Whether you're a fan or not McDonald's is the biggest restaurant chain in the UK with almost 1,500 venues and 135,000 staff in the UK.

Since the inaugural UK McDonald's opened in Woolwich, London, in 1974, the company has undergone numerous transformations in terms of branding, interior design and menu offerings. Remember The Hamburglar, the McDonald's Playground or even when they served pizza?

For most of us the glory years of a Maccy D was when we were kids, the nostalgia just hits different. Here's some thing you will remember and some you will have totally forgotten about those famous golden arches. And we're loving it!

McDonald's Pizza!

It's true, McDonald's did sell pizzas for a limited period in some restaurants in the mid 1990s as part of a sales and product test. As part of the test the restaurant trialled three flavours - Cheese, Cheese and Pepperoni and the Deluxe (cheese, green pepper, onion, peperoni and more).

Each pizza was eight inches across and cut into four slices. But if you're salivating at the thought of getting your hands on a McDonald's pizza you're in for a disappointment. On their website McDonald's have said they have no plans to reintroduce pizza to their menu at this time.

Squeaky polystyrene boxes

We don't mis these, especially seeing them lying on roadsides, in bushes and generally ruining the environment everywhere you went. But there's a certain pang of nostalgia that comes with these clamshell boxes, and let's be honest they were better at keeping in heat and they didn't fall apart when you stuck your ketchup in them.

They also had an incredibly satisfying squeak when you crushed them

In 1990, McDonald's agreed to stop using foam for their burger packaging. It wasn't until 2018 that they made the promise to eliminate it from their global markets.

Paying less if you ate outside

Although many of the items on this classic McDonald's menu are still staple elements of the menu today, there's no getting away from those prices. I mean, 89p for a big Mac, and another 12p off if you eat it outside.

It's also worth noting that McDonald's breakfast items were not introduced to the UK until 1982 and you could order your eggs scrambled.

Branded ashtrays

It's impossible to even imagine that people used to light up after enjoying a satisfying Big Mac. But that was the case until 2006 when the indoor smoking ban for pubs, shops and restaurants was introduced in the UK in 2006. Until then these ashtrays were on every table in your local McDonald's. Some were made of aluminium while others were made of glass.

The ultimate birthday party

Today the soft play is king of the birthday party venue but back in the day you were the envy of the class if you had a party inside a Maccy D.

In fact they were so popular entire sections of restaurants were made kids areas with venues really geared more towards children.

Epic Happy Meals

McDonald's Happy Meals have contained toys since the 1980s
McDonald's Happy Meals have contained toys since the 1980s

Although Happy Meals had been introduced to the US restaurants in 1979, it took them until 1986 to appear in the UK. Aimed at children, now many of the Happy Meal packaging and toys from the '80s and '90s have become much sought-after collectors items.

Many McDonald's Happy Meals are in collaboration with big name movies or toys offering themed merchandise such as Star Wars, Lego, and Toy Story.

The McDonald's ball-pit

You can still find the odd McDonald's playground but how many remember the almost mythical ball-pit? Well they did exist. Insurance, land costs and simply the need for more seating means most restaurants got rid of their playgrounds, but they were once a hive of activity and a health and safety nightmare

Ronald McDonald and the Hamburgler

The sinister clown mascot is still the face of Maccy D but you just don't seem much of these days, let alone the other fictional characters he hung around with. Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird and The Fry Kids were once a staple on British TV adverts in the '80s and '90s.

Benches with a clown sitting on them

Some branches in the UK were said to have benches outside where you could sit next to the not at all creepy statue of Ronald McDonald with his arm around you. Personally, in this Instagram age, I think it's something that needs to be brought back.

The classic red, yellow and white

There was a time in the 1980s and 1990s when the dominant colours adorning the outside of the restaurant were red, yellow, and white. These days, however, in Europe it's more usual to see the more muted green and yellow branding outside the restaurants, supposedly to reflect the company's commitment to the environment.

One thing that hasn't changed though are the golden arches which are the instantly recognisable symbol of the brand.

Staff looking sharp!

Unlike the modern polo shirt and baseball caps sported by today's McDonald's employees, uniforms back in the 1980s featured striped shirts and small sharply cornered hats, reminiscent of what you see in a classic American diner.