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Pictures of life in Kent the last time inflation hit 9%


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Inflation has hit 9% for the first time since March 1982 - but life in Kent today is very different to 40 years ago.

One obvious example is how the property market has changed.

Advert in the Herne Bay Gazette in 1982
Advert in the Herne Bay Gazette in 1982

An old advert from a 1982 edition of the Herne Bay Gazette promotes a new-build block of "supersingle" apartments in the town.

The studio flats in Rye Walk, Broomfield, are priced at £18,000, with 100% mortgages available too (a rarity nowadays since the 2008 housing crash).

Yet today, a one-bed flat in the same block is advertised on Zoopla at £105,000.

The same block of flats in Rye Walk, Broomfield, near Herne Bay, today. Picture: Google Street View
The same block of flats in Rye Walk, Broomfield, near Herne Bay, today. Picture: Google Street View

Clearly, getting on the property ladder was easier in 1982 - but what else could you do in Kent that you can't now?

You could go shopping at much-loved stores like Woolworths, Courts and Chiesmans, to name a few.

Woolworths in Sandgate Road, Folkestone, in 1982 - before the street was pedestrianised. Picture: Lee Walker
Woolworths in Sandgate Road, Folkestone, in 1982 - before the street was pedestrianised. Picture: Lee Walker
Courts Furniture Store in Week Street, Maidstone, in November 1982
Courts Furniture Store in Week Street, Maidstone, in November 1982
Chiesmans department store in Maidstone in May 1982 - the building is now occupied by The Herbalist bar
Chiesmans department store in Maidstone in May 1982 - the building is now occupied by The Herbalist bar
The Stoneborough Centre in Maidstone, pictured in January 1982. It is now known as The Mall
The Stoneborough Centre in Maidstone, pictured in January 1982. It is now known as The Mall
Inside the orange-heavy Sainsbury's at Bouverie Road West, Folkestone, in 1982, where you wouldn't have been able to shop on a Sunday. Picture: The Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands
Inside the orange-heavy Sainsbury's at Bouverie Road West, Folkestone, in 1982, where you wouldn't have been able to shop on a Sunday. Picture: The Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands

But you had to get in there while you could. Forty years ago, all large shops were closed on Sundays by law, and many shut for a half a day on Wednesdays.

And that wasn't the only way everyday life was different.

Our archive pictures show that this was an era where Tom Selleck-style moustaches and perms were still in vogue.

The Thanet Extra team in 1982
The Thanet Extra team in 1982
Diana Dors at the Queens Head in Maidstone with landlord Mr Finnis. Picture: Barry Hollis
Diana Dors at the Queens Head in Maidstone with landlord Mr Finnis. Picture: Barry Hollis
Special offer on perms at Grecian Hair Fashions in a 1982 Herne Bay Gazette advert
Special offer on perms at Grecian Hair Fashions in a 1982 Herne Bay Gazette advert

In terms of entertainment, it was a world away from the plethora of streaming services and TV packages available today.

There were just three channels to choose between, BBC1, BBC2 and ITV - although Channel 4 would launch in November.

Breakfast television had yet to begin, so BBC1 and ITV did not typically start broadcasting on a weekday until lunchtime, while BBC2 filled most of its daytime schedule with programmes for the Open University.

About 14 million households watched television on colour sets, while four million still enjoyed their favourite programmes in black and white.

The most popular shows in March 1982 were This Is Your Life and Coronation Street – both on ITV and each attracting audiences of about 17 million.

Number one in the singles chart for almost the whole of March was The Lion Sleeps Tonight, performed by the three-piece dance act Tight Fit.

In the world of politics, Margaret Thatcher had been battling for two years to bring down inflation - which had hit almost 18% in 1980.

Her government hoped to reduce the amount of money in circulation by cutting spending and raising indirect taxes.

Inflation did start to fall, but not before the economy spent the whole of 1980 and early 1981 in recession.

These events led to a drop in support for the Conservatives.

But the Falklands War, which began when Argentina invaded the Islands in March, sparked a political turnaround for Mrs Thatcher, as the Tories' approval rating soared.

The war ended in June as the Argentines signed their formal surrender aboard HMS Endurance, seen below returning to Chatham Docks in August.

HMS Endurance arriving at Chatham Docks from the Falklands in August 1982
HMS Endurance arriving at Chatham Docks from the Falklands in August 1982

At the time, every single constituency in Kent was held by the Tories - while today Canterbury has a Labour MP.

Another landmark event for the county in 1982 saw John Paul II become the first pope to visit Canterbury Cathedral.

Crowds in their thousands lined the streets of Canterbury to greet the Pope, who travelled in his Popemobile in May 1982
Crowds in their thousands lined the streets of Canterbury to greet the Pope, who travelled in his Popemobile in May 1982
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Robert Runcie with Pope John Paul II at Canterbury Cathedral in May 1982
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Robert Runcie with Pope John Paul II at Canterbury Cathedral in May 1982

Later that day, after leaving the city via helicopter, he addressed a mass of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium.

See below for more classic pictures from our archives of Kent in 1982...

The Sunday market on Folkestone seafront in 1982. The area is now being transformed with hundreds of new apartments being built by Sir Roger De Haan. Picture: Brigitte Orasinski
The Sunday market on Folkestone seafront in 1982. The area is now being transformed with hundreds of new apartments being built by Sir Roger De Haan. Picture: Brigitte Orasinski
A traffic-free M20 at junction 10 in 1982
A traffic-free M20 at junction 10 in 1982
Parking charges attracted protests in Ashford in 1982 when the cost was increased in Vicarage Lane and included a daily charge for town centre parking of £2, which was considered outrageous. Picture: Images of Ashford by Mike Bennett
Parking charges attracted protests in Ashford in 1982 when the cost was increased in Vicarage Lane and included a daily charge for town centre parking of £2, which was considered outrageous. Picture: Images of Ashford by Mike Bennett
Tele Tech in Leander Drive, Gravesend, was ram-raided in November 1982
Tele Tech in Leander Drive, Gravesend, was ram-raided in November 1982
Making a splash at Larkfield Leisure Centre in June 1982
Making a splash at Larkfield Leisure Centre in June 1982
The opening of the new Safeway superstore at Larkfield, with Cllr John Adams and distribution manager Geoff Lane doing the honours
The opening of the new Safeway superstore at Larkfield, with Cllr John Adams and distribution manager Geoff Lane doing the honours
The Odeon Cinema, Rochester, in December 1982
The Odeon Cinema, Rochester, in December 1982
Darts champions at the the Victory Inn, Sheerness, in 1982
Darts champions at the the Victory Inn, Sheerness, in 1982
Sheppey singers pictured in 1982
Sheppey singers pictured in 1982
The Sava Centre in Gillingham, in July 1982 - now known as Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre
The Sava Centre in Gillingham, in July 1982 - now known as Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre
Princess Anne at Leeds Castle in June 1982
Princess Anne at Leeds Castle in June 1982
Mountbatten House, Chatham, in 1982. The 1970s office block was recently purchased by Medway Council, with plans approved for 164 apartments and a rooftop champagne bar at the site
Mountbatten House, Chatham, in 1982. The 1970s office block was recently purchased by Medway Council, with plans approved for 164 apartments and a rooftop champagne bar at the site
Street traders outside the Pentagon shopping centre in Chatham in May 1982
Street traders outside the Pentagon shopping centre in Chatham in May 1982
Royal Fountain Hotel, Sheerness, in December, 1982. It has since been converted into flats
Royal Fountain Hotel, Sheerness, in December, 1982. It has since been converted into flats
Sheerness Docks in December 1982, where imported cars were stored
Sheerness Docks in December 1982, where imported cars were stored
The Datsun Garage on the A20 at Larkfield in April 1982
The Datsun Garage on the A20 at Larkfield in April 1982
Arsonists were thought to have started a blaze which wrecked Fort Luton School for Boys in Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, in March 1982
Arsonists were thought to have started a blaze which wrecked Fort Luton School for Boys in Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, in March 1982
Advert for Debenhams in a 1982 edition of the Herne Bay Gazette
Advert for Debenhams in a 1982 edition of the Herne Bay Gazette
The Casino Rooms, Rochester, in September 1982 - it remains a popular nightclub to this day
The Casino Rooms, Rochester, in September 1982 - it remains a popular nightclub to this day
Inside the Mazda factory at Staplehurst in June 1982
Inside the Mazda factory at Staplehurst in June 1982
All the fun of the fair in Deal in 1982. Picture: Judith Dore
All the fun of the fair in Deal in 1982. Picture: Judith Dore
Karina Banyard, Miss Ashford 1982
Karina Banyard, Miss Ashford 1982
Whitstable high street in 1982. Wheeler's Oyster Bar, on the right, is still there today
Whitstable high street in 1982. Wheeler's Oyster Bar, on the right, is still there today
Quite the crowd for an orchestral open-air concert at Leeds Castle in August 1982
Quite the crowd for an orchestral open-air concert at Leeds Castle in August 1982
Buying a copy of the KM at Chatham Rail Station in June 1982
Buying a copy of the KM at Chatham Rail Station in June 1982
Folkestone Carnival Court in 1982. Picture: Gary Browne
Folkestone Carnival Court in 1982. Picture: Gary Browne
The Queen Mother opened the Pilgrims Hospice in Canterbury in 1982
The Queen Mother opened the Pilgrims Hospice in Canterbury in 1982
The Welsh Harp pub in Sturry in 1982. It is set to become an Aspendos Turkish restaurant. Picture: Rory Kehoe
The Welsh Harp pub in Sturry in 1982. It is set to become an Aspendos Turkish restaurant. Picture: Rory Kehoe

Here you can see more classic pictures of Kent in the 1980s.

We've also got archive photos from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1990s.

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