As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, we’ve been looking back at the year we opened our first Pulman dealership, 1998.
So much happened in 1998 and we’re excited to walk down memory lane with you remembering film and tv giants, firsts in the motor industry and even children’s toys and books.
Throughout 1998 film and television was thriving and some of our best loved shows we still watch today kicked off. Sex And the City, Charmed, Dawson’s Creek and even Will & Grace were released.
And one of the most iconic films of our time, The Titanic, won the Oscar for best picture and topped the UK box office for a whopping 14 weeks and remains one of the highest grossing films of all time.
To make the success of film and television even better, DVDs were launched in the UK for people to enjoy box office favourites at home accompanied by the DVD player.
Cable television was also expanding with the creation of channels such as Sky Sports News, ITV2 and Film Four giving a brand-new way to enjoy television. And don’t forget the challenge of making a cup of tea during the short ad breaks so you didn’t miss a second of your show!
The world of football also experienced some notable events throughout 1998. Perhaps one of the most well-known was David Beckham’s infamous world cup red card for kicking Argentinian player Diego Simeone.
Arsenal was at their peak, winning the Premier League title after their seventh season in the Premier League and their 73rd consecutive season in the topflight of English football.
The Northeast football scene also had some memorable moments for the Magpies and the Black Cats! Newcastle finished 13th in the Premier League and Sunderland finishing 3rd in Division 1.
In 1998 the music industry was booming with the likes of Cher who had the longest running no.1 in the UK with ‘Believe’, the Spice Girls were Christmas no.1 with ‘Goodbye’ and Irish boyband Westlife was formed by Boyzone’s manager Louis Walsh.
The UK also hosted Eurovision at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham with Israel taking the win with ‘Diva’ by Svika Pick.
But perhaps the biggest news to rock the music industry in 1998 was May 31st when Geri Halliwell announced that she would be departing from the Spice Girls weeks before their North American tour due to fall out among the group.
And we also said goodbye to music and acting legend Frank Sinatra who we all know and love for his song ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ and his many famous movies such as ‘Oceans 11’ and ‘Young At Heart’.
The Škoda and Volkswagen brands even gave us some brand-new cars throughout 1998 making for some firsts in the motor industry.
Volkswagen’s first city car, the Lupo, made its debut in 1998 with models ranging from the 1 to the 1.6 litre petrol engine with Volkswagen later engineering the Lupo GTI, E and Sport. It might look cute, but it was the first small car to have a big car quality build!
The Lupo was also affectionately named after the Latin word for wolf and after the Wolfsburg factory in Germany.
Volkswagen also revealed their remodelled Beetle at the start of the year reworking the body work to be more bulbous and developed even more of a quirky personality for one of the most loved cars on Earth.
The Volkswagen Bora was also unveiled in 1998 as the succeeder of the Vento and the sibling to the Golf. The Bora was named after a winter wind that blows over the Adriatic Sea as well as in parts of Greece, Russia and Turkey.
On March 3rd, 1998, Škoda also lifted the curtain on the very first Octavia estate at the Geneva International Motor Show. The new elegant bodywork was loved by experts and customers as a whopping 15% of the Octavia sales were the estate version.
Moving on to some newsworthy events of 1998 and perhaps the one that changed our technological future forever was the launch of Google which has gone from a garage start-up to the world’s biggest search engine making billions every year.
While we’re talking about money, it was the year that Europeans agreed on a single currency, the euro, and the UK released the first £2 coin.
Business was also booming for Starbucks who opened their first UK location which has led to a total of 1,248 today!
The Northeast’s most noteworthy event of 1998 was the completion of the Angel of the North. Standing at 65 feet tall with a wingspan of 54 meters most of us will drive past it’s home in Gateshead daily!
Did you have children in 1998 and name them either Jack or Chloe? Well, these names topped the list back in 1998 and have continued to be popular today!
To give you some childhood nostalgia (and possibly make you feel a little old!) Opal Fruits were rebranded to Starbursts as the UK was the only country in the world to have them branded as Opal Fruits.
The magic continued with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets being released in bookstores across the country further adding to the excitement of the Harry Potter universe.
Did you ever have an interactive Furby? They happened to be the children’s toy of the year in 1998 which isn’t surprising with 1.8 million sales that year alone!
So, there you have it! 25 things that happened in 1998, the year we opened our flagship showroom, how many of them do you remember?
If you want to find out more about our 25th anniversary, and want to celebrate with us, visit our Pulman 25th anniversary web page and discover everything Pulman!