Stockport Symphony Orchestra celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first concert at the Town Hall as Stockport’s orchestra this season.  Not everyone who comes to an SSO concert will remember what life was like in 1977 when the orchestra first came to Stockport but for those who do here’s a stroll down memory lane.  For those who don’t : have a wander though a strange and foreign land!

But what was it like back in 1977?  Not everyone who comes to an SSO concert will remember the year when the orchestra  first came to Stockport.  For those who do, here’s a reminder.  For those who don’t?  A glimpse into a strange and foreign land!


Current Affairs

It was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee with street parties across the country on a scale not seen since the end of the war.  The Queen began a  marathon tour of the U.K. and Commonwealth.

James Callaghan was Prime Minister in a minority Labour government and entered into a Lib-Lab pact with the Liberals to stay in power (sounds familiar!).

In a time when terrorist threats seem ever-present it is sobering to recall there were nearly 3000 shooting and bombing attacks in Northern Ireland in 1977 down from 12,000 five years earlier and that a prolonged bombing campaign had been going on on the mainland.

The National Front and the Yorkshire Ripper were constantly in the headlines.

Freddie Laker launched his ground-breaking budget airline Skytrain, paving the way for today’s budget operators.

Former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe was accused of the attempted murder of  Norman Scott with whom he was alleged to have had a relationship.

Elvis Presley and Charlie Chaplin died.  


The Space Shuttle made its first test flight

Radio telescopes picked up a strange signal from outer space which has never been explained and never repeated.

The last recorded case of smallpox was diagnosed.

The rings of Uranus were discovered.

The first complete genome was sequenced (from a bacteria).

Scientists discovered the cause of Legionnaires’ disease.

The Atari video game console came to market.


Liverpool won their 10th league title and first European Cup and signed Kenny Dalglish for a UK record £440,000.

In the Centenary Test  Australia beat England by 45 runs - exactly as they did in 1877!  Later in the year Geoffrey Boycott scored his 100th first class century in the Headingley test.

Red Rum won his third Grand National.

Fittingly, British player Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in this jubilee year.

Bjorn Borg won the men’s title.

The cost of living

The average House Price was £13,650.

A gallon of Petrol cost 79p , a pint of milk 11p and a loaf of bread 15p.

Inflation was running at 18%  that summer.

Interest rates at year end were 7 %.

You could buy a brand new Renault 4 for about £2,500.


There were just three television channels and colour TV’s were still a novelty.

An astonishing 28 million people tuned in to the Morecombe and Wise Christmas Special.

ABBA and Queen were flying high.

The Sex Pistols released “God Save the Queen”, swore on live TV, and were promptly sacked by EMI.

Popular children’s animated character Morph appeared on “Take Hart’”created by Aardman animations later to become famous for Wallace and Grommit.

Clive Sinclair launched the 2 inch television set.

“Star Wars”, “Rocky” and “Saturday Night Fever”were released in the UK.

Space Invaders was  still a year away - video games were about to  take off in a big way.