The Berlin Wall, The Simpsons and the Carfulan Group – why 1989 was a particularly memorable year

In 1989, in a small corner of Derbyshire, a business called Independent Calibration was set up, its mission to offer services to co-ordinate measurement machine users.

But while the humble wheels of what would become the Carfulan Group were set in motion, what else was happening in a year that was the bookend to a decade of significant global change?

The Carfulan Group

We take a look…

1. The demolition of the Berlin Wall – during the early years of the Cold War, West Berlin was a geographical loophole through which thousands of East Germans fled to the democratic West. In response, overnight on August 13, 1961, the Communist East German authorities built a wall that totally encircled West Berlin, dividing family and friends.

In 1989, a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries caused a chain reaction that ultimately resulted in the wall’s demise. To jubilant scenes, on November 9 of that year, crowds finally crossed the wall as it fell.

2. Now that’s what I call music – the music scene was dominated by the likes of Paula Abdul, Richard Marx and Milli Vanilli, who each scored more than one chart-topping hit that year. Other memorable tunes included New Kids on the Block’s Hangin’ Tough, Eternal Flame by The Bangles and Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears.

3. The Simpsons – d’oh! The politically incorrect and highly dysfunctional cartoon family, hailing from the fictional US town of Springfield, appeared on our television screens for the first time. It was also the year that saw the first episode of Baywatch screened, a series which followed the adventures of a team of beach lifeguards and starred David Hasselhoff.

4. The year of the sequel – the big screen was crowded with sequels, among them new iterations of Lethal Weapon, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, and Karate Kid. Licence to Kill, the 16th James Bond movie and the last to star Timothy Dalton, also proved a hit.

5. Hatches and dispatches – some famous names left us in 1989, among them the surrealist painter Salvador Dali and stage and screen actor Laurence Olivier. Born that year was Daniel Radcliffe, the English actor best known for his portrayal of Harry Potter in the series of films about the boy wizard’s adventures.

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