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 Eighties 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.

New videos added 1 August 2019.

  • Video title screen

    Stonehaven motor racing

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    On site Torness

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Yeti hunter

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Prince Charles

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Mòd Festival

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Red Adair

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Miners' strike

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Princess Diana in Dundee

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

    Video page
  • Video title screen

    Shetland knit

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

    Video page
    • Video title screen

      Aberdeen Public Library

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

      Video page
    • Video title screen

      Shinty stick maker

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

      Video page
    • Video title screen

      Banking terminals

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

      Video page
      • Video title screen

        Frankie Miller

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

        Video page
      • Video title screen

        NHS staff strike

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

        Video page
      • Video title screen

        Bingo hall

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

        Video page
        • Video title screen

          Scotland — a marketbase in Europe

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Mixed marriage

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Video piracy

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Vegetarian cafe

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          FERGIE!

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Clyde Film

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          The Murchison project

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Escape to freedom

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Margaret Thatcher speech

          She expresses her views on Labour policies, 1985.
          Theme: UK politics

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Kirkintilloch Lion Foundry

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Birth of a new sound

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Different valley

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Winnie Ewing

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Pitlochry theatre

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Elgin textile factory tour

          Margaret Thatcher visit, 1983.
          Theme: Economics and employment

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Aberdeen FC victory

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

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          BP Magnus oilfield

          George Younger interview, 1983.
          Theme: Economics and employment

          Video page
        • Video title screen

          Glasgow Garden Festival

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

          Video page

Essay themes

The videos are presented under six themes: international relations, UK politics, economics and employment, science and technology, society and popular culture.

All the themes