Life as a young adult during the 80’s and 90’s

I was sat chuckling earlier…

Following on from a conversation I had on instagram this morning it got me thinking about life during the 80’s and the 90’s .

In 1990 I was a naive, slightly gobby but harmless 20 years old.

A life before mobile phones.

A life before social media really took off…

I thought I’d share some of my memories from that period with you.

That time we met the mobile

We were once sat in Henry’s Bar .

Henry’s if you aren’t familiar with Sheffield was one of the cities hot-spots. Back then there were only a few bars that were any good for the youngsters ; The Metro , Berlin’s [with its revolving drinks wheel] The Stone House and Henry’s.

Night club wise you had Cairo Jaxx, Isabella’s and Josephine’s.

There was also Roxy’s which was renowned for being a bit on the rough side, or perhaps we were snobs and had ideas of grandeur. I only frequented there once ; on the night they were filming ‘Hit Man and Her’ . It was 1988. I almost got beat up by some drunk out of control woman. I only popped to the toilet for a wee. I never went back.

‘Hit Man and Her’ for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about was a live show filmed in nightclubs up and down the country on a Saturday night. Fun, games and lots of dancing. The hosts were THE Pete Waterman and Micheala Strachan.

So anyway I digress .

It was ritual that every Saturday afternoon the girls would meet up in Henry’s about 1pm for a few cheeky drinks and to add to Bex tea set. [Its not big or clever kids … but every week she would smuggle a cup, or whatever into her bag. Over time she managed to get a full china tea- set!] Before heading home to get ready to come back out again later.

We were sat chatting one Saturday afternoon [probably about boys, we talked about boys a lot] when Bex casually pulled out this ‘thing’. [Bex had a fabulous job in IT flitting between London and Leeds and was always before her time.] It was brick-sized and bulky , with a bloody ariel if I recall and was about the length of her face. She proceeded to start talking into it loudly. People started to turn around while we embarrassingly giggled and told her to quieten down and put ‘it’ away.

That was our first encounter with a mobile phone.


Back in the 90’s if you dated, or had a potential date in the pipeline your contact number would usually be your bloody home telephone number! That meant if they rang there was every chance your Dad might answer !

I found boys would more often than not call me when the 4 of us [ Mum, Dad, my brother and I] were sat having our tea. The phone was on a side table next to the dining table. The dining table where we’d all be eating!!

There was no such thing as a private phone call in our house back then . Mum got great pleasure trying to make me laugh while watching me squirm as I tried to talk without saying much at all!

To make matters worse my dad had a  high profile job at the time which meant a lot of his clients would call him at all hours, at home. With this in mind dad insisted we answer the phone “Hello 0114 245678 this is the Herring residence,Tracey speaking. How can I help you? ” I swear down !!! Can you just imagine ?? ! I died a little every time. The boy of your dreams calls and you answer sounding like an absolute muppet!


Contouring … strong eyebrows

Are you having a laugh?

Constance Carol was the favoured makeup brand. We bought it from a stall next to Harringtons within the fish market . ‘Candy pink’ a frosted barbie pink lippie was the sort-after lipstick  and blue mascara was all the rage .

As were perms and quiffs!

I’ll just leave it there!


When you went abroad for 2 weeks on holiday that’s exactly what you did. You got on a plane and nobody saw or heard from you for a couple of weeks. I tell a lie …. your mum would normally get a phone call 2 days into your holiday [when you’d eventually found a phone box with a phone that worked] to say you’d arrived safely!

There was no Facebook back then, so no checking in , or posting daily photos . You basically didn’t exist.

We were a wild, wild bunch of girls. I’m quite thankful that our escapades didn’t get splattered all over the internet.

Which brings me nicely onto the subject of holiday photos!

I would normally borrow my Mum and Dads camera as I didn’t have one of my own. [How funny that 20 years later I have them coming out of my ears.] I was given the strict instructions to be careful with it and to in no-uncertain terms lose it . My life basically depended on that camera coming back in one piece !

I would snap photos mainly during drunken fun-filled nights out . . .with maybe an occasional scenic view thrown in for good measure … you know to show to your gran !

I could never quite remember what I had captured or more importantly if it was any good. There was no way of checking as the preview facility didn’t exist back [or if it did that camera was out of our price -range.] You had to just hope you’d done a good job !

In the 80’s and 90’s most cameras took film. You bought a film with either 24 or 36 exposures on it. When one film was used up you took it out, put it somewhere safe , and inserted another film. You guarded that film like gold dust because it contained all your holiday memories.

Only when you had been home a few weeks would you discover whether the photos you had taken were in fact any good. Holiday films had to be taken into Boots or your local Jessop’s where they would be sent away for development.

When we eventually got our photos back a week or so later we [ the girls] would arrange to meet up and look at them all together . This usually involved more alcohol, as we reminisced and laughed at the pictures.

Seriously … I’ve laughed until I’ve almost wet myself.

The double chins . The headless shots. The blurred photos. The knicker shots. The snogging shot. Hugging people we didn’t even recognise shots ! The did you really do that shots!

It was always a surprise, be it a good or a bad one . In most cases it was usually bad but hilarious all the same !

Yes …

life back then was certainly a little antiquated in comparison to today.

Selfies weren’t a thing but crappy holiday photos were. We didn’t constantly ‘check in’ what went on tour stayed on tour. We weren’t preened to perfection , to be honest we probably looked like a set of dolls heads … with bubble perms

But you know what …

I wouldn’t change it for a single bloody thing !

Tracey x

14 thoughts on “Life as a young adult during the 80’s and 90’s

    • lizandtracey says:

      Thankyou for popping across and having a read. They weren’t bad days were they … l wouldn’t have changed a thing.

  1. beereaderbooks says:

    I bloody love this T!!
    Growing up in the 80s/90s was hard but somehow feels much easier than it looks for kids today.
    Also, I’m surprised anyone’s eyebrows survived the 90’s!

  2. Steph says:

    What a blast from the past and such happy days, and yes the joys of looking through your photos once they’d been developed! And so funny, we used to go to get our constance Carroll sticky lipgloss from a stall near our fish market too, urggh, I could never stand the smell.
    Nice one Tracey, brought a smile to my face!

    • lizandtracey says:

      Awww thanks for popping across Steph to have a read and I’m glad you enjoyed it .
      We always think we didn’t have it so good, but I kinda think they were the best times. I was giggling writing it.
      Have a lovely weekend xx

    • lizandtracey says:

      THE best days … Aren’t you dying to see what’s on them? I think I’d have to sneakily get them developed .
      I used to love the fact when you went away , you did. You were out of contact for 1 or 2 whole weeks … bliss x

  3. mummabstylish says:

    OH how lovely, what a little trip back in time I had! Wasn’t that the best to go away and not talk to anyone whilst away? It’s true we got ‘lost’ didn’t we. Yes also one phone, which went with my step-dad’s job, so we couldn’t be one there for long! It was in the hall though, so a bit of luck there, lol. You’re photos are wonderful, I can see you’ve had a great time with your friends.I would love you to join my #chicandstylish #linkup today. (every Thursday actually) Jacqui Mummabstylish

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