Vingt-cinq, Veinte Cinco, Venticinque, Fünfundzwanzig, خمسة وعشرون, पच्चीस – Twenty Five.
It’s the magic number for ABC Selfstore this year – because in April we’ll have been in business that long. Two-and-a-half decades working our socks off to provide the friendliest and best value self-storage experience in London. We’re one of the few family-owned storage operations to last that distance. We haven’t sold out to big corporates, and we haven’t been a fly-by-night operation.
It’s certainly something to celebrate, so we invite you to join us – along with customers past, present and future – as we mark our turning 25…
The world has changed massively over the last 25 years. But it’s stayed the same in many ways too. We’ll be taking a look back and reminiscing about all sorts of events, trends, fashions, crazes, and cults. From Entertainment and Music to Politics and World affairs. From Homes and Living to our use of Technology and Gadgets. We’ll be looking at the bandwagons that went the distance and the flashes in pans that fizzled out.
So let’s start at the beginning. April 1993. The Conservatives were in power under Prime Minister John Major. Economically the country was emerging from a period of low growth. But – markedly different to 2017 – average Mortgage interest rates were running around 6%. That sounds bad compared to today’s historically low rates, but they’d seen a huge drop since some super-scary highs of 1989 – when they went as high as 15%. It was a good month to be starting a business as the Government officially declared the end of the recession – the economy had grown by 0.6%.
The UK Mainland was still under attack from the Irish Republican Army, who detonated a huge truck bomb in Bishopsgate on April 26th, killing a newspaper photographer. It would be another 5 years before the Northern Ireland Peace process would bring an end to such attacks.
In Music, Suede were being lauded as the next big act from Britain, their single Animal Nitrate peaked at No.7 on the official UK Chart – whilst their self-titled album shot to the number one spot on its first day of release and had gone gold by the second day of sales. If you were listening to the Radio, you’d probably be more than a bit bored with The Bluebell’s ‘Young at Heart’ and anything by Whitney Housten who was riding the charts with various tunes from her Hollywood Smash hit movie The Bodyguard.
Technologically, Sony’s new Mini-disc format (released in December 1992) looked set to replace cassette as the next super-compact platform on which to store and record music. 2nd Generation “GSM” Mobile phone networks were being installed across the country as the major Networks – Vodafone, BT Cellnet (which became O2), Orange and One to One (which became T-Mobile) established a whole new consumer marketplace. Since then BT sold O2, T-Mobile merged with Orange to become EE and have subsequently bought by BT, so it is a very tangled web! A new information super-highway, known as the World Wide Web – invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee – was gaining momentum, having been released to the public in August 1991. No one had any idea what it would spawn.
In Fashion, the early 1990s were what one might call post-YUPPIE – the ladies were rocking bodysuits, Jeans were in – but were unflatteringly high-waisted, as were dungarees. Thank heavens the trend for cargo pants was only just around the corner.
At the cinema, it was Jurassic Park that was taking the plaudits (and the box office) by ‘Dinostorm’ (a franchise that also celebrates 25 years in 2018 – and one we’ll look at in detail in a later blog) whilst the late-great Robin Williams was giving perhaps the comedy performance of his career as formidable nanny Mrs Doubtfire.
And, of course, a small family run self-storage business began making room for Londoners as ABC Selfstore opened its doors from a former warehouse in York Way, Camden.