The 1980s: Barry Manilow, Bangor and Babycham

Moving from the 60’s and 70’s in our fascinating series about childhood memories of different decades we move into the 80’s and thank Mrs Pam Gordon, a teacher at St John’s School for sharing her memories.

Pam was born in Liverpool and moved to New Town, Skelmersdale. She recalls school as white British and working class.  Her school was opposite a catholic school and there were lots of fights between the schools.

Making ends meet characterised the 1980s for Pam. After school she recalls playing out on the estate.  The family did not take holidays abroad and instead holidayed in Towyn in a static caravan.

#80s J 1 UPam remembered her love of popular culture with TV programmes such as Hill Street Blues, It’s A Knockout, the Eurovision Song contest, Juliet Bravo, Falcon Crest, The Young Ones, Boys from the Black and Cheers, to name but a few.  She described sixth form and University as ‘lots of partying’ often to the sounds of Culture Club, Adam and the Ants, Human League, the Stranglers, Barry Manilow, Juluka (South African band), Genesis and Phil Collins.

1987 Pam began her teacher training at Bangor Normal College and spoke fondly of more partying, fuelled by student portions of chips and washed down with brandy and Babycham!

Pam remembers the 1980s as an eventful decade with the assassination of John Lennon, the Falklands war, Tottenham Hotspurs beating Manchester City in the FA Cup, John McEnroe throwing tantrums on the tennis court.

#80s J 2

She describes politics as ‘hard-nosed and stuff the working classes’.  Council houses were being sold off, protesters were at Greenham Common and there was the miners’ strike, and boycotting of the Olympic Games.  In amongst these difficult times the nation came together to celebrate the royal weddings of Charles to Diana and Andrew to Sarah.

Ever the trendsetter, Pam owned a mobile phone……..the shape and size of a large housebrick!

For memories of the decades see: 1990s,  1980s, 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, 1940s, and the 1930s


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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