Scotlands History

The 1980s

In 1981 the Scottish new town of Cumbernauld became an unlikely movie star in Bill Forsyth’s ‘Gregory's Girl’. Two years later ‘Local Hero’ made a red telephone box in the village of Pennan one of Scotland’s most famous movie locations.

People played Pac-Man and tried to solve the Rubik’s Cube. Music appeared on CDs for the first time and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer was manufactured in Dundee.

Two different sides of Scotland appeared on TV in ‘Taggart’ and ‘Take the High Road’. Annie Lennox became a world famous singer in The Eurythmics, and ‘Don't You (Forget About Me)’ became an international hit for Simple Minds when it featured in the soundtrack of the Brat Pack movie ‘The Breakfast Club’.

Scots writer and artist Alasdair Gray had wrote ‘Lanark’ over a period of almost 30 years. It was first published in 1981. ‘The Wasp Factory’, published in 1984, was the first novel by Iain Banks.

From 26 April to 26 September 1988 the Glasgow Garden Festival at Pacific Quay in Govan attracted thousands of visitors and helped to kindle the regeneration of the Clyde.

On 6 July 1988 an explosion and fire on the Piper Alpha North Sea Oil platform killed 167 men. Only 59 men survived the disaster. On 21 December 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie. All 259 people on board and 11 local people were killed.

  • Photo of a Rubik's Cube, not completed
  • Photo of a carved man's head wearing a helmet and looking upwards

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