As calendars from 28 years ago are being used again in 2014, what are your memories of 1986?

PUBLISHED: 14:19 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:21 13 January 2014

Hulk Hogans 1986 calendar was listed for £13. Picture: eBay

Hulk Hogans 1986 calendar was listed for £13. Picture: eBay


It’s a blast from the past that can keep you up to date with the future – this year’s calendar matches the exact dates from 1986. STACIA BRIGGS takes a trip back in time to when Sinitta wanted her men to be macho and Lady Gaga was a baby.

15 big news events in 1986

1) The Challenger Space Shuttle exploded 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the death of seven crew members.

2) Mike Tyson won his first ever boxing title making him the youngest heavyweight champion of the world.

3) Pixar Animation Studios opened.

4) Halley’s Comet appeared in the sky.

5) The worst nuclear power plant accident occurred at Chernobyl in the Ukrainian SSR.

6) The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered on television.

7) British journalist John McCarthy, a TV journalist, is kidnapped in Beirut.

8) The M25 circling of London is completed.

9) The Iran-Contra Affair sees President Ronald Reagan’s administration selling arms to Iran, an avowed enemy.

10) Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, commonly known as ‘Mad Cow Disease’) is first identified.

11) A full survey of Loch Ness is carried out to search for the Loch Ness Monster (no evidence found).

12) The South African government censors reporters and the media from reporting unrest throughout the country.

13) Smoking is banned on public transport in America.

14) The Duchess of Windsor – Wallis Simpson – is laid to rest alongside her husband King Edward VIII.

15) The first musicians are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley.

“West End Girls by the Pet Shop Boys is number one. This is funny, because I live on West End and I am a girl.”

Whether it’s more astonishing that West End Girls was a hit almost 30 years ago or that, given the above entry in my diary in January 1986, I would go on to become a writer is up for debate: what isn’t up for debate is that 1986 mirrors 2014 exactly. Every day this year matches its long-lost cousin in 1986: we should have been told – I could have saved a fortune in diaries and calendars.

In 1986 I was, indeed, living on West End in Old Costessey and attending Costessey High School. That year, I saw Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Waterboys, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Mission, The Damned, Billy Bragg and Hawkwind at UEA. I didn’t see Gary Glitter, even though he played UEA twice - I may have had terrible hair, but my taste was better than that.

I had my left ear pierced eight times, took to wearing a long cape and carrying a basket (it was my Little Red Riding Hood phase) and consumed endless cups of tea in the café upstairs at the Indoor Market on St Benedict’s Street (RIP). It was a great year – unless you count the day I tried to bleach my hair and it turned green.

Top 10 songs of 1986

1) Don’t Leave Me This Way: The Communards

2) Every Loser Wins: Nick Berry

3) I Want to Wake Up With You: Boris Gardiner

4) Living Doll: Cliff Richard and The Young Ones

5) Chain Reaction: Diana Ross

6) The Lady in Red: Chris De Burgh

7) When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going: Billy Ocean

8) Papa Don’t Preach: Madonna

9) Take My Breath Away (Love Theme from Top Gun): Berlin

10) So Macho: Sinitta

Whether 2014 will be as momentous – and I very much hope it will be – is yet to be seen. But while my recollections of 1986 might be a little out of date, the dates themselves will match up perfectly with the year ahead.

There is a specific pattern to calendar repeats – if the year in question isn’t a leap year, it will generally repeat itself 11 years later. If a year comes after a leap year, it will repeat itself only six years later. If you want to be pedantic, certain events such as the daylight saving changeovers and the lunar calendar might not match, although the latter may only be an issue if you are a werewolf.

In short, in 2014 you can reuse calendars from 2003, 1997, 1986, 1975, 1969, 1958, 1947, 1941, 1930 and 1919. But it’s the 1986 calendars that have captured people’s imaginations with publishers reprinting vintage photos in celebration and eBay selling calendars from the era that taste forgot in their hundreds.

One Baywatch-inspired swimsuit calendar changed hands for £30, Hulk Hogan’s was listed for £13.25 and bosses at Pirelli decided to release an unpublished set of pictures by prolific fashion photographer Helmut Newton which had been intended for the year 1986.

Five people born in 1986

1) Lady Gaga: despite Gaga being an apt name for a baby, Our Lady of the Outrageous Outfits was actually born Stefani Angelina Germanotta.

2) Robert Pattinson: later to become famous as a whey-faced, red-eyed vampire in the Twilight trilogy.

3) Usain Bolt: the record-breaking sprinter with lightning speed and the golden touch.

4) Lindsay Lohan: the former child model turned actress is now possibly more famous for her rehab visits.

5) Jamie Bell: the Billy Elliot star was born Andrew (and born to dance).

If you’re planning in advance – and hoping to take advantage of the January sales – your 2014 calendar can be reused in 2025, 2031, 2042, 2059, 2081, 2087, 2098 and 2100. An idea: Cliff Richard has announced that his 2014 calendar will be his last, so stockpile and create a lasting legacy for your descendants, all of whom will surely appreciate a picture of Cliff topless on a jet ski, regardless what year it is.

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