Only a child of the seventies will remember these

Disco mirror ball

What is there to say about the ’70s? Well for one it was the time to be alive! So much so that we created “That 70s Show” just to relive it all over again.

From the Space Hopper, record player and cassette recorder through to the strikes by postal workers, miners and dustmen; it played a pivotal role in the world we live in today.

And while the fashion was inspired by platform shoes and iconic bowl haircuts (for men and women), the 1970s were a tumultuous time. Strong changes in slang conversational terms and communication - not to mention the beginning of mainstream international air travel - marked possibly the true beginning of globalisation.

Roller discos

And the musical delights of ABBA

Disco took on a whole new meaning in the ’70s. As life started to become that bit more fast-paced, so did social lives. Roller discos became a popular pastime with groups of young people showcasing their fancy footwork across the floor. From large scale roller competitions to casual dance parties, the atmosphere was electric. Starlight Express was inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1976 and remained a popular theatre production through the decades. On the 70's social scene, impressive roller formations could be seen choreographed to the musical delights of David Bowie, Slade and Abba.

Audley's calendar of owner events in our retirement villages includes tribute nights and our ABBA Night is still talked about as one of the favourite among Audley owners. We haven't tried a roller disco yet...!

Hair cuts

The 70s was an era known for experimentation and nothing quite demonstrates that like the impressive haircuts and styles that can be attributed to that decade.

For the ladies, we saw impressive manes including Farrah Fawcett’s flip, Cher’s sleek middle part, long luxurious bangs and Studio 54 waves.

And for the men, we saw the previously mentioned bowl cut (both stylish and efficient), mullets and even the Jerry Curl make an appearance. Hair became a distinct form of expression in the 1970s. It marked individuality and the emergence of subcultures outside of the mainstream, the ramifications of which are still visible in today’s society.

Interior design

Rattan furniture, linoleum floors, patterned wallpaper, lava lamps, conversation pits, exposed brick walls and bold colours were just some of the iconic interior design styles in the 1970s. Many of us probably have at least one of these items in our homes today and some, such as velvet furniture, animal print rugs and the use of orange, have certainly made a comeback in this decade. Audley's interior design expert Jen Bernard talks about 'the seventies look' in her latest guest blog, Autumn interior design trends.

The environmental movement

The liberalism of the 1960s continued and people really began to be environmentally-aware. Americans celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970 and the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act followed. Morning cartoons reminded children to "Give a hoot, don't pollute!" and protesters wore signs with the words

"Exhaustion instead of exhausts"

We recognised the 50th anniversary of the first World Earth Day on 22nd April 2020.

Fighting for women's rights

The 1970s saw significant progress in the women's rights movement. After decades of women campaigning for expanded social and political rights, The Equal Pay Act made it illegal to pay women lower rates than men for the same work. That same year, the Miss World Competition was interrupted by protestors, the first protest of it's kind organised by the women's movement. In 1974 the National Women's Aid Federation was set up followed by the Sex Discrimination Act, and the Employment Protection Act introduced stautory maternity provision. The Race Relations Act followed in 1976. The first International Women's Day was formalised in 1977 and in 1979 Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female Prime Minister.

Read more nostalgic stories and a look back at the history of our retirement villages.


Catwalk models and musicians epitomised '70s fashion, wearing bell bottom trousers, ponchos, frayed jeans, tie-dye and of course Diane von Furstenberg's ideation of the wrap dress in 1974.


With the emergence of increased individualism also came the introduction of ’70s slang terms that are still around today.

We all still hear “Catch you on the flip side”, along with “Psych!”, “Do me a solid”, “Nifty” and "My pad". Copacetic?

Phone calls

Finally, the ’70s marked the beginning of our overall obsession with the phone. Waiting for that call on the landline became the norm for young ladies countrywide as this easy way to get in touch worked its way across the UK. Asking for a girl’s number and preparing those few polite conversational words should the parents answer the phone, became every young man’s nerve-wracking obsession.

The home phone can mark itself as the foundation for the online and mobile dating that we know today.

For home decor inspiration, including the seventies look, read our latest interior design blogs.