Photographic stroll through Derby in the late 1970s

The late 1970s was truly an era of firsts – we saw the actual birth of video games with the launch of Space Invaders, the first test tube baby and the first cell phone. In Derby we crowded into cinemas to watch the inaugural Superman film, happily munched popcorn while singing along to Grease, were tricked into the incredibly poor Jaws 2 sequel and laughed out loud at Clint Eastwood and of his pet orangutan in Every Which Way But Loose.

We also danced to hits of the day, including Night Fever by the Bee Gees, Three Times A Lady by the Commodores and We Will Rock You by Queen. In an effort to help you better visualize this era, we have scoured our archives and found some wonderful local photographs taken throughout 1978 and 1979.

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We have footage of people riding the dodgems at Derby City Fair, an aerial view of Derby Midland station in November 1978, and a great view of the fire that broke out at Littlewoods in Albert Street – although many passers-by seem to be aware of it! Elsewhere we meet the Derby City Band and see the Derby Sea Cadets taking part in the Battle of Britain Parade through the town center in September 1979.

We meet the first Chinese leader to visit Britain – Hua Kuo-Feng, dancers from the Hughes School of Dance and Drama and the Ilkeston YBC tenpin bowling team from 1978. And that’s not all!

So why not grab a cup of tea and take a stroll through our town in the late 1970s? Who knows, you might see yourself in one of the photographs – or someone you know. Why not share your memories in the comments below?

What do you miss the most in the past 30 years? The fashions, the music or maybe the way of life. Take a look at our nostalgia survey.

Michael E. Marquez