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When walls can talk… old local newspaper found in wall cavity brings back memories

A spot of DIY has brought back a few memories after pages of a local newspaper from almost 40 years ago was discovered crumpled up inside the cavity of a kitchen wall in a Ballymena home.

The pages were printed in 1982, the same year as:

• Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the UK;

• The DeLorean car factory in Belfast is put into receivership (19 February);

• The 20p coin entered into circulation (9 June);

• Newly wedded Prince Charles and Princess Diana introduced Prince William to the world (21 June);

• ET was released starring a very young Drew Barrymore;

• The first Next clothing store opened selling women’s fashion;

• The Ford Sierra was launched as a replacement for the long-running Cortina, and its ultra-modern aerodynamic styling caused controversy among potential buyers who for years had been drawn to the conventional Cortina (15 October), and

• The fourth terrestrial television channel, Channel 4, began broadcasting, the first programme broadcast being the game show Countdown. Another flagship show was the soap-opera Brookside.

Meanwhile, closer to home:

• Spectrum Video Library (Thomas Street, Ballymena) was helping to keep the town entertained with the assurance of stocking ‘only top quality, original tapes. No pirates or copies’!

• T.G. Alexander and Son (Broadway, Ballymena) had pretty much every piece of clothing a man (or boy) would need. A particular emphasis on the the promotion of the popular Poly/Cotton garments.

• A ‘large selection of patterned Axministers’ were available for those with the need for plusher piles underneath the feet. ‘Antrim’s No.1 Carpet Warehouse’ had something for every taste thought with over ‘70 rolls to choose from at ridiculously low prices’!

• The Mace was close by for housewives who walked to pick up the weekly shop, offering Jacob’s Club Biscuits for 32p, Kellogg’s Cornflakes 49 and a half pence, and many more bargains.

• John Hutchinson’s Mace was helping to keep homes warm with coal and Peat Briquettes, and don’t forget about the sticks. A specialist range of Duck, Turkey and Mushroom Pates we’re sold to those with an adventurous palate.

• Walter Young Mazda served people from near and far with some of the best looking motors around. A price war had erupted that saw the Vauxhall Astra 1.3GL 5 door being sold at £5,313, the Ford Escort 1.3GL 5 door was available for £5,027, and the Volkswagen Golf 1.3CL 5 door could have been your prized possession for £4,795. Cheaper than them all was the Mazda 323 that came with ‘much more standard equipment for a lot less money’.

• The ‘Video Scene’ was taking off. You could have enjoyed a life membership for £15 at Bridge Tapes, Ballymena, TV and video recorders were available to rent with a special ‘guaranteed 48hr installation’. Rent your favourite movie for £1.50 per day, or why not take advantage of 3 days for £3 (best to avoid those late return charges).

• Finally, a special congratulations to Antrim man Mr Cecil Lamount, who was chosen from over 2,000 entrants to win a Portable TV.

And don’t forget about the children’s colouring competition, featured on page 10.

Those were the days.


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