This week we turn the clock back to 1981. It was the year Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest, the world’s first DeLorean (of Back to the Future fame) rolled off the production line in Ireland and the London Marathon started with 7,700 runners, compared with 38,000 this year.
In Leeds, however, an Otley pig farmer was getting used to the latest technology.
Peter Waterhouse, pictured above, had bought himself a £1,500 computer system to help manage his business.
The 72-year-old, of Poole Bank Farm, usedthe computer for his accounts and to calculate feeding costs for the 80 sows on his farm and thier offspring - often more than 600 animals.
Mr Waterhouse, a former civil servant, who began farming at the age of 55, became interested in computers six months ago, after visiting an exhibition while on holiday in Brighton.
Shortly afterwards he became one of th efounder members of the Leeds Computer Users Group, which boasts a membership of 80, and quickly began to realise the business potential of his new interest.
He said: “It would take me hours and hours each month to work out the accounts and feeding costs manually.”
All farming these days is statistics, and the computer can tell me at a glance, almost how many days each pig has lived before being killed, and how many days between farrowing.”
The picture below, also from 1981, shows writer James Herriot at Austicks bookshop on the Headrow, autographing his latest book ‘The Lord God made Them All’.
He is shown talking and joking to Jennifer Tonks of Guiseley and her daughter, Carolyn, four.