The 1970s was a decade of change. Supermarkets began to take over from traditional stores, high-rise office blocks appeared on the skyline, and Leicester’s first shopping centre replaced familiar Victorian shops and hotels. It was a time of industrial unrest. The lights went out as coal stocks diminished. Pay packets were depleted as Leicester’s workers faced a three-day week, prices in the shops began to soar, and we all shivered during the ‘winter of discontent’.It was a turning point in the way we viewed ourselves and the world. Social attitudes to mental health, homosexuality and feminism were still rooted in the past, but the world was changing. People took to Leicester’s streets to support anti-racism, and we began to clean up our environment.In Leicester in the 1950s Stephen Butt remembers what made the decade so special for so many, but also the events which were to change significantly the course of Leicester’s future.
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