We all know that seventies Christmas's were the best! And not just because of the pub crawls on Christmas Eve but because of the seventies Christmas songs! Apart from White Christmas and a few other notable exceptions the seventies invented Christmas. The list is endless but try these to prove the point. Happy Christmas War is Over and Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas time were the contrasting efforts from the ex-Beatles in 1971 and 1979 respectively. Elton John with Step into Christmas in 1973 and Mud's Lonely this Christmas from 1974.

Being a card carrying, greatcoat wearing, long haired hippy my favourite was the single on the left - I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake. Suitably cynical for a seventies teenager it's still one of my favourites and the words were written by the ex King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield whose songs I grew to love later when I was at University.



And then of course there was Slade! Nothing reminds me more of a seventies Christmas than Merry Xmas Everybody and this is my original copy on the right. I saw them live about 1974 but sadly as it was the middle of summer they didn't sing it! However Christmas always starts for us now with a Mostly Autumn gig at The Brook in Southampton and they don Christmas hats and sing covers of Merry Christmas Everybody, I Believe in Father Christmas and Fairytale of New York. With a snow machine this year as well - excellent stuff!

You can't beat Roy Wood and Wizzard - I Wish it could be Christmas Every Day! And it was Christmas one day in August in 1998 when Roy Wood played Cropredy Festival and we all danced to it in the pouring rain! I gloss over such Christmas number ones as Long Haired Lover from Liverpool, and Ernie who of course was the fastest milkman in the West, but they can't be good every year!

Just to counter the likes of Little Jimmy Osmond there were some great Christmas number ones in the seventies which wwere nothing to do with Christmas. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was numnber one in 1975 and Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall was 1979. In 1977, the year of punk, who should top the charts but Wings, with Mull of Kintyre.

The greatest Christmas music of them all of course was from the little old man on the violin upstairs in Yates, who played carols for all the drunken revellers in the balcony bar on our Christmas Eve pub crawl. The pub crawl was as tradional as mistletoe and figgy pudding and for a while used to commence in the Prince Albert in the Victoria Centre. Everyone came back from whatever University they were at and came out with the intention of drinking as much as possible. Yates was a compulsory stop, as was the Salutation, although most other pubs on the way varied from year to year. As an example in 1973 Hank was driving so gave us a lift into town where we met everyone else in the Prince Albert. We then went to Yates's and the Salutation where we seems to have had a continual barrage of either White Christmas or Slade on the jukebox.

Hank gave us a lift back to the top of Carlton Hill and we went in the 69 club where Hodgie fell asleep and was then sick so Webby took him home. I got in about 2.00 am and Santa hadn't been yet! Although he was worth waiting for as that was the year I got my first stereo, and An Old Raincoat Never lets you Down!

On Christmas Eve 1974 we started off in the Prince Albert and went to Yates's, The Bell, The Flying Horse (which is now a shopping arcade!) and The Salutation where we sang carols, talked to girls and generally had a good time. We got the bus back to the Carlton where they had a late license. Olly arrived late, having lost Hodglie and Wiff and was sick. Went for a walk with Dennis and Deke about 1.30 where we sat on the rec, had a three legged race, climbed lampposts, danced jigs, played football with sugar beet and played bunny hover on the cricket field. We must have covered some miles in those days! And on Christmas day we went to Dennis's in the afternoon and played Formula One!

One essential quality you must have when building a seventies website is that you must never throw anything away! This does make for a lot of rooms full of rubbish but makes your site far more interesting! Luckily I am one of those hoarders and below are several original Christmas cards from the seventies. As you can see, the ones I kept are all from girls - I've no idea why! Although you'd better watch out as well boys - I have all the letters we used to write to each other when we were scattered across the country at various Universities and they'll make an appearance one day...

If you click on the card you can readthe messages inside....


Coral and Gwynneth were of course world famous Jesusfreaks and were notoriously full of Peace and love, as was Diane. They even managed to get some of us unruly boys to dabble with Christianity. I remember one evening at the youth club that they used to attend on Carlton Hill when we discussed exorcism with someone who knew all about it - now that was really interesting!


Ellun and Angie and I obviously had a thing about cats! I've no idea now what it was but I think I did know then! Anway I was obviously very privileged to get a card from them as well as from Ellun and Angie.

They were Leeds supporters as well.....say no more. I know you're out there somewhere Ellun - I hope everything is going well for you!

Christine was Anna's french penfriend from the Toulouse exchange trips we had each year. We became friends on her first visit and kept in touch with her for years. Her sister Francoise also started coming over on the exchange visits and signed this card as well. There's a photo of Christine on the balcony page of the website. Diane was my best mate for years. I remember spending hours sat on the bottom step of my parents hall in the freezing cold on the phone to her. And getting a telling off from my dad every time the phone bill arrived! No mobiles and text messages in those days - or central heating! I really can remember the ice on the inside of my bedroom window and heating up pennies on the radiator so I could melt spyholes to look out onto Westdale Lane!

A nice card from Gabbie - very arty! This must have been a card from after I'd left school in one of the periods when we were actually talking to each other! And there's only an envelope from Jayne Sewell although it's obviously more precious than a card, if you look at the contents. That is an orginal mistletoe stalk circa 1972, which was obviously one of the essential implements of a school Christmas!