Spending paper round money at the Wimpy bar on a Saturday is just one of the reasons why my teenage years were simply the best |Tracey Smith

I’m so happy to have grown up in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

By Tracey Smith
Friday, 30th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Tracey Smith writes with great affection about life as a teenager in the 70s and 80s
Tracey Smith writes with great affection about life as a teenager in the 70s and 80s

Life was simple. We read Smash Hits, Jackie and taped the Sunday night charts from Radio One using an old tape recorder.

We met our friends under the clock at the bus station on a Saturday afternoon and spent our hard-earned paper round money at Jimmy Jewellers or at the Wimpy bar.

If I had extra spending money I would spend hours in Ames records store browsing all the latest singles.

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If I needed to meet friends, I would ring them from the nearest phone box and plan what we wanted to do the weekend after before the 'beeps' started and your 10p had run out.

The summers felt balmy and ageless, and we felt safe wherever we went. It was great going on bike rides, setting off for the day with a sandwich and a carton of orange. Everyone on our back street played out together and we all looked out for each other.

My mum would bring huge trays of jam butties for us all. We were allowed to play out in the evening, and at dusk we came home, dirty, sunburnt and happy. Life was good.

If you were unfortunate to have a bust up with a friend, it was sorted there and then and forgotten about.

Unlike today where everything is published online all-over social media and the bullying continues for weeks.

I look back and realise how lucky we were. We did not have super models to compare ourselves too, or the internet to browse so we were blissfully unaware of how the rich and famous were living their lives. Who was 'hot' and who was not. Who’s 'trending and who isn’t.

All the things our younger generation now try to live up to and idolise.

As I got a little older I was allowed to venture into Burnley on the bus with my friends. We would go to Tammy Girl and buy our outfits in readiness for the under 16 discos at The Cat’s Whiskers on a Sunday night.

All our dads would take it turns to come and collect us from outside the Cat’s Whiskers. One night my dad collected us in his dressing gown and slippers and as a 'super cool' teenager I was absolutely


I think he regretted his choice of clothing that night as four girls had jumped in the car before we had got there thinking it was a taxi but they soon jumped back out screaming when they realised what my dad was wearing.

When I was finally old enough to drink in bars me and my friends would head to the bright lights of Nelson.

Dressed in our tight white skirts, back combed hair, hooped earrings, and white stilettos.

There were so many pubs we were spoilt for choice. Our curfew was 11pm and I remember vividly trying to run up Hibson Road in high heels after a few Jellybean cocktails at three minutes to 11pm!

Happy days indeed.