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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Your 1960s moments
Bobby Moore and the Queen
Where were you when this happened?
The Magazine is compiling a people's history of modern Britain - featuring your written memories and photos. We continue with the 1960s.

It was the decade of sexual liberation and the start of the British love affair with shopping.

But for many of you, it is not the huge cultural changes of the 60s that stick in the memory.

Instead it's the events and personal moments.

Here is a selection of your comments.


I was at the '66 Final and apart from the game two things stand out. 1.It rained all the way from the station to Wembley and 2.At a hot dog stall a German supporter gave a 5 note for his hot dog and got no change!
Terry O'Brien, London

YOUR 60s MEMORIES
I had been told Beyond the Fringe 'set the audience up' by remaining seated at the start when the National Anthem was played. I happened to go on the night the Her Majesty went and wondered what they would do. Sure enough they did remain seated at the very beginning and then rose rather sheepishly after a second or two.
Chris Willis, Essex

When I was born, May 1960, BR had just taken delivery of its last steam engine, and most trains were steam-hauled. The last British battleship, HMS Vanguard, still existed (although she was sent to the scrapyard in August that year). If a Victorian engineer had inadvertently been transported in time to 1960, he would probably have recognised a lot of British industry's machinery. One of my earliest memories is going by train from Pleasington station, near Blackburn, back to Preston with my mother. I was three or four. It was an autumn evening, dank and foggy. As we went down the stairs to the platform, a filthy freight engine clanked through slowly with a long, long train of empty coal trucks. I watched them bump through the station as the steam and smoke rolled around the platform in the gas-lit gloom- ah! That smell - I remember that more clearly than anything. And the gas lighting lasted (I think) until they introduced North Sea gas in 1968.
Simon Higgins, Liverpool

My memories contain mostly memories of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, I had been to a show at the club called The Scene to see the Stones, they had been around for about a year, I had long hair at the time and a friend and myself had bumped into the group at the back exit including the late Brian Jones. We got chatting to them until about 50 or more girls saw them and began to run towards them. Why, I do not know, I started to run with the Stones until I realised what I was doing and came to a halt after about 200 yards and the girls went running past. Phew.
Dusty Miller, London

Sitting in a car trying to get a clear signal from Radio Caroline on a old AM car radio. Back in days when the BBC only had the Light Program, and Home Service, and no doubt Wogan was still working in the Bank!
Barry Capon, Cradley Heath West Midlands

I have two major memories of these times. First was passing the 11+ which was my movement from the 1950s to the 1960s, and second was travelling home from school on the now defunct train, hearing some tearful schoolgirls bemoaning the rumour that the BBC had banned "Please Please Me".
John Wright, Invergordon, Scotland

We were married at (Easter) April 1960 and had our first child in January 196l. In June 1960 my husband was one of the last to be called up for National Service. In June 196l he did not, as expected, arrive home for week-end leave. It was some days later I received a post card from 'somewhere in England' with no real explanation as to what had happened. It was a couple of weeks before I knew that he had been sent to Kuwait. Previous to his call-up he had been in a well-paid job. His army pay was 18 shillings per week - this meant that I had to send him five shillings to make up the 25 shillings train fare home. I was very fortunate that I had the support of my parents and my husband's father.
Patricia Nolan, Litherland Liverpool Merseyside England

My memories of the sixties are dominated by events. The deaths of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, World Cup 1966 and the man on the moon. I well remember being able to walk miles and miles in the country side with no safety worries. It was a time before a lot of these areas were built on. At the age of 11 my 14-year-old neighbour and I travelled to York from Doncaster, train-spotting. We were there all day and came back filthy. Social Services would have a fit if that happened today. I remember the Beatles and now every song seems to bring back a different memory. It was a time when youth could be heard and express themselves. A period that changed everything after the stilted and dull fifties.
Charles Day, Doncaster South Yorkshire.

On 16 May 1968 the SE corner of Ronan Point collapsed following a minor gas explosion. My investigations as a young architect starting that day into why it happened led me to the Public Inquiry, working with Paul Foot on Private Eye, Joan Littlewood and John Wells and her production of: "The Projector" unearthing the Poulson Affair and eventually meeting the tenants of Ronan Point itself in 1983. My surveys led to its creative demolition between 1986-87 when serious structural defects were found as I had predicted in 1968. The men of my grandfather's and father's generation who fought in two wars were promised "Homes fit for Heroes". They didn't deserve Ronan Point.
Sam Webb RIBA, Canterbury Kent

In late July 1966, my sister and I went for tea with the little girl who lived next door. It was my sister's birthday party that weekend and she was due to come to it. The little girl subsequently died from an asthma attack - no inhalers then. That weekend my sister still had her birthday party but at a relative's house a few miles away. I vaguely recall a very important football match being on the television that afternoon....
David Periam, Ashley Green Bucks

I remember the Big Freeze in 1963. We were living in Penarth, near Cardiff, and my father took us down to the beach to see the frozen sea. It was all lumpy and brown, like rough sugar cubes, and it creaked. The only house in the road which didn't have frozen pipes was the vicar's and everyone had to go and fill up buckets in his kitchen.
Annabel Casey, Windsor, UK

In Birmingham in 1961 my mother planted daffodil bulbs in the lawn in the shape of the year. "1961 is the same both ways up," she said, "It won't matter which way you look at it you will see it is 1961" Of course my dad mowed the lawn and nobody saw anything. My older sister and twin brothers all got married in the 1960's. All the brides wore flouncy dresses with masses of underskirts and winkle picker white shoes. Their hair was big and backcombed and all of the brides were under 20. My brothers' wives were 16 and 17. The grooms had brushed back, Brylcreemed, hair
David Williams, Uxbridge, Middlesex UK

Amongst my youngest memories are the winter of 1962 in Manchester, when everything was frozen solid for weeks. I can also remember Vulcan bombers flying low overhead from RAF Woodford, freshly equipped with Blue Steel nuclear stand-off bombs clearly visible slung underneath.
Martin Rapier, Sheffield, UK

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were imprisoned for killing children and all the adults were stunned that anyone could do that. Even 20 or so years later my grandma shuddered at the mention of their names and said how evil they were. Compared to the lives my own children lead, mine was pretty simple. I argued with my parents about why we couldn't afford to do some of the things the girls next door could do, but nonetheless, some of our best times were spent playing in the garden with those same girls. It didn't really matter that they went to France and we went to Broadstairs on holiday. When we had a car that would go more than 20 miles an hour we started going further afield. A journey that now takes four hours took nine or ten until the motorways were built.
Janice Fehribach, Massachusetts, USA

I was born in 1958 and raised in Colwyn Bay. I remember things like Winston Churchill's funeral and the 66 World Cup. Playing out from after breakfast till tea time, often walking all the way to Llandudno & back creating mischief along the way. Multiplication tables by rote. Smacked by the teachers then smacked again by my parents for upsetting the teachers. At the end of the decade we got a colour TV. Pure luxury.
Andy Williams, Holyhead

Youth caught up in Suez dazzled by the 60s. Riding my bike at 16 with no lights and getting told off by the local copper. Watching the police officer directing the bewildering traffic coming from all directions on Fratton Bridge. Later riding my Lambretta. Mini skirts, tenpin bowling and the Rock and Roll era, Beatlemania, velvet collars, hush puppy shoes. Buying 4 gallons of petrol and telling the pump attendant to keep the change from a 1.
Phil Kidby, Portsmouth, England

One of my sharpest memories of the 1960s is of being scared witless outside my parents' house one winter night. As I pushed my Lambretta into the yard, a dark figure, tall and powerfully built, emerged from the shadows and confronted me. I was about 19 at the time and a little worse for Red Barrel (or was it Double Diamond?). It took me several agonising seconds to realise the helmet on this person's head belonged to our friendly local policeman. 'Just keeping a eye on the neighbourhood, old son,' he said in a reassuring tone of voice. For all that, it was a while before I was breathing normally again. I suppose it says something about the 'majesty of the law'. What's more, I could not have complained then, as people do now, that there were no coppers on the streets.
James Hole, London, UK

In the summer of 1964 there was a rumour that there would be another Beatles Christmas show. I pestered my mother to apply for tickets, and we got 4 in the middle of the front row. I went with my mother, my sister Penny and my best friend Madeleine. I wanted to wear make-up, but my father made me take it off. The concert was fab! We all screamed so I don't think we heard much of the music. People threw jelly babies onto the stage, as apparently they were the Beatles favourite sweets. George was my favourite Beatle and I was sad when he died, even after so many years.
Caroline Turnbull, Woking, England

Born in 1950, great to be a teenager in the 60s: the Marquee Club in Wardour St, waiting for a glimpse of Paul Jones of Manfred Mann and the Stones outside their respective fan club HQs, the mini skirt first time around - belting out "Dancing In The Street" with girl friends, my mum's shock at a boy friend with very long hair! But when I married and moved to Luton in 1968, there was a home for Unmarried Mothers and Babies just around the corner - so the permissive society hadn't quite made it outside of London!
Sylvia Kent, Milton Keynes

My most immediate recollection of the 1960s is the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. I was 17 and not long out of school, and remember wondering if I would ever have the adult life I had been preparing for. Having thankfully just missed WWII, and despite the more recent rise of global terrorism, never before nor since have I felt so directly and immediately affected by World politics.
John Pencavel, Glenrothes, Scotland

I was in junior school in Nottingham in 1966. All the boys were given the project of completing a World Cup Scrapbook and the girls were asked to complete one on flowers. There was an absolute uproar amongst us girls and in the end the whole class got to do a scrapbook on the England Team!
Helen, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Dad was a mental health nurse. Before kids, Mum had been a nurse too. We lived in the houses attached to a hospital in rural Northumberland. In 1963 we were isolated by a heavy snowstorm and unable to get to school, an enforced and very welcome holiday. On TV, we saw helicopters dropping food to animals stranded on the moorlands but, despite our hopes, that didn't happen near us. After a day or so, a bulldozer arrived on the road outside the hospital, laboriously working its way along the road to rescue us. We weren't pleased -- until we noticed that its caterpillar tracks left a compressed slab of snow about 2 ft by 1 ft and two or three inches deep. The driver wasn't pleased as we ran behind the plough collecting these 'bricks' but he soon gave up complaining and left us to build an impressive snow fort before he'd moved on beyond our reach.
Paul James, Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Listening in bed to pirate radio with my 'trannie' under my pillow was a highlight of my pre-teen years. Johnnie Walker on Radio Caroline playing Percy Sledge & Chris Montez each night & John Peel's Perfumed Garden on the Big L (if I could only stay awake until midnight!) I was so upset when the government forced the pirate's closedown in 1967 and Radio 1 that eventually replaced it was so 'safe'. My musical education was completed by reading NME illicitly and keeping it in my schoolbag.
Ailsa, Croxley Green, UK

We came back to the UK from Malaysia in 1961 and at the start lived with my parents in their Stockwell council flat. It got a bit cramped so after a month or two we moved out to a series of rented bed-sits in Bayswater. Those were the days when cards in the tobacconists' windows advertised accommodation to let with the hard-to-believe tag-line "No blacks, Asians welcome". Thank God those days have gone! Eventually we got an Edwardian flat in Maida Vale above a sweet shop. We had a load of Malay friends who all lived locally and we had some wild parties in the flat. We crowded up to 70 people in the lounge and when that lot started dancing (the Twist had just become the thing) we could feel the old timber floor flexing up and down. Nightmare visions of crashing through and landing among the sweets downstairs!
Stuart Garrett, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia





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