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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

What was life like in the 1970s?

Christmas Party at Blackhall Colliery Council School, c.1978 (DCRO Ref: E/E/G 175/4)

Christmas Party at Blackhall Colliery Council School, c.1978 (DCRO Ref: E/E/G 175/4)

Young people from Chilton visit the Record Office to find out

We deliver workshops on a wide range of topics, but life in the 1970s is certainly among the most recent, historically speaking. 
It came about when young people in Chilton starting asking their youth workers what life was like in the 1970s and evolved into a project headed by Brian Wise, who has done similar work in the past, where the young people would research the period, in this case by visiting the Record Office, and then go on to dramatise and film scenes of life in the 1970s, some based on factual incidents.

Among the records they looked at were local newspapers of the time, which contained some useful stories they may choose to dramatise. They were also a little confused by an advert for rental televisions, an entirely foreign idea to young people in 2016. 

They also looked at some photographs from a school disco in 1977, which proved useful in researching the fashions of the time and interesting to see that, though the clothing and hairstyles had certainly changed in the last 40 years, the young people in the photos were clearly enjoying themselves in much the same way as their 2016 counterparts.

All in all it was a fruitful and enjoyable visit for both the young people and their accompanying adults, and also something a little different for the Record Office staff involved. We look forward to seeing the finished product.

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