The Thatcher Crisis Years

An era of protest and fury

De Lorean Laker

During the economic collapse between 1979 and 1983 overseen by Margaret Thatcher, many household name brands disappeared.

In 1982, there were over 12,000 company liquidations – two and a half times more than 1979. Personal bankruptcies were also up about 60% over that period. So, what household name brands were destroyed at this time?

In the air industry, Laker Airways was grounded on 5 February, 1982. Sir Freddy Laker had been a well known face on TV pioneering the idea of cheap flights between London and New York.

DISCOVER: Shocking attitudes to race in the early 1980s

This was a time when the idea of going to the United States was a dream for most people. He launched the “Skytrain” in 1977 and introduced the idea of movies on flights – unheard of before then. Despite his entrepreneurial flair, he could not survive Maggie’s recession.

In the clothing sector, names such as Janet Reger (underwear), Morland (sheepskin), Libro (leisure wear) and Alligator (rainwear) went bust. In the retail sector, some big prestige brands closed their doors for the last time.

This included Swan and Edgar, Timothy Whites, Dicky Dirts, Supasave and the ultra-chic Biba brand. In the world of shoes, it was goodbye to Norvic and Mr Henry.

The toy sector was completely decimated in the UK. Airfix came unstuck – a company that had provided us with model planes and historical figures to glue together throughout our childhood. The auto sector saw big cuts at the nationalised car maker British Leyland. But it was also cheerio to the iconic De Lorean and Hesketh motorbikes.

Even the world of sports wasn’t spared with Wolverhampton Wanderers football club and Hull City rugby league club facing the cliff edge at that time.

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