That was 1973

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That was 1973


Big hair, bigger heels and glam rock dominated the music scene in 1973. The economy, strikes, pay and price freezes, fuel shortages and Northern Ireland were the issues that occupied the Cabinet. British Airways was established. Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced and Heath's government was rocked by a sex scandal.

The "Cod War" in the North Atlantic continued as Iceland sought to impose a fishing limit around its waters. More significantly, the Yom Kippur War resulted in massive oil price increases. At home, the miners imposed an overtime ban.

Violence continued in Northern Ireland and bombs exploded in Great Britain. Tripartite talks, with the British and Irish governments and Northern Ireland parties produced the Sunningdale agreement. Power shortages led to the announcement of a three day week.

The Lambton and Jellicoe scandal

A sex scandal gripped Britain and led to the resignation of two government ministers. On 22 May 1973 Antony Lambton, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Defence: RAF, resigned. Earl Jellicoe, the Lord Privy Seal and Tory leader in the House of Lords, followed days later. Pictures exposing Lambton appeared in the national press. Both admitted associating with prostitutes.

On 12 July, the Prime Minister, Edward Heath accepted the recommendations of the subsequent Security Commission. The Committee found that the conduct of Lord Jellicoe did not constitute a security risk. The conduct of Lambton would have merited denial of access to secret material.

Lord Windlesham replaced Jellicoe. Lambton was later fined £300 at Marleybone Magistrates Court for drug offences.

Northern Ireland: The Sunningdale Agreement

November 1973 saw the establishment of a power-sharing executive in Belfast to administer the province. The executive was not welcomed by all sections of the Ulster unionist community. The executive was also criticised for not giving the Irish government a role in the affairs of the province. From these roots came the Sunningdale Agreement.

After tripartite talks the agreement was signed at Sunnigdale, Berkshire. It proposed a "Council of Ireland" made up of a council of ministers and a consultative assembly. Both bodies would include members from both sides of the Irish border. Their function would be to advise on matters of common concern. Anti-power-sharing parties were excluded from the talks and reacted with hostility to their outcome.

Top films of 1973

The Exorcist, a 70s horror classic, opened to cinema audiences across the world. Directed by William Friedkin, it tells the story of fourteen year old Regan, played by Linda Blair. Regan is possessed by a demon, an exorcist is called, and a gory struggle ensues. A head-turner in more ways than one!

View some of our public information films from 1973

Other films of 1973 include The Sting (G. R. Hill), American Graffiti (G.Luca's), Papillion (F.Schffner), and Live and Let Die (G. Hamilton). Edward G. Robinson, "Little Caesar" died.

Melodies and their makers

It was the golden year of glam rock, platform shoes and big, big hair. Elvis gave his unforgettable Aloha concert in Hawaii. Music lovers heard Dawn's call, "Tying Yellow Ribbons 'Round the Ole Oak Tree". This song was particularly poignant as American POWs returned from Vietnam.

Sweet had a hit with "Blockbuster" and Slade continued their chart successes with "Cum on Feel the Noise".

The Wizzard invited listeners to "See My Baby Jive" , and Jimmy Osmond (remember him?) extolled the virtues of "My Long Haired Lover From Liverpool". It's not known if the lover had Al Martino's "Spanish Eyes". David Cassidy, teenage heart-throb and forerunner of today's boy bands, topped the charts with "Daydreamer". 10cc reflected the times, releasing "Rubber Bullets".

Notable deaths in 1973

Salvador Allende (Chilean president)
W. H. Auden (US poet)
Sir Noel Coward (dramatist and composer)
John Ford (film director)
David Ben-Gurion (former Israeli prime minister)
Sir Roger Hollis (former head MI5)
Lyndon B. Johnson (US president)
Nancy Mitford (writer)
Pablo Picasso (artist)
Edward G. Robinson - (US actor)
J.R.R Tolkien (writer)

Fashion in 1973

Probably best forgotten.