It’s June 1984 and, on a warm, sunny day in Bispham, near Blackpool, shoppers have headed over to Red Bank Road for a quick top-up shop. Although we don’t know what day this shot was taken on, it’s a decent probability that it’s a weekday, given how relatively quiet Sainsbury’s is.
No doubt, some of the shoppers will have driven in, either listening to Radio 4 hissing and popping on Long Wave, Radio 2 crackling away on Medium Wave or perhaps Red Rose Radio on FM. For those listening to the news on Radio 4, the agenda will be dominated by the Miners’ Strike, which had been ongoing since March 1984. Margaret Thatcher and Arthur Scargill were pitched for a battle royal, which had yet to fully erupt on this warm summer day. The worst was to come.
For those tuned into Red Rose Radio or Radio 1, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Two Tribes was all over the airwaves. On 10 June it went straight in at number one, knocking Wham!’s Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go) off the top position. Other Top 10 music on heavy rotation were Only When You Leave by Spandau Ballet, High Energy by Evelyn Thomas and my favourite, Let’s Hear it For The Boy, by Deniece Williams from the film Footloose. Remember Kevin Bacon before he became Kevin Bacon? Indeed…
Rushing around the shop to buy Rathbones bread, Holland’s meat and potato pies and tinned mushy peas, there was the school run to get back for then turn in to watch the new cartoon Danger Mouse on ITV. The previous night, it would have been a dose of Coronation Street (the most-watched programme on UK TV at the time), before settling down to the first episode of Crimewatch after the 9 O’Clock news on BBC1.
But what about the cars?
Ah, now that’s the good stuff. Us Blackpudlians were a canny lot. Back in 1984, we didn’t waste too much money on those flashy premium cars that everyone seemed so obsessed by down south. Your eye’s drawn to the 1982 Ford Escort 1.3L in bright yellow – the roads were full of them – which is hiding an Austin Allegro cheekily parked behind it. The Vauxhall Royale Coupe (Opel Monza to our overseas readers) is difficult to miss, and a wonderful thing to see with the BMW 5 Series being seriously overshadowed by it.
Look more closely though, and you’ll see that someone has a very new car in Sainsbury’s that day. Flanked by the Royale and a Morris Marina Series 2 is an Austin Montego. Given it had only been launched in April, this would have been quite a novelty to see in the car park. Perhaps not as much as the Polski-Fiat Polonez further back, near a disturbingly nicely-maintained (or at least very clean) BMC 1800 Landcrab.
Other lovelies to be spotted in the car park include an Alfa Romeo Alfasud, a Fiat Mirafiori and a Talbot Samba. If I’ve missed anything significant in this haven of 1980s loveliness, please do comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks to: Sainsbury Archive