London in 1982 was bombed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). The Hyde Park and Regent’s Park attack is probably the most famous event of that year that happened in London. (Learn more about 1982 London bombings).

Looking at Google search reports, there’s something else people want to know about London in 1982: the Queen (the rock band) press conference. But, actually, that happened only in the movie “Bohemian Rapsody”, not in real life. Anyway, those were great years for music in London. (Should I say also for today? I’m not sure about it).

1982 was also the year of the Falklands conflict. Margaret Thatcher was in Downing Street, Roger Moore was James Bond and, unfortunately for the city, in May, 1982, Liverpool won the football league (while Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova won Wimbledon a couple of months later).

Okay, this is history, but what about the real city?

Home movies are real life

My name is Daniele Carrer, I’m not from London (but I enjoyed the visit a lot of times) and I collect home movies of the 20th Century. I love it because home movies portray how real life was, for 2 reasons:

  1. You can see the world through the eyes of ordinary people.
  2. People in those films are not acting, like in professional productions (even documentaries) – they are living.

So, do you want to know how London was in early 1980s?

Watch this home movie I found, because it’s more real than BBC news recordings:

The video shows how real life was back in 1982 in London. I won’t say that today London is completely different, because it’s obvious and even banal.

What it’s very interesting to see to understand today’s world is people’s reaction to the video. On my YouTube channel I published a thousand home movies. Most of them have hundreds of comments and… Guess what? London 1982 home movie was one of the most commented on.

So, I found a real Londoner (at least he told me he was when I hired him on Fiverr) and told him to write a story about the video and the comments.

Here it is.

London 1982 – Reactions to the video

Major global cities are always changing, developing, and growing, and the capital of England is no different. London has always been a bustling, vibrant place, full of life, business, architecture, and wacky entertainment. From Buckingham Palace, to Big Ben, to the London Eye, to Camden Market. Each area of London offers something different, as if the city were split into tiny states.

But how has London changed in the past 4 decades?

Young man waiting for the bus in London in 1982

After watching our incredible nostalgic recap of 1982 London, these YouTube viewers had their say on what life was like, what they miss, and what has changed in the past 40 years. All of the following quotes come from the comments section of the video in question:

Crime

  • With recent terrorist attacks in London, from the 7/7 bombings, to the acid attacks, and daily stabbings, many look back to a simpler time of less crime…
  • With acid attacks, moped attacks, violence and knife crime, London has turned into a place not to visit, just like another great city,…. Paris isn’t a place it once was either.. Europe’s going to bits, but just shove your head in the sand and say everything’s just fine..
  • No acid attacks then or stabbings it was beautiful.
  • How many acid attacks in 1982?

Sadness

People visit Trafalgar Square in London in 1982

  • Some people look back on the old times with sadness, as they compare them to the modern London we see before us today. A built-up, modernised, technological London…
  • You would think that our society would become more enhanced as time went by but it has now disintegrated beyond repair.
  • Literally breaks the heart to see what London has become.
  • A nicer time, a better place.
  • I used to love my country when it was like this…. It’s a shame what the Government have done to it now! they ruined it.
  • So sad that our once great capital city is now one of biggest shit-holes in the world.
  • Back in somewhat happier times. Thank-you.
  • It breaks my heart seeing how it once was.
  • If I were asked to describe London to a visitor, I would say that it is like a fairy tale. The fantasy is better than the reality.
  • I want this London Back

Technology

  • Many people describe their preference for a time in which people were not glued to their mobile phones and obsessed with technology and social media rather than face to face interaction…
  • A time without mobile, internet, laptop. People use to spend quality time with friends rather than on social media.
  • No gym membership….no obesity……no one staring at mobiles while crossing the road.
  • No zombie like hoards shuffling about with headphones glued in their ears while gawping at smartphones.

Nostalgia

Fruist stand in an outdoor market in London in 1982

  • Many simply look back with fond memories and nostalgia from a simpler and younger time…
  • Believe it or not, London was once a great city of which the English were proud.
  • If only we could go back in time and warn them.
  • I was living in London between 1977 and 1979. I’ll give everything I have to go back to these years!
  • The problem with life is that you never know when the good times are, only when you look back can you see them.
  • This is the London I grew up in. It’s just so sad to go back and see how it is now.
  • If you think the 70’s were good, the 60’s were even better! If I could create a time machine, anyone care to come along with me?
  • I wasn’t even born until 1996 but this makes me sad. It’s like a nostalgia feeling I have even though I wasn’t even there!
  • Real old London character, steeped in history & culture. Oops what went wrong…
  • I feel this London we have lost forever. Love the old route master buses and the music fits the film perfectly.
  • Stories from a better time…so much has changed…
  • Would’ve been eating my lunchtime sandwiches in either Parliament Square or Jubilee Gardens (where the London Eye is now) during this period.
  • Good, good memories, Thanks for sharing.

People walk in Piccadilly Circus in London in 1982

Personal memories

  • Everyone always has their own personal memories to share of years gone by, and 1980s London is no different…
  • As an old London boy born in 1950 living in the Virgin isles now I have many old memories you could park anyway you liked no traffic wardens no double yellow lines heavenly ,that’s why I live out here.
  • Wow I was 11 when this was filmed, my grandad drove the 53 bus, this London is gone forever, cool seeing it again though.
  • My mother lived in London in the 70s and never went back until 1999 and she was horrified.
  • Lived and worked in London from 1976- 2016. Now live in Devon. 1976 – 1999 were brilliant years there. Now, well, everything has been said.
  • Such a shame and it’s not progress as the people who caused the change want you to believe.
  • I got married and left London in 79 , a lot of former friend’s and kids i went to school with left London within a few years of me. We left because we could, we wanted fresh air green field’s, better jobs, nothing to do with racism, my family were poor working class and came to London thinking it would be a good place to get work. Well maybe it was in their time but not in mine.

Crowd in front of Buckingham Palace in London in 1982

Politics

  • Some blame negative changes on politics through the years…
  • A world lost thanks to New Labour.
  • A country sold out by their politicians through welfare. I was in London 2 weeks ago and some parts are utterly dirty.
  • The Beautiful and Perfect for London streets Route master bus…..getting rid of it was a complete and utter mistake….half the charm of the streets disappeared. Thanks Ken Livingstone!!!
  • our leaders betrayed us, and we have ourselves to blame for letting them give our country and capital away…it is an insult to our fallen heroes of war..
  • Nice nostalgic film, spoilt somewhat by dreadful music and the reminder of what politicians have done to this once great city.
  • Before the age of mass consumerism and multiculturalism to feed the consumerism. The globalists are destroying our culture for their profit driven immigration scheme. Sad to see what the UK is becoming.

What’t YOUR opinion about London in 1980’s?

So guys (back in Daniele Carrer’s shoes):

What do you think?

It’s not just about saying:

old times were better

or

it would be impossibile for me to live in a life different than today’s.

For me, it’s very difficult to choose between the two options, simply because there’s no chance of thinking about 40 years ago and understanding what differences are caused by “the different world” and what differences are caused by “you now being 40 years older”.

On this page, you will find the video on YouTube (a new restored version, without the old comments you found here). So, please, say there what your opinion is. And, if you want to watch hundreds of home movies without watermarks and advertising, please visit my homepage.