1980’s Britain – Britain 1986

The Central Office of Information issued a handbook ‘Britain 1986’ based on information as at end of 1984

At end of 1984 61% households had a car of which there were 20.8 million.

There were 6 million dogs and 5 million cats.

Wine was growing in popularity whilst gin and whisky were in decline.

More people were eating out preferring poultry and pork to mutton or beef.

49 million trips for taken for holidays of which 15 million were abroad.

Walking was given as everyone’s favourite ‘sporting’ activity but men also enjoyed snooker and darts whilst women went swimming, and practiced aerobics and yoga.

We spent 20 hours a week watching television as 98% homes had one.

75% of British people read a morning paper and 30% an evening paper

66% of us had central heating, 79% a washing machine, 94% a fridge and 78% a telephone.

2.5 million people were self-employed amounting to 9.2% of the population

90% households had a doorstep delivery of milk from 40,000 milkmen dropping off 188 pints a head.

The City of London had the greatest concentration of banks in the world, providing a quarter of all international bank lending but …

One per cent of the population owned 21% of ‘marketable wealth’.

These figures were published in 1986 but referred to a more iconic year:

1984 by George Orwell