Before I forget, I have had a few queries about this challenge on instagram. The hashtag to use is #SewingTheSeventies2018.
Today marks 1974, a very turbulent year – the Three-Day Week, two general elections, a state of emergency in Northern Ireland and numerous Provisional Irish Republican Army bombings on mainland Britain.
The Three-Day week was introduced by the Conservative Government of Edward Heath as a measure to conserve electricity during another period of industrial action. The coal miners were already on “work-to rule” and threatening all-out strike action. The measures involved cutting electricity to only three days a week to conserve coal and other fuel stocks. There was also an ongoing oil shortage caused by an embargo by members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) targeting nations supporting Israel during the recent Yom Kippur War.
The minutes of the cabinet meeting on 3rd December 1973  bring home the seriousness of the situation:
“If demand for all sources of fuel remains at its present level – a very serious situation would arise in early February. There would be widespread electricity disconnections and some oil consumers would be without supplies for a period……This paper considers measures to reduce demand for all types of fuel so as to postpone the date at which this situation would arise and so as to minimise the damage to industrial production and the distribution of essential goods, to reduce hardship to individual firms and companies and to avoid gross inequities, but yet to bring home to the public the seriousness of the position and the need for all measures of conservation.”
The measures also “prohibited the use of electricity for display lighting and flood lighting and for the heating of commercial and other similar premises” There was also “an anti-hoarding Order.”
The good news is that heating in the home will not been restricted: “Orders to limit the use of domestic heating, seem to be unenforceable, even if we took the undesirable step of taking powers of forceable entry into people’s homes. But the importance of savings on the domestic front makes it essential that there should be further appeals for voluntary co-operation in the home”
Even parliament were not excused from the restrictions:
“THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL said that in the interests of electricity saving, and in order to ease the travelling problems of Members and of Parliamentary staff, it was desirable to consider proposing some temporary changes in Parliamentary hours.”
At a cabinet meeting on 24th January 1974, with the industrial action entering its 4th week, the cabinet discussed the possibilities of relaxing the electricity restriction and returning to a five-day week. It was strongly argued that the restriction could not be endured much longer and “many companies, large and small, would soon be in difficulties, and this could have wide repercussions throughout the economy.”
However the government didn’t want to appear they were relenting to pressure from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
“Relaxation now, would be seen as a sign of weakness on the part of the Government: the miners would be encouraged in their resolve, since a relaxation would be taken as firm evidence that the economy could not stand a three-day week and that the Government, rather than impose even harsher measures, would quickly settle with them. Public opinion would almost certainly see relaxation in face of the risk of a strike as an act of great imprudence.”
No decision was made by the Cabinet at that meeting and on 7 February, Heath called an election for 28 February. 
On 10 February, the miners went on strike and the three-day week continued. The general election resulted in a hung parliament. Labour formed a minority government and brought and end to the strike and the three-day week in March.
Meanwhile, the newly formed Northern Ireland Assembly with a power-sharing executive made up of unionists and nationalists was dissolved. The government re-established direct rule over Northern Ireland after declaring a state of emergency.
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) continued its campaign of violence with extensive bombings on the British Mainland. In June, a bomb exploded at the Houses of Parliament in London.
In October, the Provisional IRA (a sub-group of the IRA) planted bombs in pubs in Guildford frequented by British Army Personnel, killing 5 people. In the following month, 21 people were killed and many others injured in the Birmingham pub bombings.
A second general election was called in October and resulted in a narrow victory for Harold Wilson, giving Labour a majority of three seats.
I’m not been very adventurous with my clothing choice today and have just gone for my Burda dress and purple shirt, just like Saturday’s (1972) outfit.
I did try today to make a pack lunch improvement. I bought some ryvita and took the remains of the Avocado chilled soup and the cottage cheese to use as dips. I do seem to remember that ryvita was a definitely beloved of dieters in the seventies, which might explain why it really wasn’t a filling lunch.
This evening, we are experiencing a power cut. We’re eating our dinner by candlelight . But we’re all cheered up by the Eurovision Song Contest which is held in Brighton this year. It was won by the Swedish group ABBA with their song “Waterloo”.
 Cabinet meeting 3rd December 1973
 Cabinet meeting 5th February 1974
 A collection of photos from 1974 with employees working by candlelight and queuing for bread