who dressed as pirates and highway men and wore huge amounts of makeup.

1980 Blondie
1981 Adam and the Ants
1982 Culture Club
1983 Michael Jackson
1984 Band Aid
1985 Paul Hardcastle
1986 Berlin
1987 Rick Astley
1988 Bros
1989 Kylie and Jason

80s Toys

1980 Rubik's cube
1981 Spit the Dog
1982 BMX bikes
1983 My Little Pony
1984 Cabbage-patch Kids
1985 Transformers
1986 Casio keyboard
1987 Sylvanian families
1988 Give Us a Break
1989 Dancing Flowers


Synthetic skin invented by G. Gregory Gallico, III.




1981 Compact disc Philips
1982 Camcorder Sony
1985 Windows program Microsoft.
1987 The first 3-D video game  
1987 Disposable contact lenses  
1989 World Wide Web Tim Berners-lee


Inventions since the 1930s | Timeline from the end of the war

Population from 1991 | Money | Websites

Life in the 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s

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