AROnline - Memories : Southampton 1977
Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:03 pm
"It’s 26 July 1977, and the Sainsbury’s petrol station at Lord’s Hill Southampton celebrates its opening day by offering discounted petrol. And for drivers in the middle of tough economic times, any kind of break is a good one. Because as it was, petrol prices were rising rapidly, with unhappy drivers needing to pay almost 75p a gallon for four-star. Before you wonder at how cheap that is, the average salary was £6400 per year, and a house there would cost around £12,000. Those numbers would continue to rise painfully until well into the 1980s.
We’re reminded of the warmth of the day by the fact everyone’s windows are open, even though the clouds are overhead – perhaps we were all more social then. Certainly the fair citizens of Southampton would have been creating an intoxicating mixture of smells and sounds – the Austin Maxi’s warm E-Series engine throbbing away at idle wafting the sweet scent of four-star from its exhaust, while the late Austin 1300‘s A-Series emits a rather more oily odour."