in

Fascinating Photos show Life in Birmingham during the 1980s

With the recession of the early 1980s, Birmingham’s economy collapsed, resulting in unprecedented unemployment levels in the city and outbreaks of social unrest. In 1982, the city’s unemployment rate was approaching 20%, and in inner-city areas such as Aston, Handsworth, and Sparkbrook, it was twice that level. Birmingham also witnessed a new wave of migration during the 1980s, coming from communities without Commonwealth roots, such as Kosovo and Somalia.

In an unprecedented nationwide tornado outbreak on 23 November 1981, two tornadoes touched down within Birmingham’s city limits – in Erdington and Selly Oak – while six tornadoes struck West Midlands County.

These fascinating photos show life in Birmingham in the 1980s.

#1 Corporation Street showing some of the shops including C&A, ABC Warehouse and H. Samuel jewellers, 22nd July 1983.

#5 Street party for the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at Blythswood Road in Tyseley who set up a rousing cheer as their party got underway. 29th July 1981.

#6 Hundreds of people, including an 80-strong party of sailors from H.M.S. Birmingham, attend the Remembrance Day service at Birmingham Hall of Memory. 6th November 1981.

#9 April 23rd to 26th 1981 brought the coldest spell of weather the UK had experienced at this time of year since 1908.

April 23rd to 26th 1981 brought the coldest spell of weather the UK had experienced at this time of year since 1908.

Heavy snow blanketed the UK and northeasterly winds brought freezing temperatures. This picture taken 26th April.

#12 The Queen receiving flowers from the crowd at the opening of Birmingham International Airport, 20th May 1984.

The Queen receiving flowers from the crowd at the opening of Birmingham International Airport, 20th May 1984.

This is the new terminal building moved from the old Elmdon site.

#14 Smoke darkens the wintry scene as fire rages through Bingley Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham 14th January 1984.

Smoke darkens the wintry scene as fire rages through Bingley Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham 14th January 1984.

This was to become the site of the ICC.

#15 Billy Graham, American Christian evangelist, Mission England Crusade, Villa Park, Birmingham, 6th July 1984, with special guest, singer, Cliff Richard.

#16 Penns Hall Hotel in Penns Lane, Walmley, being set up as the Crossroads Motel for filming, 24th May 1985.

#18 Pickets at Lea Hall Colliery, Rugeley, Staffordshire, Friday 16th March 1984.

Pickets at Lea Hall Colliery, Rugeley, Staffordshire, Friday 16th March 1984.

Arthur Scargill, president of the NUM, declared that strikes in the various coal fields were to be a national strike and called for strike action from NUM members in all coal fields.

#22 Bristol Road Selly Oak looking towards the railway bridge with the Birmingham University clock tower in the background.17th May 1987.

#23 Completed trackwork inside Snow Hill Tunnel as pictured on 13th August 1987 ready for the re-opening of rail services from Birmingham to Stratford

#29 Thousands of young pop fans gather at the Bull Ring Shopping Centre for pop singer Tiffany, 19th January 1988.

#30 Thousands of young pop fans gather at the Bull Ring Shopping Centre for pop singer Tiffany, 19th January 1988.

#34 Workers on strike outside Round Oak Steelworks, Brierley Hill, 26th February 1980.

Workers on strike outside Round Oak Steelworks, Brierley Hill, 26th February 1980.

The site was later to become the Merry Hill Shopping Centre.

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.