How To Start A Home Business

Taking the leap of faith and starting a home based business can be an exciting and daunting experience at the same time. While there are numerous reasons why people are drawn to the concept of a home based business the challenge is getting it off the ground. Unlike several decades ago, having a respectable home business was unheard off.

In fact if you didn’t have a shop front or office then you were considered to have a questionable business operation that lacked credibility. Times have certainly changed and so have our lifestyles. These days with the modern advances in technology you can comfortably setup a home business and compete successfully with much more established and larger businesses without any noticeable decrease in credibility.

In fact many of the multinational technology companies we know today as household names started out in dorm rooms, in the garage or a spare bedroom. Below are a few handy steps to help you get your home business off the ground.

1. Decide on your business structure. While you may be working from home you will still need to register the business and deciding on the business structure can be a critical decision. You hardly want to settle on a structure just because it is the easiest to setup or most cost effective only to have to restructure the whole business when it gets larger. If you don’t want to invest in an accountant to help you with this step there are some useful resources available at any local library about the different business structures and the benefits each structure can provide.

2. Decide on a name and register it. You will need to register your business name with the appropriate business authority in your area so that you can commence business operations. Rules and regulations differ from state to state and from country to country so consult your local government business department and they will be able to assist you on the forms you will need to fill out.

3. Decide on where your business is going to operate from. If you are lucky enough to have a spare room then you are pretty much set with getting your business going. You can probably get by with a table, chair, a filing cabinet, phone and computer in the early days. If you need other things relevant to your business you can get them later on when you are starting to create some turnover. Don’t worry about not have the perfect business setup from day one as your success won’t be determined by how beautiful your office looks. If you don’t have the luxury of a spare room then you might need to make do with a temporary office table that you need to setup and pack away at the end of each day.

4. Invest in business stationary. Probably the most important aspect of getting a business off the ground is making sure people know about it. Tell your friends and family that your open for business. A useful and cost effective way to promote your business is to get business cards designed and printed. While your at it you might as well print letterheads as well. With the abundance of cheap online printing companies out there this can be quite inexpensive and certainly well worth the small investment. Either use the available templates provided by your printer or engage the services of a cheap graphic designer from your local university to get them designed for you.

5. Start marketing. Its all well and good to have your business open but in order for it to stay open you need to have customers. Unlike having a shop front or office people aren’t going to just stumble across your business and wonder in your doors. You are going to need to do some leg work. Whether it be a telemarketing campaign or a direct mail campaign you are going to be the one that needs to do that if you want your business to grow. There are many wonderful small business associations that you can join that can give you useful advice and resources on how best to maximize your small marketing budget most effectively.

Starting a small business can be such a rewarding experience and once of the ground the fun is just beginning.

For more personal growth articles visit: http://www.personalgrowthunlimited.com

The Black & White Cafe St Paul’s… and its troubled history
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Image by brizzle born and bred
This article reviews the troubled history of The Black & White Cafe in the district St Paul’s Bristol England.

See View 2010

2003 – The owner of the Black and White Cafe says it is; a family business selling Caribbean food. The police claim it is the focal-point for drug dealers in St Paul’s and that it has been raided more times; than any other premises in Britain.

Now the city council is trying to force the sale of the building and turn a dilapidated terrace into affordable homes.

Steven Wilks’ family has owned the Black and White Cafe for more than 30 years. Its reputation has spread far and wide — but not for the quality of the traditional Jamaican food, such as. curried goat, served there.

The rundown building in the middle of a row of derelict houses is in an area notorious for drug dealers. Police have made hundreds of arrests either inside or just outside the cafe over the last two decades.

An incomplete log of incidents, operations, raids, complaints and arrests formed part of the evidence presented to a public inquiry in 2003 which will determine whether Bristol City Council can compulsorily purchase the Black and White Cafe.

The inquiry will decide whether compulsory purchase order proceedings should be allowed to go ahead on the terrace in Grosvenor Road in which the cafe stands.

The council and Knightstone Housing Association want to redevelop the terrace into seven three-bed low-cost family homes. Planning inspector Robert Sexton will draw up a report and submit it to the Secretary of State, who will announce a decision later in the year.

The log shows 54 dates on which police went into the cafe to carry out searches and make arrests for offences ranging from drug dealing to assault and robbery – There were another 164 on which police made arrests or were called to incidents outside the cafe.

One was the murder of Gary Mignott on May 1,1999, which still remains unsolved. The cafe first hit the headlines in 1980 when rioting broke out after police raided the premises and seized alcohol. During the riots a bank and a post office were attacked and a row of shops and a warehouse in Brighton Street were set alight.

Twelve police cars and several fire engines were damaged or set ablaze and more than 50 people were injured.

Since then, there have been many incidents linked to the Grosvenor Road area, none more terrifying then when members of the Aggi Crew stormed in to the Black and White Cafe, armed with guns and demanded a ‘tax’ from a rival gang of Jamaican drug dealers.

Avon and Somerset police learned about the potential bloodbath and took the unprecedented step of putting armed officers on 24-hour patrol in St Paul’s and Easton.

Most of the Aggi Crew are now back in prison and last summer police turned their attention to the remaining Jamaican dealers.

There were 41 arrests in three days of raids and since then those convicted of dealing have been receiving sentences of about five years.

Mr Wilks, who also owns a house in Redland and a restaurant in Whiteladies Road, Clifton, told the inquiry that drug dealing was rife and it would only move somewhere else if the cafe closed.

He said: "We want the chance to be in the rejuvenation programme of St Paul’s.

"I don’t want to sell my business for £500,000 or £600,000. For 30 years we have provided black food for the black community. If you want to relocate me, you will have to relocate me in Clifton but I don’t want to lose my roots."

He said the city council and Knightstone had tried to paint the most negative image they could of the cafe to get it closed. "I’ve seen this document showing all the incidents that happened in the cafe," he said.

"If somebody gets stabbed in Ashley Road, then the newspapers will say they got shot outside the Black and White Cafe. Anything that happens always get re-directed so that it happened outside the cafe but the taxman is still taking his money"

He said: "I don’t sell drugs. I’ve got a business in Whiteladies Road and if you were to ask if there were drug activities up there in Clifton, ‘I don’t think so’ because they would never allow it. The cafe has been subject to negative press since day one but closing the cafe is not going to change the drug situation in St Paul’s. St Paul’s is rife with drugs.

"Crack cocaine has mashed up the community and we have all felt that, myself included."

2003 article

Hidden behind deeply tinted windows, the Black and White Cafe in the St Paul’s district of Bristol has a tiny formica counter where you can buy traditional Caribbean fare such as ackee, saltfish, curried goat and jerk chicken. But no one comes here for the food.

In a society where open dealing is no longer out of the ordinary, the Black and White Cafe stands out from the crowd as the biggest and most blatant hard drug den in Britain.

This run-down building in the middle of a row of derelict houses has been raided more times than any other premises in the country, according to Avon and Somerset police. Last weekend alone saw three separate raids which resulted in 17 arrests and the recovery of thousands of pounds worth of crack cocaine. The scene of countless shootings, stabbings and armed robberies – many of which have never been reported – the cafe is also at the epicentre of increasingly violent gang activity.

Closed down and boarded up by the city council last year, the cafe re-opened two weeks ago and ever since has been at the heart of a battle between Bristol’s indigenous drug gangs and an influx of Jamaican dealers who are attempting to take over the trade. Bristol is the latest in a long line of cities to be hit by an explosion of Yardie activity as drug gangs move their activities outside London in search of new markets.

A report presented to Cleveland police last month noted that in 2001, just one Jamaican dealer was arrested in Middlesborough for selling Class A drugs. Last year the figure was 32. Jamaican dealers have also been arrested in North and South Wales, Hull and Aberdeen but nowhere have the problems been more apparent than in Bristol. Last month officers attached to Operation Atrium, a major initiative against the city’s crack trade, arrested 56 people, 36 of whom were Jamaican nationals.

Last year the same team uncovered a bogus college in the St Paul’s area – scene in the 1980s of race riots sparked by drugs raids – which had provided long-term visas to more than 300 Jamaicans. Of those ‘students’, 45 have since been charged with drug offences, 11 with weapons charges, one with rape and another with attempted murder. A further 121 are being detained on immigration offences while 148 remain on the run.

In many cities the arrival of large numbers of Jamaicans has resulted in violent confrontations and many detectives believe it is only a matter of time before one area erupts into all out warfare. Police in Cleveland are bracing themselves for a rise in gun crime as a result of the Yardie invasion and similar fears have been expressed in Scotland and Wales. These same clashes are at the heart of the problem in Bristol and at the centre of it all is the Black and White Cafe.

During the Nineties, the city’s drug trade was in the hands of a local gang known as the Aggi crew, an acronym formed from the surnames of the founding members, but in 1998 six of the Aggi crew were jailed after being caught dealing drugs worth more than £1 million. They had been arrested in raids involving more than 300 police officers who uncovered an arsenal of firearms including shotguns, handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Last month several key members of the Aggi crew were released on probation and emerged from prison to discover that in their absence the city’s drug trade had been taken over by a Jamaican gang known as the Hype crew. Arming themselves, the Aggi crew stormed into the Black and White Cafe and demanded the Jamaicans pay ‘tax’ to them if they wanted to continue dealing in the city. Then, as a final mark of disrespect, they robbed every person in the cafe at gun point.

As they handed over their money and possessions, the Jamaicans told the Aggi crew that they would not be paying them a single penny and that the only way to resolve the argument would be with guns.

It didn’t take long for Avon and Somerset police to learn about the potential bloodbath. They responded by taking the unprecedented step of placing armed officers on 24-hour foot patrol in the most volatile areas – the streets around the Black and White Cafe and Stapleton Road in the neighbouring district of Easton. They also launched a series of raids on the homes of the Aggi crew who, as a result, have now been returned to prison.

The move has significantly reduced the threat of gang warfare but has left the drug trade solely in the hands of the Jamaicans. Often dismissed as ‘disorganised’ rather than organised crime, Jamaican dealers in Bristol have actually brought a new level of cunning to the drug business. Instead of holding wraps of crack in their mouths, the dealers on Stapleton Road placed the drugs in old Coke cans which would then be left in the gutter. After handing over their money, customers would then be directed to the nearest can. The scam made it almost impossible for police to link batches of drugs to specific dealers and gave some degree of protection from prosecution.

To prevent their merchandise being swept away, the dealers also launched a massive campaign of intimidation against the council’s utility workers. Refuse collections halted altogether in many areas as did road and pavement repairs (dealers were also hiding drugs in the cracks in the pavement). The dealers then turned their attention to the workers attempting to install CCTV systems. Within weeks Stapleton Road had become known as the ‘street of fear’ with dealers, prostitutes and muggers operating with virtual impunity. In a seven-month period, 915 crimes were recorded along a 150-metre stretch.

Although Avon and Somerset police have poured massive resources into dealing with the problem and made great progress, they admit that they are far from finding a solution. ‘We have made more than 800 arrests in the past 18 months but on the streets the problem remains as bad as ever,’ Detective Chief Inspector Neil Smart, head of Operation Atrium, told The Observer. ‘There is a lot of gun crime that we do not get to hear about and we suspect there have been drive-by shootings at the Black and White Cafe that have never been reported. The place is known around the world. Two of my officers were on assignment in Jamaica and they overheard two locals talking about the Black and White being the place to go to get drugs in Bristol.’

When The Observer visited the cafe last week it was business as usual. The air was thick with the cloying smell of cannabis and the sounds of hard reggae. A dozen people were milling about close to the pinball machine while the main room was dominated by two snooker tables, both of which were in constant use. According to local detectives the players are often the main dealers. Drugs are taped to the base of the snooker tables allowing easy access but again frustrating police efforts to link drugs to particular dealers.

An attempt to prosecute the cafe’s owner, Stephen Wilks, for allowing drugs to be sold on the premises ended in failure. Last week the city council pushed through a compulsory purchase order on the cafe which will now be demolished, though it will be at least a year before the bulldozers move in. Wilks was not available for comment.

DCI Smart believes the way forward is to introduce what he describes as ‘joined-up thinking’, ensuring his officers work alongside the probation service, Customs and the Immigration department to find ways of dealing with each new threat.

While the demise of the Black and White Cafe is unlikely to produce tears among the police force, locals are less sure. Christine Boulton, 50, works with the homeless in Bristol and has lived close to the cafe for 31 years. ‘The cafe does have a negative effect on the community but then again, if you are looking for the local bad lads, sooner or later they will always end up there. If you shut it down, all you are going to do is move the problem. If it’s not the Black and White, it will just become somewhere else.’


Some of the incidents at Black and White café recorded by police over 23 years many go un-reported:

In the 1950s and ’60s immigrants from the West Indies were encouraged to come to Bristol to live and work, and many settled around the areas of St Paul’s and Montpelier. Nightlife there took off in the Seventies, with blues clubs and all-night shebeens soon popping up (St Paul’s festival is still an annual summer event, mellow and relaxed, like a smaller, less frenetic Notting Hill carnival). In 1980, following a police raid on the popular Black and White Café, the St Paul’s riots erupted, the first of the decade’s civil disturbances.

1980: Bristol riots after police raid Black and White café.

1984: Three officers attacked by customers after going into café to arrest a man.

1986, February: Two-day riot outside café after car chase.

September: Raid at café followed by three nights of rioting.

1992, February: Person seen to leave café and conduct a drugs deal, arrested and drugs seized.

August: Two suspected drug dealers stopped by police after leaving café and drugs found.

November: Drugs seized from pool table inside café.

1995, 8 February: Known offenders seen leaving café. Found with CS gas and drugs.

1996, 3 January: Two brothers shot in a disturbance outside the café. One later died.

1997, 25 July: Police raid, £20,000 worth of drugs seized, two arrests.

13 October: People arrested for supplying drugs inside café.

1999, 1 May: Murder of Gary Mignott outside café.

6 May-summer: 32 arrests for drug dealing.

21 June: Report of hostage at café.

2000, 31 May-10 August: Numerous arrests and drug seizures at the cafe.

14 December: Sock containing drugs found inside café.

2001: Immigration arrest.

2002: 1 January: Stabbing outside café. Man seen outside café pointing a gun at a woman.

12 February: 29 arrests for drugs and immigration offences.

14-15 May: Three people convicted of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.

22 October: Drugs seized from hole in wall inside café.

27 November: Assault on officer inside café.

2003, 13 January: Aggi Crew gang stage hold-up inside café.

23 January: Café searched by consent, drugs seized from a hole inside toilet unit and also from inside an electronic bar game.

23 April: Report of 50 people fighting outside the café.

2 May, Drug dealing reported outside cafe.

13 May: Report of dealer working day & night inside cafe, also report of people with guns inside cafe.

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121 Ideas To Start A Home Business (Part 1)

You need to find the right place for your office, and in order to work in peace, it could be good idea thinking in starting an internet business working at your garage, attic or your basement. Anywhere but the family living room or dinning room

The right place should match your personal work style and budget. If you decide to work at home, you’ll need space for a desk, a chair, a computer, phone and other frequently-used equipment.

You ought to have a comfortable space, with chairs or a couch where you can hold meeting or just collect your thoughts. And storage space for filing cabinets, books and reference materials

You might need a large work space for activities such as hand mailings (does anyone still do this?) shipping and assembling materials.

Be Unique!

Your home business will be much easier if you work in something that you love! So the first thing you must do is to define the niche where you are the specialist. This is the niche is where starting an internet business you can stand out from competition, and for which you can charge a decent free.

There are four primary ways to define your niche:

* WHERE you work — e.g., east side of town; in firm that specializes in business advertising, in a restaurant who has attained renown for having the best cakes in town, etc.
* WHEN you are called upon — e.g., you repair computers on weekend and after-hours calls; you provide support to people involved in scandals or tragedies; last-minute dinner parties, etc…
* WHO are your customers — e.g., a computer consultants, public relations firms, home business women, ezine publishers, etc?
* WHAT kind of product or service you provide — e.g., e-book publishing tools, advice for new entrepreneurs, home made syrup, etc…

And my best advice is: Think about starting an internet business with what you already know, and start your Internet business in an organized manner.

* In your work space you must keep those things you most frequently use near your desk.
* A placing scale: On a scale of one to four, rate the items you use every day a one; those you use once a year, a four.
* Place all the items with a 1 within an arm’s reach of your desk area.
* Items with a 2: in files, cabinets, countertops or shelves within your immediate range.
* Items with 3: in nearby cabinets or closets, or on shelves outside your office space.
* Items with 4: in remote locations outside your office space (maybe other room, the attic, the garage)
* Open a business bank account. Keep separate your personal and your business accounts.
* Get a separate phone line for business calls. (This will give you a more professional image).
* As you are your own boss, you must establish a time schedule for yourself. Don’s spend time with extra sleep or reading newspaper
* Put yourself a deadline complete a given project by a certain time.
* Give yourself a reward if you accomplish a specific task.
* Don’t let household activities become a regular part of your workday. You can be fiscally at home, but must be mentally at work
* Tell your family and friends that in your working hours they should avoid disturbing you. You are not on vacations, you are WORKING at home
* If disruptions become a main obstacle in your workday, you should consider relocating your office in a different area of the house, or changing your working hours

Make Sure That You Are Starting a Legal Business

* Make sure you can operate a business from your home, get sure there aren’t any zoning restrictions and, if there are problems in doing so, get a separate mailing address or apply for a use permit or variance to your zoning laws.
* If you have employees or are incorporated or in a partnership, get an employers ID number
* If your job is covered by federal laws, obtain a federal license
* If you have any required state or local business licenses, get them.
* Protect your products or services with trademarks, copyrights or patents needed
* If you work with other people, and are not a sole proprietor, incorporate or form a limited-liability company
* Find out if you are required to collect sales tax for your product or service. If so, register with the state agency responsible for collecting sales taxes.
* If you are using a name other than your own or a variation thereof, register your business name

Note: it could be wise to consult a lawyer or the appropriate government agencies in your city and state to be sure about which of this points apply to your business or locale.

Do All That You Can To Be Reachable

Follow as many as the following advises as you need: Work in regular business hours. People can feel very annoyed if they don’t know when they can find you.
* If you need to intensively use your telephone…
* Hire a second line to receive customer’s calls
* Or have a fax
* Or have an e-mail address
* Or all of the above
* Use voice mail to take messages when you’re out of the office or unable to answer the telephone. You can purchase an answering machine or add a voice mail system to your computer.
* Use calls forwarding to receive calls when you’re out of the office.
* Use a cellular phone, a 700 number or a pager.
* To handle incoming calls while you’re on the telephone, get call waiting or voice mail that picks them up so people never get a busy signal.
* Get distinctive ringing that gives you two phone numbers on one line
* Choose a good direct name that fits your business image. A confusing name for your business can result in clients overlooking you, or can target people that aren’t really interested in what you offer them.
* Find a good Web hosting service and buy your own Internet domain.

Author of THE SECRET of The Magic Lamp and it’s 42 Self Help CD with Subliminal Messages, that can be found at http://www.drbonomi.com and also author of The Easy Home Business Web Site at http://www.easy-home-business.com

Paris, May 2014 – 015
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Image by Ed Yourdon
(more details later, as time permits)


In the spring of 2014, we came to Paris for a week of relaxed vacationing, mostly to wander around and see some old familiar places. It was a “return” trip for both of us, though in my case I think it’s probably been more than 15 years since I was even here on a business trip.

Business trips to any city don’t really count as a “visit” — since they basically involve flying into a busy airport at night, taking a taxi to a generic business-traveler’s hotel (a Hilton in Paris looks just like a Hilton in Cairo), and then spending several days working in the hotel (if the purpose of the trip was a seminar or computer conference), or at a client’s office (also “generic” in most cases — you can’t even tell what floor you’re on when you get off the elevator, because every floor of “open office” layouts is the same). The trip usually ends in the late afternoon or evening of the final day, with a mad dash back to the airport to catch the last plane home to NYC. Thus, a business trip to Paris is almost indistinguishable from a business trip to Omaha. Or Albany. Or Tokyo.

But I did make a few “personal” visits to Paris in the 1970s and 1980s, so I looked forward to having the chance to walk through some familiar places along the Left Bank. I’m not so interested in museums, monuments, cathedrals, or other “official” tourist spots (but yes, I have been to the Eiffel Tower, just as I’ve been to the Empire State Building in NYC), so you won’t see any photos of those places in this Flickr set.

As a photographer, I now concentrate mostly on people and street scenes. The details of the location don’t matter much to me, though I do try to geotag my photos whenever I can. But for the most part, what you’ll see here are scenes of people and local things in Paris that made me smile as I walked around …

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Home Business Resource – What You Will Need To Start A Successful Business

Starting a home business is a very important decision, and there are some typical home business resources you will need to have in order for you to succeed. Home business resources are assets, services and systems you will need to make your home business run smoothly; and also other steps you will need to take to make sure that you will succeed with your business.

So, to start a successful home business, what resources and steps do you need to take?

· A clearly laid out business plan. Without a business plan and goals to achieve, then you can not get anywhere. A business plan will map out what you need to succeed and how you will achieve your goals.

· Good research. Whatever your business will need, you will need to be well informed about it. So you will need to do me research so that you become an expert on the niche, product or service. Knowledge about the business is an important home business resource, so you must do the necessary research to be well-informed about the industry or product/service.

· A well set-up office. Your office is another important home business resource. You will need to be productive while working from home. You will therefore need an office that has all you will need to run a smooth business; a computer, printer, internet access, fax, telephone, business cards and a conducive work environment. A suitable desk and appropriate lighting in your office is also an important resource that is often underestimated in its importance. You will sometimes work for many hours in a day, and your work space needs to be comfortable. Allocate some money towards setting up a working environment you will enjoy working from everyday!

· Some money to cover capital outlay and running costs is an important home business resource which you will need. Any business requires some form of investment, and you will need to know how much you have, and how much investments and ongoing marketing your business will need for it to succeed. It is therefore recommended that you start your business while you are still employed, so that you have some income to live on while you are still building your business.

· Support system. This can be a mentor; someone who has succeeded with a similar business, or simply your family and friends. You need to have people close to you who will encourage you and give you any support you need. You can also join a forum of people with the same business like yours. A good support network is a very important home business resource.

· Business leads and clients are a crucial home business resource. Making and creating contacts and networking is very important – you need to start building your potential clients base before you launch your business. Start marketing your business by giving away some products and services. By creating a relationship with your potential customers, you build trust with them, and when you launch your business, it will be easy for them to buy from you.

· Be professional! The way you run your business and relate to your customers is very important. Be prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ with your customers. Care about your customers, and provide all the information they may need.

· Hire any professional help you may need. Treat your business professionally, and if you need the services of a lawyer or accountant, hire/outsource it. It is more productive and effective to get experts to do what you can not do, leaving you time to focus on your business. You will want to do the best for your business; so if there are any home business resources you do not have, outsource them.

If you have the home business resources outlined above, then your business will succeed. Although your home business may only be a small venture, treat it like a real business, and get all the home business resources any business will need in order to be successful.

Jeff Casmer is an internet marketing consultant with career sales over ,000,000. His “Top Ranked” Earn Money at Home Directory gives you all the information you need to start and prosper with your own Internet Home Based Business.

1970′s inventions that changed our way of life
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Image by brizzle born and bred
Technology, Fashion and Toys played an increasingly important part in people’s lives in the 70s.

Ceefax: 1974

Launched in 1974, Ceefax went live with 30 pages and was the first teletext service in the world. Started as an experiment for the deaf, Ceefax developed into an instant news, sports and information service for millions of armchair surfers.

Colour Television Sets

Introduced on BBC 2 for Wimbledon coverage on July 1, 1967. The launch of the BBC 2 "full" color service took place on December 2, 1967. Some British TV programs, however, had been produced in color even before the introduction of color television in 1967, for the purpose of sales to American, Canadian, and Filipino networks. BBC 1 and ITV started color transmissions November 15, 1969.

The first colour sets became available in Britain in 1967, when BBC2 started broadcasting in colour. (Note BBC1 and ITV didn’t go colour until 1969.)

A typical 22" colour set would have cost £300 in 1967, or around £3000 in today’s money – equivalent to a top of the line 50+ inch LCD or LED HDTV set.

Britain’s oldest colour telly ‘still going strong’ 42 years on, says 69-year-old owner


Home Music Centre

The ultimate piece of kit that most people wanted in the mid 70s was a "Music Centre". This was a record player, cassette tape recorder and radio combined. Dynatron made one of the first, the HFC38 Stereo/Audio Cassette System, launched in 1972. This was a high priced luxury item at the time.

Dial Telephone

The 746 telephone was the British GPO’s main telephone for the 1970s. It was the phone most people had in the 70s and it is phone you will remember from that decade.

In the 70s, the home telephone was still a luxury in the UK. The General Post Office (GPO) had a monopoly on telephone services and anyone who wanted a phone needed to rent one from the GPO.

Although still a state run monopoly, the telephone service was more modern in the 70s. The old fashioned lettered exchanges disappeared in the late 60s and the new phones were equipped for the strangely termed ‘all figure numbering’. Customers had a choice of three phones: the 746, the smaller 776 Compact Telephone and the modern looking Trimphone.

The 746 telephone was an upgraded version of the 706 phone or ‘Modern Telephone’ that the GPO introduced to customers in the early 60s.

It introduced a few practical improvements. Firstly there was a clear plastic dial showing only numbers. The case had an integral carry handle and the phone came in a more modern plastic. It was also lighter and had improved circuitry.

Electronic Calculator

The first pocket calculators came onto the market towards the end of 1970. In the early 70s they were an expensive status symbol. By the middle of the decade, people used them to add up the weekly shopping at the supermarket. As pocket calculators moved from executive’s briefcases to school children’s satchels, there was controversy over whether children could still do sums.

Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments developed the integrated circuit technology that made the pocket calculator possible in the sixties. TI’s first prototype hand held calculator, the Cal Tech, demonstrated the potential of the new device. However, as with the transistor radio, Japanese firms quickly exploited the technology. The first portable, as opposed to pocket sized, calculator was the Sharp QT-8B. A year later pocket sized models were available from Bowmar (USA), Sharp, Busicom (Japan) and Sanyo.

Very quickly a host of manufacturers entered into the growing pocket calculator market. Texas Instruments launched their own model, the TI-2500 Datamath, in 1972.

Electronic games

Electronic games, such as MB Simon and Adman Grandstand, went on sale in the UK in the second half of the 70s. This was the time when people got their first taste of the digital lifestyle we enjoy today. A few years earlier, the first calculators and LED digital watches were marketed. Now manufacturers too adopted the same circuitry for play, and the age of electronic games began.

This revolution was reflected in the small screen when ITV’s George and Mildred’s neighbours bought a Grandstand game for Christmas. There were also concerns that TV audiences would drop, with more people using their TVs to play video games instead. Granada TV’s report "Who’ll be watching Coronation Street in 1984?" expressed concerns their advertising revenue might be at risk.

The grand daddy of all the computer games was the Magnavox Odyssey, which was launched in 1972. It introduced the public to a familiar, but primitive, electronic bat and ball game. Magnavox Odyssey was quite sophisticated; it offered range of different games, some of which required props. However, it was more of US than an UK phenomenon.

Electronic chess games also appeared in the mid seventies, but the game that first captured the public’s imagination in the UK was the Adman Grandstand.


In the 70s, freezer ownership increased dramatically. Freezers and frozen food were available in the 60s, but sales of freezers took off in the 70s. In 1970 around 100,000 were sold, which was three times as many as in 1967. By 1974, one in ten households had a freezer.

Food processors

A food processor added a choice of blades and attachments to a standard blender. The Magimix from the 70s was the first UK example.

Microwave ovens

The microwave oven was invented by Percy Spencer in the late 40s. Initially, microwave ovens were only used by catering establishments. Oxford University physicist, Professor Nicholas Kurti gave a dramatic demonstration of microwave cooking with his reverse baked Alaska, or frozen Florida, which had ice cream on the outside and hot filling on the inside. He first demonstrated this dessert in 1969, showing how microwaves easily passed through ice, causing little heat, but the filling made from brandy and marmalade absorbed them and heated up more quickly.

Microwave ovens were not available in Britain until the end of the 70s, even then they did not catch on that quickly. The first ‘Which’ report on microwave ovens was written in 1979. There were concerns about what would happen if the microwaves escaped and confusion over whether the ovens were radioactive. For most people though, they were simply too expensive.

By 1979, there were a variety of microwaves on the market, priced between 150 and 400. [500 to 1400 in today’s money]. Models with a separate convection heating element were even more expensive. Both traditional oven makers, Creda and Belling and electronics giants Philips, Hitachi, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba, made microwave ovens in the 70s.

For most people in the UK the microwave revolution did not begin until well into the 80s. Jimmy Tarbuck’s advertisements for Sharp microwaves helped promote microwave cooking in the UK in the early 80s.


As part of our renewed appreciation of all things 70s, the teasmade is back in fashion. After years in the naff cupboard, John and Norma Major owned one, it is now hip to own a teasmade.

The teasmade was a luxury item in the 70s household. Although primitive devices for automatically making tea were available since Victorian times and leading manufacturer Goblin made teasmades since the thirties, they were never considered essentials.

Most teasmades (sometimes incorrectly spelled ‘teasmaid’) comprised a teapot, kettle and clock. To prepare the teasmade ready for use tea, or teabags, fashionable in the 70s, were added to the pot and water into the kettle and then the alarm was set for the time you wanted to wake up to enjoy your freshly made pot of tea. About ten minutes before the alarm went off, the kettle boiled the water, which bubbled through a spout into the teapot. If you forgot to put the spout into the teapot some 70s models poured boiling water on to whatever the teasmade was stood on. Once the tea was brewed, the alarm sounded to wake you up, if the mechanism had not already woken you.

In 1971 there were only three manufacturers of teamade: Goblin, Ecko and Russell Hobbs. The Goblin model shown here cost £27.18 (£265 in today’s money). It is no wonder that the teasmade was a luxury.

Tea bags

Tea bags were new in the 70s. Well not exactly new, they had been used in the USA since the 20s. Tetley had tried introducing them to the UK twice, once in the 30s and again in the 50s, but they were seen as a bit of a joke. In the 70s though, sales of tea bags took off. It’s hard to explain why, they were more expensive and rarely used in the way originally intended – to remove the tea from the pot once it was brewed. It may have been something to do with convenience. We could throw our tea strainers away. Now tea bags are almost universal – so they must have been a good idea after all!

Continental quilts

Until the 70s, most people in the UK made up beds with sheets and blankets. In the early 70s the bedroom revolution was the continental quilt or duvet. Names such as "Slumberland Fjord" and "Banlite Continental" left no doubt as to the origin. Mostly they were filled with down or duck feathers. Synthetic fillings were more common in Europe, but became available in the UK. People quickly took to them as they were more convenient.

Flares and platform soles

Two trends defined the 70s in a fashion sense: flared trousers and platform soles. Flares were derived from the hippy fashion for loon pants of the late 60s. They were worn by men and women. The flare was from the knee and reached exaggerated proportions in the middle years of the 70s. The trousers were often hipsters, sitting on the hips rather than the waist, and tight fitting.

The combination of flares and denim made flared jeans the fashion phenomenon of the decade.

Platform soles were mainly worn by women and more fashionable men. There were health warnings about damage that could be caused to the back in later life, but the fashion did not last long enough for that to have an effect. There was an element of thirties retro in the style of some of the shoes, which echoed the thirties’ love of two-tone or co-respondent black and cream or brown and cream colours. Bright colours also gave the shoes more of a space age look.

Raleigh Chopper

The Raleigh Chopper brought the style of Easy Rider to the backstreets of Britain in the 70s. It took the UK youth bike market by storm and probably saved Raleigh from financial disaster. The Chopper was a distinctly different bike for young people and was a first choice Christmas present. However, the Chopper attracted criticism for some aspects of its safety. The Chopper became distinctly unfashionable in the 80s, when BMX became the latest craze.


Klackers comprised two acrylic balls, often brightly coloured, on a string with a small handle in the middle. It was a playground craze that swept Britain and America in the early 70s. The idea was to move the handle up and down to make the balls click together. The really skilled could make the Klackers meet at the top and bottom of a circle; it required practice. They made a noise when they clacked together, hence the name.

Klackers were also marketed as Ker-knockers, Clackers and Klickies.

Whilst children loved the Klackers, or Ker-knock-ers, parents and teachers were concerned about the safety aspects. They could cause bruised hands and arms and the balls could shatter into dangerously sharp shards of plastic. Some schools banned them from the playground. Like most crazes, Klackers disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Invicta Mastermind game

The Invicta Mastermind game was a huge seller in the 70s. In spite of the name, it had no connection with the Mastermind television programme originally hosted by Magnus Magnussen, although many people bought the game thinking it did.

The game was invented by Israeli postmaster and telecommunications expert, Mordecai Meirowitz. He initially found it difficult to get a manufacturer to take on his idea, but eventually managed to persuade small UK games maker, Invicta to make it.

The game went on sale in the early 70s and was a huge success. The box depicting a bearded man and woman in Asian dress carried an air of mysteriousness about it, suggesting supreme intelligence was needed to play the game.

Indeed Mastermind was taken seriously by the academic world. In 1977, Donald Knuth, the American computer scientist responsible for some learned texts in the world of computing, published a formula that guaranteed a correct guess in five goes.

Mastermind was also recognised by the toy industry. In 1973 Invtica was awarded ‘Game of the Year’ for Mastermind. Look out for pre-1973 versions that do not have the ‘Game of the Year’ award on the box.

Fondue set

Fondue originated in Switzerland and the classic fondue is always made with Swiss cheeses: Emmenthal and Gruyère. The word ‘fondue’ is derived from the French word, ‘fondre’, which means to blend.

By 1960, Marguerite Patten claimed the fondue was becoming popular. Her ‘Cookery in Colour’ featured fondue recipes with a decidedly English twist: ‘Cheddar Fondue’ and ‘Tomato Fondue’, as well as the classic ‘Gruyère’.

It was in the seventies that fondue parties really took off in the UK. Originally a reminder of a Swiss dish tried on a skiing holiday, fondue parties soon became the up-to-the minute thing to do; but by the 80s, it was decidedly naff.

Fondue sets are available again as everything 70s is fun once more. For real authenticity, source the genuine article from the 70s on eBay. Look for bright orange fondue pots and forks with teak handles.

Soda syphon

The retro style soda syphon (or soda siphon), once a symbol of kitsch and bad taste, is now the height of retro cool. The Sparklets Soda Syphon was a hit at 70s parties. However, its roots go back to the era of the Boer War.

The Sparklets Soda Syphon was originally used as a way of bringing sparkling or aerated water to hot climates at the far reaches of the British Empire. Invented in the 1890s, Sparklets bulbs were used during the Boer War.

Before the introduction of Sparklets bulbs, carbonated, or aerated water, as the Victorians preferred to call it, was a luxury product. It was expensive to make, and there was no way to do it yourself. The invention of the Sparklets bulb popularised it as soda water. The original device was called a ‘Prana’ Sparklet Syphon, and the Company stressed that it was as easy for a housemaid in Bayswater as for an orderly in South Africa to use the device.

Sparklets Streamline, with hammered finish 1940s
In 1920 Sparklets Ltd was acquired by BOC, the British Oxygen Company. By the 1960s Sparklets specialised in diecast products for the domestic industry. Naturally the Sparklets Soda Syphons were a big part of the business, but Sparklets also made diecast parts for washing machines, hairdryers and vacuum cleaners, as well as for cars.

The Sparklets bulb method may not have changed much since the days of the Boer War, but the style of the syphon moved with the times. Three basic types were around in the 60s and 70s.


Player’s No6 and Embassy. However, they were joined by mild versions: Embassy Extra Mild and Player’s No6 Extra Mild. The rise of the mild cigarette was a 70s’ phenomenon. Benson and Hedges Silk Cut, pictured bottom middle, started this trend.

Which? Magazine named Silk Cut as the mildest UK cigarette in 1972. Although, the Which report was intended to convince people to stop smoking, it gave an enormous boost to Silk Cut sales. (In fact there is no evidence to suggest mild cigarettes are any better for you.).

The other big trend ran in the opposite direction. King size cigarettes were increasingly popular. John Player Special, with its distinctive black packaging, was a rival for Benson and Hedges.

King size cigarettes also went down market and were available in the cheaper brands. Both Player’s No6 and Embassy had king size versions. You could buy cigarettes in a bewildering number of different sizes: international, king size, regular, intermediate, mini and sub-mini. Collectors of cigarette packets from the 70s should look out for different sizes in all the popular brands, for example, Silk Cut, Silk Cut King Size, Silk Cut No1, Silk Cut No5, Silk Cut No3, as well as Silk Cut Extra Mild.

At the same time competition from US cigarette manufacturers started in earnest in the 70s. The famous Marlboro brand with is cowboy print advertising campaign started to take sales away from the home grown brands.

Smoking in the 1970s

Cigarettes were a big part of life in the 70s. People smoked them in large numbers. They also started to kick the habit in large numbers too. To give up or not, and to inhale or not, were big topics of conversation.

In 1969, Embassy Filter (right) was the most popular brand. It had been introduced in 1962 and took a staggering 24% of the cigarette market in 1968. By 1971 though, it was knocked off the top spot by Players No 6. In 1972 these brands (below) made up 94% of all cigarettes sold (in order of tar content, lowest first):

Silk Cut (filter)
Consulate Menthol (filter)
Cadets (filter)
Piccadilly De Luxe (filter)
Cambridge (filter)
Embassy Gold (filter)
Embassy Regal (filter)
Sovereign (filter)
Sterling (filter)
Player’s No 6 Virginia (filter)
Park Drive (filter)
Kensitas (filter)
Embassy (filter)
Gold Leaf Virginia (filter)
Player No 6 (plain)
Player’s Weights (plain)
Albany (filter)
Woodbine (plain)
Player’s No 10 Virginia (filter)
Guards Tipped (filter)
Benson & Hedges King Size (filter)
Senior Service (plain)
Player’s Navy Cut (plain)
Park Drive (plain)
Rothman’s King Size (filter)

The majority of the most popular brands are filter tipped. At the time people wanted to believe that the filter would protect them. Medical research showed otherwise, even as early as the 60s. Also worth noting is that Rothman’s advertised their cigarettes as for "…when you know what doing are doing" – a bit ironic considering the tar content!

In 1970, 55% of men and 44% of women smoked cigarettes. The percentage smoking cigarettes had fallen from the peak of 65% in 1948 and the risks of smoking on health were beginning to slowly sink in. In spite of research by the late Professor Sir Richard Doll published in 1951, which linked smoking with lung cancer, cigarette smoking was so much a part of life that the habit died hard. Even as late as 1973 the Guinness Book of Records described nicotine as an "anodyne to civilisation".

In 1971, cigarette manufacturers agreed to put a mild health warning on the packets (left) – "WARNING by HM Government SMOKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH". I say "mild" because Professor Sir Richard Doll’s research showed that of 1,357 men with lung cancer, 99.5% were smokers. Or as "Which" chillingly put it – you had as much chance of dying before you were 44 if you smoked, as a serviceman had of being killed in the Second World War. Most people were still playing Russian Roulette and hoping that the chamber was empty.

"Which" never published a report comparing one cigarette brand with another. They acted in the best interest of consumers and recommended only that people should give up. There were conflicting stories circulating concerning the safety of other forms of smoking, such as pipe or cigar smoking: "Was it safer than cigarettes?", "Was it safe if you didn’t inhale?" and "Was it worth waiting for a safe cigarette?". "Which" did not sit on the fence and told members as directly as possible that the only safe course of action was to give up.

The 70s was the decade when people did finally accept the risks of smoking and the proportion of the population who smoked fell quite significantly. Those leading the way were the professional middle classes. The anti-smoking group, ASH, was founded in 1970 and took a lead in alerting the public to the dangers of smoking. The proportion of men and women smoking cigarettes dropped gradually during the 70s. By 1980, 42% of men and 37% of women smoked. (Today’s figures are 27% and 25% respectively).

LED watch

LED digital watch

Retro style LED watches are now selling on the internet, reviving the original digital watches from the early 70s. The first LED watch was marketed in the US by watchmaker, Hamilton, under the brand name ‘Pulsar’ in the Fall of 1971. It was originally a high priced gadget; by the end of the decade LED watches were almost throw away items and the more familiar LCD display was gaining ground.


The Space Hopper, the Raleigh Chopper and Mattel’s model cars with Hot Wheels made their debut in the 60s, but in the 70s achieved their highest popularity.

The Chopper was revised with safety improvements to become the Mark 2 in 1972. Mattel did not have their own way for long with Hot Wheels. British rival Matchbox had already introduced Superfast Wheels in 1969 and converted their whole range to them in the early 70s.

Sindy continued to be a popular toy for girls and won Toy of the Year in 1970. That accolade also went to another doll in 1971, Katie KopyKat; Katie copied everything you wrote.

Another 70s’ craze that had its origins in the 60s was Klackers, or Clackers: two acrylic balls that were made to click together. Experts could make them clack at the bottom and top in a circular movement, but safety concerns saw their early demise.

The Mastermind TV programme hosted by Magnús Magnússon had huge audiences in the 70s. However, the Mastermind Board Game made by Invicta in 1973 had no connection with the Mastermind TV show. It was all about breaking a secret code.

Lego was as popular as ever. It scooped Toy of the Year in 1974 and 1975. Other toys with their origins in the 50s and earlier were discovered by new generations of children.

The football game Subbuteo gained plastic figures in 1967 and in the 70s was available in up to fifty different team strips. There were spin-off cricket and snooker games too.

Scalextric was improved with new cars in the 70s and was as popular as ever. More traditional toys such as Hornby trains and Meccano continued to find a market.

The big change in play in the 70s though was the advent of electronic games. The 70s gave us digital watches and pocket calculators and by the middle of the decade electronic toys and games as well. One of the first to capture the imagination of the UK public was Adman Grandstand, which could play a variety of sports, including a version of the Pong arcade game. The brightly coloured MB Simon game was also a big seller in 1978.

Star Wars was in the cinema in 1977 and a host of Star Wars inspired merchandise followed. Never before had the movie makers cashed in so much on the toy market, it was a portent for the new decade.


Furniture from the seventies was bigger and chunkier than furniture from the 60s. Teak was still the favourite wood throughout the decade, although pine was getting an increasingly strong middle class following. Autumn colours were in vogue: browns, beiges and oatmeal. Striped upholstery fabric was popular.

The seventies had its share of fads. Chrome plated tubular steel furniture had a brief period of being the latest thing. Towards the end of the decade, cane and rattan furniture started to gain a small following. Both this and pine were much bigger in the following two decades.

The seventies was still a decade when modern was the favourite look. There was little attempt to recreate the past, although in a decade of contradictions, reproduction furniture had a growing niche following.

Green Shield Stamps

Green Shield Stamps were almost everywhere in the Britain of the 60s and 70s. If you bought your groceries at certain shops the retailer gave you stamps to stick in a book. Once you had collected enough you exchanged the books for gifts. Most people can remember Green Shield Stamps, but there were other schemes. Does anyone remember Blue Star, Gift Coupon, Happy Clubs, Thrift Stamp, Uneedus Bonus, Universal Sales Promotions or Yellow Stamps?


In the later 70s, lager began to take hold. You can still get seventies favourites such as Skol, Carling Black Label (they paid a consultant millions of pounds to recommend that the ‘Black Label’ was dropped some time in the 90s), Carlsberg and Tennant’s Pilsner, though whether it is the same, who could say? Light ale was a popular alternative to lager at the time.

Keg bitter was definitely the drink of the early seventies. "Classics" such as Watneys Red Barrel (or Watney’s Red as they tended to call it then), Double Diamond, Courage Tavern and Worthington ‘E’ are well out of production.

Britain’s best selling cars from the 70s

British automotive fashions changed. As women replaced mini skirts with midis and maxis, and men chucked out the Don Draper look in favour of flares and wide ties, cars changed just as significantly, on the outside at least.

Car makers ditched the chrome grills, the wood and leather interiors of the 60s and embraced American coke bottle styling, plastic fascias and matt black grills.

The UK’s top four manufacturers all introduced new models leading up to and around 1970. The first of the new wave was the Ford Escort, launched in late 1967. It was a small car with neat American influenced body styling. Ford also launched the ground breaking Capri in 1969, which brought sports car styling to the average motorist. In 1970 there was a rash of new models: the Morris Marina; a completely restyled Vauxhall Viva; and the all new Hillman Avenger, remember those L shaped tail lights? In 1971 Ford launched the car that was to represent the 1970s, the Cortina Mk III.

Ford won the sales war and the Cortina was the best selling car of the decade, with the Escort in second place. BL made a series of mistakes, the worst of which was to replace their best selling Austin/Morris 1100/1300 range with the blob shaped Allegro. It eventually needed the State to intervene and save the company from bankruptcy.

The 70s also saw a greater proportion of foreign cars on the road. However, none of them made it into the top ten. The best selling foreign import was the Datsun Sunny, which was only the 19th best selling car of the decade.

These are the top ten best selling UK cars of the 70s.

Ford Cortina Mk3, 1972

Ford’s stylists had their fingers firmly on the pulse of the 70s’ car market. They replaced the neatly minimalist Cortina Mk II, driven by Michael Caine in Get Carter, with the glamorous Mk III in 1970.

If there was a car that summed up the mood of the early 70s perfectly it was the Cortina Mk III. The classic American inspired coke bottle styling was combined with plenty of chrome trim. The new Cortina was bigger and better than the outgoing Mk II.

Ford’s graduated model range offered a huge choice of trim, style and engine size. You could choose from from L (basic), XL (more luxury), GT (sporty), GXL (luxurious) to the ultimate Cortina, the 2000E. Even the L looked stylish, but the upmarket GXL offered acres of simulated wood trim, glorious velour seats and a chrome trimmed black vinyl roof.

Ford Cortina Mk V, 1979

In 1976 Ford replaced the Cortina Mk III with the Mk IV. The glam rock era had faded by 1976 and Ford stylists gave the market something more sober, although the parent company’s policy of sharing as much as possible between the UK Cortina and the German Ford Taunus may have also influenced the more prosaic styling.

The final facelift for the Cortina came in 1979. Ford sharpened up the style of the Mk IV with the similar looking Mk V, which nevertheless changed almost every body panel. The Cortina disappeared entirely in 1982 to make way for the Sierra, dubbed the ‘jelly mould’ car at the time.

Ford Escord Mk2, 1979

Ford also sold over one million Escorts in the 1970s. The Escort was introduced late in 1967 as a replacement for the popular Ford Anglia. Remember that backward sloping rear roofline?

The Escort continued the Anglia theme of a stylish body combined with basic, but reliable, mechanicals. However, Ford went one stage further with the Escort, as with the Cortina, they offered a range of basic saloons and some sporty and luxury models as well.

Style was all important to Ford’s selling strategy and in 1975 they gave the Escort a new squared off body and models near the top of the range had square headlamps too. By 1979 you could choose from 1100, 1300, 1600, 1800 and 2000cc models. In 1980 the Escort was upgraded to a the Mk III for the new decade.

Mini Clubman

Although Alex Issigonis’ masterpiece the Mini was eleven years old by 1970, it was still one of Britain’s best selling cars. BL chose to drop the Austin and Morris labels and the car was now just called the ‘Mini’.

In the1970s there was a basic range comprising a Mini 850 and a Mini 1000, with 850cc and 1000cc engines. BL offered a more upmarket version, the Clubman, with a squared off nose. There was an estate version with fake wood panels on the outside and a sports 1275 GT version.

Laurence Moss, the estate agent husband of man-eating Beverly in "Abigail’s Party" drove a Mini, getting a new one every year. He claimed the design did alter, in reality BL made very few changes to the design throughout the 70s. By the end of the decade part of the charm of the car was that it had not changed.

The Mini continued in production for another two decades before being replaced by the new Mini in 2000.

Morris Marina TC, 1972

BL’s executives originally planned the Marina as a replacement for the aging Morris Minor and a serious competitor for the Escort. Learning the lessons of the past they wanted to give it plenty of style and hired ex-Ford stylist, Roy Haynes.

Haynes wanted the two door version to appeal to the under thirty age group. He wanted the interior styling to be exotic and wild.

Somehow BL ended up producing a much bigger car than intended, even though it shared some of its mechanical heritage with the venerable Morris Minor. In reality the Marina sold considerably less well than expected. It achieved a creditable fourth position in sales in the 70s, but was not capable of rescuing BL from its financial troubles. Read more about the Morris Marina.

Vauxhall Firenza, 1971

Vauxhall was like Ford, a British car maker with an American parent – General Motors. Like Ford they followed the same approach: a basic rugged car with an up to the minute body. The Viva had been around since 1963 and had already had one facelift. In 1970 Vauxhall revised it again.

The new Viva, called the HC, was still a small car and in the Escort class, nevertheless it looked wide, low and stylish. Like Ford, Vauxhall offered a range of engines and options. At the top of the range was the sporty Firenza SL.

The Viva really was a car for the 70s. It starred in 1999 in the 1970s’ revival comedy, ‘The Grimleys’ as Shane Titley’s car. Vauxhall dropped it in 1979.

Austin 1300GT, 1971

The Austin/Morris 1100/1300 range was a top selling car in the 1960s. BL found it hard to find a replacement for it. So hard in fact that they failed to do so until 1973. So because of its continued strong sales in the first years of the 70s, the 1100/1300 finds itself at number six.

For the 70s there were some detail improvements and some great 70s’ colours including purple and bright orange. Just like its cousins from the 60s, the 1100s and 1300s were spacious, reliable and mechanically simple.

If you fancied something a little sportier, there was the Austin 1300GT which was a tuned up version of the basic car with a black vinyl roof. BL replaced this best seller with the Allegro in 1973.

Austin Allegro

Where Ford got 70s’ style right with the Cortina, BL got it wrong with the Allegro.

Launched in 1973, the Allegro was styled by internal stylist, Harris Mann. It certainly looked 70s. However, where the Cortina emphasised size and width, the Allegro was rounded and dumpy. There was a bizarre selection of different style front grilles complemented with rounded rectangular headlamps matched inside the car with a rounded square steering wheel, called a Quartic.

Vanden Plas 1500 (Allegro)

A range of engines sizes from 1100 to 1750cc, a rather stylish small estate and a posh Vanden Plas version with real wood facia, leather seats and picnic tables failed to impress buyers. Surprisingly BL failed to provide a hatchback version even though the Allegro shape suited it, and they had been making the hatchback Maxi since 1969.

The Allegro was not a great hit with the public. Whilst the 1100/1300 range was chalking up annual sales of 100,000+ units every year, the Allegro failed to achieve more than 65,000. This styling misjudgment certainly contributed to BL’s collapse in 1975.

There was an unfortunate side effect to the 70s’ style lettering on the boot: to some ‘Austin Allegro’ looked like ‘Rustin Allegro’. The Austin All-aggro was another name for it.

When Austin-Rover dropped the Allegro range in 1982 to make room for the Maestro there were few sad faces.

Ford Capri 2000GT, 1972

Ford advertised the Capri as the car you have always promised yourself. The Capri offered the motoring public something entirely new. It was almost a sports car, with a comfortable four-seater saloon cabin, gorgeous fastback styling and a price tag that the man in the street could afford.

Launched in 1969, the Capri sold well throughout the 70s. Like the Cortina, Ford offered a huge range of engines and trim levels. Like the Cortina, there were several styling revisions, but the basic look and personality remained the same.

At the top of the Capri range was the 3000E, which offered outstanding performance with a top speed of 122mph and 0-60mph in eight seconds. The brochure cooed about such refinements as reclining seats, an electric clock and push button radio. The prestige motoring experience was completed by a a steering wheel and gear knob covered in simulated leather.

Hillman Avenger 1300DL, 1975

Rootes Group (Hillman, Singer, Sunbeam, Humber) launched the Hillman Avenger in 1970. It was a completely new car. The Avenger was mechanically unexciting, but offered a stylish new body with black grill with coke bottle styling and a sloping rear end.

The black grill was made from plastic. The Avenger also had some very distinctive L shaped rear a lamp clusters.

The Avenger was smaller than Rootes Group’s Hillman Hunter and competed with the Escort and Viva. It sold steadily throughout the 1970s. There was a facelift in 1976 and it later became the Chrysler Avenger as the American parent began to assert itself more strongly.

Austin Maxi, 1972

The Austin Maxi could have been a world beater. It was one of the first hatch back cars, and it was one of the first mass-market cars to have a five-speed gear box. Partly designed by Alec Issigonis, it was spacious and handled well. However, the Maxi never lived up to expectations.

The original design, launched in 1969, was very plain looking and not liked by the public. The gearbox was awful and the 1500cc engine was not powerful enough for the car.

The Maxi had a major facelift in 1971. There was a new grill, a more attractive wood finish fascia and a new 1750cc engine. In this form it enjoyed modest sales throughout most of the 70s. People loved the practicality of the hatchback and with the seats folded down it was big enough to transport a double mattress and perfectly capable of carrying garden waste to the tip or a tent or two on holiday.

1970s major household expenses

1. Transport

The average household weekly spend on transport in 2007 was £62. That includes everything from bus tickets to buying cars and petrol. In 1971, that £62 would have been just £6. That would barely cover a tube ticket today.

2. Recreation and culture

In 2007, we spent an average of £57 per week on things like holidays, cinema trips, sports activities and gambling. At 1971 prices, that would cost around £6 again – probably about the price of a large bucket of popcorn today.

3. Housing, fuel and power

£52 per week in 2007, £5 per week in 1971. Obviously that includes expenses like mortgage payments, rent and energy bills. Oh how times have changed.

4. Food and drink

In 2007, we spent £54 per week (I must admit I find that hard to believe, looking at my own till receipts, but still). Thirty-eight years ago that would have cost a mere fiver. Oh and over two thirds of the money we spend on food goes to the big supermarkets – so much for the nation of shopkeepers.

5. Restaurants and hotels

Weekly cost in 2007? £37. In 1971 that would have cost about £4, but then I doubt we would have used them as much in those days anyway.

6. Clothing and footwear

Despite our collective obsession with labels and fashion, we only spent £22 per week on clothes in 2007. Imagine how svelte we would all look if that still only set us back £2. Then again, we’d probably have to be clad head to toe in denim, so maybe £22 is a price worth paying.

7. Communication

Presumably this means telephones, mobiles, broadband and the like. Well, we spent an average of £12 a week on this kind of thing in 2007, which is equivalent to £1 in 1971 (OK, OK so we didn’t have mobiles and broadband back then, but that’s not really the point)

8. Everything else

This includes things like education and health, insurance and whatever else we spend our money on. Anyway, in 2007, these miscellaneous items cost a whopping £128 per week. In 1971, you’d have got the lot for £13. So in 2007, the total average household spend per week was a little under £460. Ouch. If we were to enter some kind of weird price time-warp that would come down to a total of about £46 per week.

Meanwhile, the latest research shows that the average household income in 2006 was about £650. Given the perilous state of our savings, you have to wonder where the extra £210 per week went (We only spent £460 of it remember).

Whichever way you look at it though, that time warp is looking rather appealing. We’ve already got the strikes and the recession, so to earn £650 a week and spend only £46 of it would make it all worthwhile.

It’s never going to happen of course, but it’s a nice dream.

1970s: Fewer cars but more smokers

*In 1971, UK residents made 6.7 million holiday trips abroad.

*In 1970/71, there were 621,000 students in the UK in higher education.

*In 1974, 26 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in Great Britain who smoked regularly were classed as heavy smokers.

*In 1970, life expectancy at birth for males in the UK was 68.7 years and for females was 75.0 years.

*In 1970, there were 340,000 first marriages in England and Wales.

*In 1970, nearly half (48 per cent) of all households in Great Britain did not have regular use of a car.

*In 1971, the average household size in Great Britain was 2.9 people per household, with one-person households accounting for 18 per cent of all households.

*In 1971, the proportion of babies born to women aged under 25 in England and Wales was 47 per cent (369,600 live births).

*In 1970, food and non-alcoholic drinks was the largest category of expenditure, accounting for 21 per cent of UK total domestic household expenditure.

Life expectancy is perhaps the most notable single change. In 1970, when Edward Heath had just become Prime Minister and The Beatles were breaking up, for men it was 68.7 years and for women it was 75 years; 40 years on, these figures have shifted substantially. Male life expectancy is now 77.8 years, and for women it is 81.9 years. Doubtless the fall in heavy smoking has played a part in that. In 1974, 24 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in Britain who smoked regularly were classed as heavy smokers, whereas in 2008 the figures were 7 per cent of men and only one in 20 women.

1971 vs 2011: what you get for your money

Mars bar: 1971: 2p 2011: 60p

First class stamp: 1971: 3p 2011: 44p

Pint of milk: 1971: 6p 2011: 49p

Loaf of bread: 1971: 9½p 2011: £1.10

Pint of bitter: 1971: 11p 2011: £3.05

Bunch of bananas: 1971: 18p 2011: 65p

Packet of cigarettes: 1971: 27p 2011: £7

Gallon of petrol: 1971: 33p 2011: £6

Ticket to Wembley Cup Final: 1971: £2 2011: £115

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Tips On How To Start An Office Cleaning Business

If you are planning to own a cleaning company, you must be thinking of how to start an office cleaning business. Cleaning offices, homes or apartment buildings is a simple business that can make a lot of money. It is also something you can start on a reasonable budget. The best part is, you can operate the business from home. It would be useless renting office space if most of your work will be done in other people’s offices.

You can do away with paying rent for office space as long as you have basic office tools at home like a telephone, computer, internet connection and office supplies. You may also use your garage as a storeroom for your cleaning equipment and supplies. It isn’t going to be difficult to learn how to start an office cleaning business if you follow these simple guidelines.

One of the first things you need to do is to create a business plan. It will be useful in case you need to borrow cash to open an office cleaning company. Your banker will want to see a business plan that shows you know what you are doing, can make the business work and make profit. That’s because they will want you to be able to repay the loan on time.

Another benefit to making a business plan is; you will discover how to start an office cleaning business covering areas in finance, management, marketing and profit. You will also learn how to procure equipment and supplies, train employees, and know how to go about getting clients. Once you are done writing your business plan, you will realize that you’ve learned more about the cleaning business than ever before.

You will have to buy cleaning tools and equipment such as power vacuums, heavy duty pressure washers, floor polishers, mops, rags, etc. For supplies, you will need floor wax, soap solutions, bleach, shampoo for carpet and sofa upholstery, and bathroom cleaners. You might also have to buy a larger vehicle like a truck or van to take you, your staff, and cleaning tools to the job site and back.

When you are mulling about how to start an office cleaning business, don’t forget to consider getting insurance. Basic liability insurance will save your company from financial liability in case something is damaged during one of your cleaning jobs. When you or your staff need to clean offices, you have to move equipment like copy machines, computers and furniture. If anything is damaged, you can fall back on insurance to pay for the damages instead of paying for them from your own pocket.

Don’t forget to register your cleaning company as a legit business. Pay taxes, get permits and get all legal documents in order. Not doing so can cause big problems for your business later on. It might be a good idea to hire a lawyer and an accountant to get these documents in order. A lawyer can also help you draft an office cleaning contract for clients and prepare waivers and other legal documents.

Marketing is also a major part of how to start an office cleaning business. It is what’s going to bring in customers and help you earn money. Without marketing and advertising, no one will know you exist. There are still a lot of stuff to learn in the cleaning business. Find out as much as you can before you open an office cleaning company. It will save you a lot of costly mistakes later on.

Discover how to start an office cleaning business, get more information about how to make an office cleaning contract at StartingAnOfficeCleaningBusiness.com.

Paris, May 2014 – 069
office home business
Image by Ed Yourdon
(more details later, as time permits)


In the spring of 2014, we came to Paris for a week of relaxed vacationing, mostly to wander around and see some old familiar places. It was a “return” trip for both of us, though in my case I think it’s probably been more than 15 years since I was even here on a business trip.

Business trips to any city don’t really count as a “visit” — since they basically involve flying into a busy airport at night, taking a taxi to a generic business-traveler’s hotel (a Hilton in Paris looks just like a Hilton in Cairo), and then spending several days working in the hotel (if the purpose of the trip was a seminar or computer conference), or at a client’s office (also “generic” in most cases — you can’t even tell what floor you’re on when you get off the elevator, because every floor of “open office” layouts is the same). The trip usually ends in the late afternoon or evening of the final day, with a mad dash back to the airport to catch the last plane home to NYC. Thus, a business trip to Paris is almost indistinguishable from a business trip to Omaha. Or Albany. Or Tokyo.

But I did make a few “personal” visits to Paris in the 1970s and 1980s, so I looked forward to having the chance to walk through some familiar places along the Left Bank. I’m not so interested in museums, monuments, cathedrals, or other “official” tourist spots (but yes, I have been to the Eiffel Tower, just as I’ve been to the Empire State Building in NYC), so you won’t see any photos of those places in this Flickr set.

As a photographer, I now concentrate mostly on people and street scenes. The details of the location don’t matter much to me, though I do try to geotag my photos whenever I can. But for the most part, what you’ll see here are scenes of people and local things in Paris that made me smile as I walked around …

Watch the BEFORE video here:

Phase 1 is complete! I love the changes I’ve made so far. Things are so much more functional. There will be more changes coming soon! For example, I want to make a larger top for the new island and maybe put wheels on it. I need to do something about the unsightly blue cord going around the room and other things, mostly having to do with decluttering. But, I am so happy having my photography area next to the computer now. Before, I was photographing in my kitchen dining area where I could lay things out on the island in there, but this is making things so much more efficient and it really helps me with focus.

Hope you found something inspiring here!
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Is A Home Business The Easiest Way To Start A Business?

Imagine having your own business. You have become a self made man or woman. For many this is a distant dream. Is there hope in small business, and even in a home business? So many people forget the benefits of owning their own home business, and how easy it can be to start. Join me, as we take a look at home business.

Most people will think that a business is a bricks and mortar business. That it needs to be in an office space or retail space, and have an original product or idea. Though this is true, it is not the only way to get into business.

In fact to start a home business is to have the same chances for success than if you got big financing, and office or retail space. If we consider for a moment the differences, it will show how startling the find is.

A business in retail space needs several things before it can get its first customer. It needs a big business plan. So the entrepreneur labors hard to create a shinning business plan. He or she takes it to a bank or anywhere that can offer the finance. They take out a loan, then get office or retail space, and now it is time to start.

Seems like a whole of a lot of hassle before you can get into business! So now we consider a home business. But, many people will shun a home business, with thoughts that it is less of a business than if it were in retail space or office space.

What is a business fundamentally? So many people drive cars, and they allow us to go a distance we could not go by ourselves. For example as a person you can only produce so much, thus most people work for someone else. When you become your own boss, and work from home, you get the added advantage that you have a financial vehicle – your home business!

Creating your vehicle could be as simple as coming up with your own idea or you can go with a number of available home business opportunities that can make your life easier. They are ready made, and you can get started with – with very little investment.

A home business needs no high level of finance before you get your first customer. A home business does not need a big business plan, nor does it need you to quit your day job. In fact it is a great way to become an entrepreneur.

Many of the successful businesses we see today, especially in the technology world, we see they were mostly started as a home business in a person’s bedroom, in a spare room, in the garage. That is how I started, in my bedroom I started my business, and can say that it saved me from having to work years before getting seed capital, and I didn’t have to have the weight of extra rent for office or retail space.

Home business makes sense. And can make lots of money. The risk is still there, and the commitment must be just as strong as if you were to become a franchise’ of McDonald’s. Keep at it and succeed.

1’000’s of people all around the world are making money at home. So, why not you? Visit home business ideas and start a home business.

This Has Been One Regular Day
office home business
Image by dusk-photography


10 Reasons To Start A Home Business

1: Tax Advantages

Business Deductions.
To qualify as business deductions, expenses must be reasonable and necessary.
Taxpayers are required to keep accurate books and records.
The records should be complete enough to include types and sources of income, gains, losses, costs, expenses, and substantiation for tax deductions. Your records should include items such as bank statements, cancelled checks, receipts or invoices, credit card statements, diaries and logs. Here are some examples of what you could deduct. Remember…also check with a professional first.

Tax Deductions for Home-Based Businesses
Nobody likes tax time, but owning a home-based business can literally save you thousands of dollars a year in taxes by allowing you to turn personal expenses into legitimate, allowable deductions.

The more tax deductions your business can legitimately take, the lower its taxable profit will be. For example, if you earn $ 100,000 per year from your job and home-based business, combined, but have $ 15,000 in allowable business deductions from your business, you would only pay taxes of your net income of $ 85,000. At 30% tax rate, that could save you $ 4,500 in federal taxes!

We recommend you talk to your accountant about allowable tax deductions, but here are some tax strategies to keep in mind:

Auto Expenses
You can keep track of and deduct all your actual business-related expenses. Again, make sure you get the exact information that applies to your circumstances.

Education/Training Expenses
Costs of training meetings, training programs and manuals, books, online training subscriptions, etc.
Legal and Professional Fees, Fees you pay lawyers, tax professionals or consultants

Business Entertaining
You may deduct a certain % of the cost for entertaining existing or prospective customers, if it is either “directly related” to the business, and business is discussed, or “associated with” the business, and the entertainment takes place immediately before or after a business discussion. (Keep notes of the people involved and the business purpose.)

When you travel for business, you can deduct many expenses, including the cost of plane fare, costs of operating your car, rental cars, taxis, lodging, meals, shipping business materials, dry cleaning, telephone calls, faxes and tips. It’s OK to combine business and pleasure as long as business is the primary purpose of the trip. But if you take your family along, you can deduct only your expenses, just as if you had traveled alone.

Interest and carrying charges on credit cards and business loans are fully tax-deductible.

Computers and Software
Check with your accountant about the rules that apply to your business.

Charitable Contributions are deductible
Rules vary depending on how your business is registered. Get the details that apply to your business.

All expenses involved in advertising or promoting your business are deductible, i.e. business cards, classified ads, yellow pages, brochures and flyers, etc.

Household Expenses
This can be one of your most valuable deductions. To qualify, a percentage of your home must be used “exclusively and on a regular basis” for your business.

Often Overlooked Expenses

Business related long distance services.
Improvement costs to your office space.
A percentage of all household expenses, including property taxes, mortgage interest, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, property maintenance, alarm systems, snow removal, grass cutting, etc.
Office furniture and equipment – Have you purchased any desks, chairs, computers, files, lamps…Up to a certain amount can be deducted in one year.
Homeowner’s insurance, utilities and related expenses based on the percentage of their use in the home office.
Household maintenance – would be deducted on a percentage basis.
Snow removal and lawn maintenance.
NOTE: If there is any possibility you will sell your house within the next several years, talk to your accountant about the tax ramifications.

Note: This list of business expenses is not inclusive. If the item you’re thinking of using as a business tax deduction isn’t on this list, that doesn’t mean it’s not a legitimate business expense. Check with your accountant Business Expenses
* Accounting & Legal fees (related to business activities)
* Advertising expenses
* Automobile expenses
* Bad Debts
* Bank Charges
* Business Taxes & Business Licenses
* Collection Agency fees
* Conference and Convention fees
* Expert Advice (consultant fees, for instance)
* Interest expenses (on money borrowed to run your business)
* Insurance expenses (for buildings, machinery or equipment)
* ISP fees (business use)
* Membership Dues (for business-related organizations)
* Meals and Entertainment expenses
* Office Rent expenses
* Office Supplies expenses
* Postage & Courier expenses
* Private Health Service Plan (PHSP) premiums
* Promotion expenses
* Property Taxes
* Repair & Maintenance expenses
* Salaries of employees – including salaries of family members
* Telephone/Telecommunications expenses
* Travel expenses
* Utilities

More Reasons for working from home.

2: Personal Freedom to come and go as you please.
Did you ever want to just spend a day with your family? Did you ever want to attend a special funeral but you had to work? What about visiting someone in the hospital? Can you just take a few hours off in the day? This is one of the best reasons for having a home business…you are able to manage your own time. This does not mean working less; rather it means flexibility of time scheduling.

3: You get to keep the profit. All of it.
This needs no explanation. If you work hard, if you are committed to your business, you will reap the benefits…and you will also get to keep the profit.

4: No Boss.
The stress of working for an unfair and egotistical boss can be tremendous. It has even been suggested that this kind of stress can lead to heart disease. Work related stress has been the cause of marriage break ups. Some people just cannot come home at night and leave their work related issues AT the office. They bring their concerns, fears and frustrations home with them…and the whole family suffers under this strain. I had a wonderful boss for 25 years. That changed. I work from home now.

5: No stress about co-workers.
Numerous studies show that office stress is associated with susceptibility to illness such as cold and flu including carpal tunnel syndrome. You spend 8 – 10 hours at work. If you do not get along with your co-workers, if there is a lot of office politics these hours 8 hours can seem an eternity. Office politics and employee dissention can eat away at the inner core of your being.

6: You get to raise your own children.
By choosing to work at home, you can choose your own business hours and personal hours to fit your needs. Many successful home business entrepreneurs will also hire nannies to look after their little ones while working in their home office. They love being there for their children and can still devote the necessary hours to their work.

7: You get to be creative.
No one can limit your talents. You can outsource what you are not good at doing. Instead, you can concentrate on what you are good at doing.

8: No rush hour traffic or concerns about driving in bad weather.
Working at home means you wake up and look out the window; you either smile or frown at what you see and go get yourself a cup of coffee. You watch the news; you watch the traffic problems, and then you go to work, at home.

If you have kids at the daycare, you know all too well the stress of getting there on time to pick them up after a long day at work. Daycare workers may love to look after your little treasures in the daytime…but, come a certain time in the evening, and they want your little ones gone. Many daycare workers charge a big fee for overtime, and rightfully so, but many also get very upset when the children are picked up late.

9: Not being tied down by someone else’s demands.
Do you have to work when asked to do overtime? Are you worried about losing your job if you do not comply? Do you feel pressured to work on your days off? Do you make plans to be with your family only to have your boss veto your plans? Working at home means you are able to schedule your own time.

10: Most important…You choose with who you work. You choose how you work.

Always remember, working at home does NOT mean working less.

One very special reason… especially this time of year, to start a home based business is TAX ADVANTAGES! Keep your hard earned dollars out of Uncle Sam’s pocket

My name is Ruth Bird. I have been married for 27 years to my husband
Chris. Chris has been battling the monster, MS, for a number of years. To
visit my home business and tax site, href=”http://www.marketersinmotio.com/articles/tax.htm”>click here.

Angle on the office
office home business
Image by henk.sijgers (on when I can)
Downtown Philly afternoon view from JFK Blvd Schuykill River on the way to Amtrak 30th St Station to go home

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