Step back in time: to 1970

Take a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic look back at 1970.

Welcome back to the start of the 70s; fashion was eclectic, music was electric and all over Britain homes were filled with time-saving technologies like televisions, microwaves and washing machines.

The 70s are marked by new opportunities for men and women and an emphasis on art and music – from the rise of disco to an increase in international travel, in 1970 some of the most revolutionary innovations that dominate modern life today were just beginning to take shape.

So grab a cuppa and step back in time with us to 1970…

Pop Culture

Popular Culture offers a glimpse into the lives of people and the big and little things that made up the everyday. Here’s a snapshot of life and pop culture in 1970.

BBC Radio 4 launches its long-running PM evening news and current affairs programme.

7 April – Midnight Cowboy wins the award for best picture at the 42nd annual Academy Awards. John Wayne wins best Actor for his performance in True Grit, while Maggie Smith wins Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

17 November – The first-ever Page Three girl appeared in The Sun newspaper.

26 – 31 August – The third annual Isle of Wight Festival takes place, attracting crowds of over 500,000 – a larger audience than Woodstock. Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Joni Mitchell and Sly & the Family Stone are among the headline acts.

18 September – Jimi Hendrix is found dead from a suspected drug-induced heart attack in London.

British Leyland launches its luxury Range Rover for £1,998, marketed an upmarket version of its counterpart the Land Rover and creating a niche in the four-wheel drive market. The Range Rover remains one of the best-selling luxury vehicles in Britain today.

Released just before Christmas in 1969, Space Hoppers enjoy incredible popularity with children all over the UK. The original kangaroo-design is still available for purchase today.

The price of things: In 1970 a loaf of bread cost just 9p in today’s money. A pint of lager in a local pub was 20p, while a pack of cigarettes cost 20p for 20. The average house price in Great Britain is just £4975.

At the cinema: The Railway Children, Scrooge, Ryan’s Daughter, The Aristocats and The Go-Between all debut in cinemas.

10 April – Paul McCartney announces his departure from the Beatles. The band would formally split after a decade of playing music together in December that year.

Richard Branson starts the Virgin Group with a discount service for mail-order sales of popular records. Today Virgin is one of the most recognised brands in the world and touches everything from telephony to travel, finance, leisure, music, holidays and health & wellness.

Pan American Airways offers the first commercially scheduled 747 service from John F Kennedy Airport in New York City to London Heathrow.

Germaine Greer published The Female Eunuch, a pivotal text in the feminist movement and international bestseller.

Fashion was still heavily influenced by the hippie movement of the 1960s and took style cues from ethnic fashions around the world. Tie dye shirts folk embroidered blouses, ponchos, capes and military surplus clothing were all popular items. Bell-bottom trousers and ankle-length dresses known as “maxis” also began to feature prominently. Sweaters also became a huge phenomenon in the early 1970s, and colours like baby blue, peach, camel, forest green, rust and pistachio were among the most popular colours to wear during this time.

World Events

1970 wasn’t just an important year in Britain. Here’s a look at some of the most significant events that took place in 1970 around the globe. 

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) officially begins on Thursday 1 January, 1970. The local mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, is chosen to define the Universal day. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) had already been used in Great Britain since 1847.

19 February – The Prince of Wales joins the Royal Navy.

The Expo 70 World’s Fair Opens in Osaka, Japan. A moon rock goes on display in the United States’ pavilion from the Apollo 12 moon landing in 1969. The first-ever IMAX film also premiered during the expo, along with early demonstrations of mobile phones.

1 May – US Troops invade Cambodia as part of the Vietnam War.

4 June – Tonga gains independence from the United Kingdom.

18 June – Britain heads to the polls for the General Election, the first in which 18-year-olds could vote after the majority age changed from 21 earlier that year. Though opinion polls showed a lead for Labour, Edward Heath’s Conservative Party comes to power with a majority of 30 seats.

Sporting Moments

From big upsets to big wins, here are some of the most significant moments to take place in sport in 1970.

1 April –  Everton wins the Football League First Division title.

31 May – the 9th FIFA World Cup takes places in Mexico; the first time the tournament was staged in North America. The tournament was won by Brazil.

12 July – Jack Nicklaus wins the Open Golf Championship tournament at the Old Course at St Andrews, following an eighteen-hole play-off with Doug Sanders.

16 -25 July – The British Commonwealth Games take place in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Famous Births

Some big personalities came into the world in 1970. Here’s a few of the famous faces born this year.



Nothing takes us back like music; these were some of the best-selling artists and most popular songs on the radio in 1970.


Best selling single of the year: Elvis Presley, The Wonder of You

Christmas number 1: Dave Edmunds, I Hear You Knocking

Other popular songs

Freda Payne – Band of Gold

Norman Greenbaum – Spirit in the Sky

Mungo Jerry – In the Summertime

Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

How old were you in 1970? Does our timeline bring back any memories? 

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)

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27th Apr 2020
Thanks for voting!
I was 29 in 1970 ,loved the fashion and wore a mini skirt
26th Apr 2020
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I was 26 in may 1970 when our daughter Fiona was born. It was a glorious hot summer and, yes, I did wear a mini!
26th Apr 2020
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Me .... I was 18. I loved the sixties and 70's too. I think it was best of our lives. Still miss it. Life here in Briton has changed a lot and mostly not for the better.
26th Apr 2020
Thanks for voting!
My daughter was one in 1970. Looking back at fashions - what goes around comes around.
26th Apr 2020
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for this most interesting article. I became a teenager in 1970 and have so many fond memories of the year, it was a time of discovery for me, buying my first LP, becoming more fashion conscious and becoming more independent. By independent I mean going to my new School on the bus and one night a week going to the local youth club, getting a bag of chips on the way home and then during the Summer spending long lazy days on the local field playing football and tennis, it really was a lovely time of my life.
7th Jul 2019
Thanks for voting!
thanks Rachel, this is a great read. really enjoyed it thank you
17th Oct 2017
Thanks for voting!
This great page brings back so many fun memories. This old hippy loved and loves the Moody Blues, tie died everything I could get my hands on (still do sometimes). Loved the clothes, the good incense, strobe lights and parties and all the music from Woodstock album as didn't attend event. From New Mexico. Sweet and the best of years for sure. Isle of Wight Festival sounds like it was wonderful too. Miss that era. as Poppie says being young probably helped.
9th Jul 2017
Thanks for voting!
Oh gosh! I was 18. I loved both the 60's & the 70's. Everything about that time seemed joyful. I suppose being young helped.
9th Jul 2017
Thanks for voting!
Fantastic era- what a great time for music, fashion, progress and change. Love the way you've captured some of the nostalgia here
9th Jul 2017
Thanks for voting!
The 70's was the best music era and loved the fashions Maxi coats mini skirts long boots harder times but happier times
12th Dec 2016
Thanks for voting!
Loved the 70s, the music and fashions were great and I was free from living at home, having moved to Birmingham in 1970. Being slimmer back then I loved my purple velvet flares, black satin hot pants and maxi dresses.
21st Nov 2015
Thanks for voting!
I grew up with the 70's music, no other music or era can top the 70's, it was a time like no other. Great music and musicians came out of that era.
17th Nov 2015
Thanks for voting!
I was 11 in 1970 and remember wearing flared jeans and a lot of cheesecloth. I also recall seeing Dave Edmunds outside Richmond Station in multicoloured satin trousers!
16th Nov 2015
Thanks for voting!
Great year and I remember the summertime songs best of all. I hear you knocking by Dave Edmunds and Band of Gold which was No 1 for about 9 weeks!

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