The Specials – Ghost Town
For a three year period in the late 70s and early 80s my parents moved to the Hertfordshire new town of Hatfield. For those of you who haven't been, Hatfield consists of a tudor-era mansion (Hatfield House – the site of Elizabeth I finding out about her succession to the throne, and of the shooting of the Adam and the Ants video Prince Charming), and a new town built in the 1950s and 60s that gives Watford the cultural air of Venice.
The early 1980s were a time of great social unrest as the beginnings of Thatcher's Chicago School monetarism experiment started to take their toll. The streets of Toxteth and Brixton were alight with rioting. The Hill Top Shopping Parade also suffered at the hands of rioters, with at least two stores being subjected to arson. I doubt that it was undertaken as an act of aesthetic protest, but looking back it probably should have been.
In the summer of 1982 we moved back to Watford. Ghost Town stands as an eerie reminder of three years in what could affectionately be thought of as a complete dump.
Number one on my birthday in 1981:Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure which strangely seems like it should have come from a few years later…
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