How We Lived In England: 1970s

Photographer John Myers’ work is relatively unknown but is considered superb among his contemporaries. Myers would typically photograph men, women, and children on their own, but also occasionally in groups. This selection is from a project showing ordinary people in their own homes or workplaces during the early 1970s.

I was interested to see quite a few large indoor plants, as I remember having those in my house at the time. Some of the subjects are also smoking, which would be less common today.
(All photos are copyright of John Myers)

A teenage girl in her bedroom. Obviously a Donny Osmond fan.

This elderly man is proud of his display unit.

A fashionable lady with a good supply of cigarettes to hand.

The young girl is dwarfed by a houseplant.

The car dealer is showing his patriotism.

A young girl wrapped up well against the cold.

A teenage boy next to his large cactus plants.

This housewife is photographed in her rather bleak back yard.

In many homes, the fireplace was still the main feature of living rooms. This lady is next to hers, but her chair is too big and her feet cannot touch the floor.

The boy is playing football alone in the small back yard of his house.

58 thoughts on “How We Lived In England: 1970s

  1. (1) I attended an Osmond Brothers performance in a small theater in Branson, Missouri back in 1996, and chatted with them afterwards. Donny and Marie had a residency in Las Vegas for years. I think Donny still performs, but without his sister.
    (2) That elderly man has a lot on his plate.
    (3) The fashionable lady doesn’t know how to match furniture.
    (4) Is this a scene from “Little Shop of Horrors” that ended up on the cutting room floor?
    (5) The car dealer is actually a member of SPECTRE. He only displayed the Union Jack after discovering the presence of a suspicious government plant.
    (6) A farewell to arms.
    (7) I feel like needling that boy for going with the plant trend.
    (8) Bleak lives matter.
    (9) All she has to do is raise the floor. #SimpleSolutions
    (10) “I don’t need a photographer. I need a goalie.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen Donny on TV here recently. He was plugging something on a chat show. I confess that group gave me the creeps, and I would never have watched them, or bought their records.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Fireplaces were always the ‘thing’ in my youth. By 1968, we had central heating, and no fireplace. My parents put their ‘stuff’ on the widow ledges instead. Now it is 2023, and I am doing the same thing. Nothing changes!
      Best wishes, Pete.


  2. I smoked Camel non-filtered cigarettes from the time I was 14 until just a few years ago. I have been smoke free ever since. My Dad was a Chesterfield smoker and I did try some “Players” once but found them too strong for my tastes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were no props other than what was already in their houses, Geoff. And I can tell you from personal experience that those rooms are very typical of England in the 1970s, at least in working class homes. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. The lady with the black hair and shoes sits on a settee exactly the same as my parents had. We had large indoor plants too, but I had David Cassidy and T. Rex posters on my bedroom wall instead of Donny Osmond.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice one, Pete! Now, here’s a thing. In 1974, when I was 14/15, I had EXACTLY THE SAME SHOES as the woman in the third photo. They were my school shoes. Different tabs, though. I smoked Rothmans in the 70s.

    Also, in my first rented place on leaving home (1979), I had a cheese plant in the corner like the fourth photo … as did most people I knew!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to bring back the memories, Terry. I was 22 in 1974, and also smoked Rothmans at the time, later switching to Marlboro and Lucky Strike. By 1977 I was married, and my first wife cultivated huge houseplants all around our house. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


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