LOSE YOURSELF IN 1972
YOUR FLEXIBLE FRIEND
Although credit cards had been introduced in the mid-1960s, with the pioneering Barclaycard, one of its more famous rivals was launched this year. The Access card was created by a consortium of banks, including the National Westminster, Midland, Lloyds and the Bank of Ireland, to tackle the wellentrenched Barclays leader. It became successful – remember when its green and orange signs used to be everywhere on shops? – partly due to some well-known advertising campaigns, including the Your Flexible Friend animations and the annoyingly catchy ‘Does you does, or does you don’t take Access?’ jingle. The name lasted until 1996, when MasterCard took over.
BETJEMAN FOR LAUREATE
One of the country’s bestloved wordsmiths, Sir John Betjeman, became Poet Laureate in October, a role he held until his death in 1984. Known for his gentle nature, often dishevelled appearance, sublime eccentricity and wonderful humour, Betjeman’s poems were evocative and charming celebrations of a Britain fast disappearing. He was an enthusiast of Victorian architecture and railways, when both were poorly regarded; without him, London’s St Pancras Station would probably have been demolished. He was much less keen on Slough though, famously extolling the idea of friendly bombs coming and falling on it.