SOME disillusioned soul once claimed that if the 1960s were a party, the 1970s were the inevitable hangover.

Although a memorable and quotable line, it hardly does justice to either decade.

The British 1960s may be remembered as the decade of the Beatles, psychedelia, and Carnaby Street, but they were also years of social upheaval and strife between generations.

Conversely, the term "1970s Britain" conjures images of strikes, strikes, more strikes and sneering punk cynicism, but there was still time for plenty of fun and silliness.

Anybody who was a child or teenager in the 1970s was profoundly affected by the experience. That's why it's scarcely possible for two or more of that generation to gather together without the conversation soon turning to off-the-hip flares, kipper ties, mutton chop sideburns, On The Buses and everything else that has made 1970s nostalgia as big an industry as 1960s nostalgia.

Interested in the 1970s? You can read the book, see the film and buy the T-shirt - and then view the TV series and visit the websites.

Swindon and the surrounding communities had their fair share of being touched by national events.

People sweltered through the scorching, ladybird-plagued summer of 1976; they waved their paper flags with pride during the Queen's Silver Jubilee the following year; they saw local industries touched by the economic malaise that led to Britain being referred to by many economists as "the sick man of Europe".

The younger ones screamed for the Osmonds and the Bay City Rollers and later donned bondage trousers and put safety pins through their noses.

The decade was a period of profound change on a more local level, too. The replacement of countless old town centre buildings gathered pace, as did their replacement by shiny new ones.

David Murray John, credited to this day with equipping the town for its future as a high-tech manufacturing powerhouse, died in 1974, but the tower that bears his name stood like a sentinel over the realisation of his plans.

And residential growth continued. Districts such as Dorcan, Liden, Eldene and Covingham were completed. Meanwhile, the opening of a crucial new motorway in 1971 gave birth to the M4 Corridor.