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What things cost when Maggie came to power


Now 1979 was an important year for me, I got married in the October. It's the kind of thing you remember, not really for the Tories winning the general election. But I can remember what things cost and how things have changed.

I was bringing home just under £30 for a 48 hour week. We had bought an old terraced house for £800. We gutted it and had an extension built for the princely sum of £7,400. As newly weds we had to furnish it and as far as I can remember it went something like this:

Hitachi 21'' colour TV £349
Automatic washing machine £420
Upright fridge/freezer £600
Pedigree Irish Setter £60

Looking at the prices it's enough to make your jaw drop. A couple of years later we bought a Technics seperates hi-fi with floor standing Goodmans speakers which cost £1050.

What kind of TV and sound system could I get for spending the equivalent money today. It goes to show as to just how much cheaper electronic goods have become in real terms, when a 21'' TV cost 20 times my weekly wage.


Established Member
i joined the raf in 79, my first wage packet was £33 for a fortnight!! it was a kings ransom for a spotty 16 yr old!! too young to buy a pint tho, i remember buying my first wallet-cost me £2!! real leather as well lasted me for yrs! :)


Established Member
Holy crap - you could buy a house with 34 weeks of pay? (normalised your pay, £30/48 to £23.44/37.5)
Was that a good/bad/average wage in those days?

I'm 27 now, and am looking at decades to pay off my first home.


An extension cost 9.25 times the price of the house? Surely you mean 8 grand?

Seriously we paid £800. Two bedroom, one living room, kitchen if you can call it that was in a corrigated iron lean to attached to the back of the house. Outside tap and toilet. The houses in the street were originally built in 1850. I reckon that house will still be standing in another 100 years which is more than can be said of the hone I'm living in now which was built in 1990. We sold the house in 1984 for £24,500.

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