Back to the future: 1979-1989

Watch and listen

Experience the 1980s in glorious technicolour and sound with a selection of films from our Moving Image Archive.

All videos

Rewind your VHS to experience the 1980s on video. Relive the football triumphs, remember the prominent politicians and revisit the trends and stories of the decade. All these films and more can be accessed from our Moving Image Archive.

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    Stonehaven motor racing

    A local auto cross event in action, 1983.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    On site Torness

    Peaceful anti-nuclear demonstration, 1979.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Yeti hunter

    Bill Grant describes searching Asia for the famous creature, 1983.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Prince Charles

    Footage from the Trooping the Colour ceremony in Duthie Park, 1982.
    Theme: Society

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    Mòd Festival

    Performances and awards from the Glasgow event, 1988.
    Theme: International relations

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    Red Adair

    The American firefighter learns about safety at a Montrose oil field, 1981.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Miners' strike

    Mick McGahey speaks to the press, 1981.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Princess Diana in Dundee

    A visit to Keiller's marmalade factory, 1983.
    Theme: Society

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    Shetland knit

    Woollen goods at Sandness mill, 1988.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Aberdeen Public Library

    Scenes from a typical day among the bookshelves, 1986.
    Theme: Society

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    Shinty stick maker

    A Highlands crofter describes his craft, 1983.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Banking terminals

    Making new-style cash registers in Dundee, 1983.
    Theme: Science and technology

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    Frankie Miller

    The Scottish singer-songwriter is interviewed, 1981.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    NHS staff strike

    Workers on the picket line, 1981.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Bingo hall

    Preparing for a night of bingo at the Tivoli theatre, 1986.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Scotland — a marketbase in Europe

    Industrialists discuss setting up business in Scotland, 1979.
    Theme: International relations

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    Mixed marriage

    An STV current affairs documentary piece about the marriage of a Catholic woman and a Protestant man, 1985.
    Theme: Society

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    Video piracy

    A recording for Grampian TV news includes shots of a video shop and an interview about video piracy, 1983.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Vegetarian cafe

    Scenes from Aberdeen's 'Jaws' vegetarian cafe, 1983.
    Theme: Society

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    FERGIE!

    Documentary about Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen FC, around 1980.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Clyde Film

    Community group film of the Cranhill district of Glasgow, 1984.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    The Murchison project

    A film study of the stages of development of a new North Sea oil rig, 1980.
    Theme: Science and technology

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    Escape to freedom

    Amateur documentary about the arrival of Vietnamese refugee families in Lanarkshire, 1981. Theme: Society

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    Margaret Thatcher speech

    The former Prime Minister on Labour policies, 1985.
    Theme: UK politics

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    Kirkintilloch Lion Foundry

    Footage of the foundry before it closed, 1984
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Birth of a new sound

    Amateur film about the opening of the independent radio station, Radio Tay, 1980.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Different valley

    A video filmed over six years about the construction of the Megget Valley reservoir and dam, 1983.
    Theme: Science and technology

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    Winnie Ewing

    The Scottish National Party politician is interviewed for Grampian TV news, 1983.
    Theme: UK politics

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    Pitlochry theatre

    Footage of the theatre's opening gala, 1981.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    Elgin textile factory tour

    Margaret Thatcher visit, 1983.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Aberdeen FC victory

    Aberdeen football club parade the European cup, 1983.
    Theme: Popular culture

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    BP Magnus oilfield

    George Younger interview, 1983.
    Theme: Economics and employment

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    Glasgow Garden Festival

    Scenes from the festival and the city centre, 1988.
    Theme: Popular culture

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1980s themes

The videos are presented under six themes: international relations, UK politics, economics and employment, science and technology, society and popular culture. You can also find essays written on each of these themes.

All the themes