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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Your 1960s: New technology
Blue Peter
Televisions were more commonly owned
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 Suez, sexual liberation and the Post Office Tower.

The 60s were also the period when the British began their long-held love affair with shopping, as supermarkets and shopping centres were built.

But it was also a time of fast-changing technology, in the home and in industry.

Here is a selection of your comments.


The London Evening Standard full of jobs - the decline of steam on the railways - a strong sense of social change - the beginnings of cheap travel abroad. Our own music. No mobile phones or computers. Happy days!
Steve Carr, Isle of Wight

YOUR 60s MEMORIES
Television was black-and-white and, for us, remained 405 lines into the early 1970s, with no BBC2 reception and a very poor, washed-out one for ITV. Nonetheless I well remember watching the adventures of Steed & Mrs Peel, Number 6 and a young Ken Barlow.
David Periam, Ashley Green, Bucks

I remember the fashions, the mini skirt, amazing! I suppose most 'old' people like me say the same each generation, but I really enjoyed my years in the 60's it was a great time for technology. When I started in my trade as a radio/TV engineer all the TVs run on old thermionic valves. Just imagine what the power consumption would be these days if TVs were still using them. I remember! Seeing my first colour TV, I went on a course to learn how to service them up in Scotland of all places. I saw the first 'chip' in the colour TV. Then came the all transistor radios, wow, so small and battery driven. Amazing times and I have a lot of very good memories of the music and just the good feel of things in life improving for all of us.
Alex Davidson, Tynemouth, Northumberland

Born in 1960 I clearly remember reading papers like The Mirror and The Sketch on 31/12/69. They were so optimistic, full of things literally crammed with pictures of things like the budding Concorde, The post Office Tower, The Mini (car and fashion), the hovercraft that had made their mark in the 60's and of course England '66. There was a real sense of 'look what we've achieved in the 1960's, just think what we will achieve when all that North sea Oil money starts coming in' Such high expectations for the '70's - that's life!
Steven Williams, Kettering, Northants

One of my strongest memories was looking forward to Christmas Television. The rest of the year TV started at 5pm and end around 11:30pm. On Christmas Eve it started at Noon and on Christmas Day and Boxing Day is started at 9am. This made it special and the programmes were special too most of them with a Christmas theme and on Christmas night a new(ish) film. There wasn't just the same programmes that are on that day of the week anyway like we have today and certainly not the multiple episodes of the soaps we are punished with today. Progress? I think not!
Len Keighley, Bolton/UK

Better Black & White TV pictures (less flicker) and tranny (transistor) radios - 6 in Woolworths, and that included a genuine leather case AND earphone. Fast British motor Bikes like Triumph, BSA and Royal Enfield - the Japs had hardly got going then. It you were earning 20 a week you had arrived and it seemed that almost every week something new and hip was on the scene. Yes, they really were the days.
Christopher Hollis, Bognor Regis

All my memories of the 1960s seem to be in black and white.
Nick, Manchester

Television was revolutionised in the 60s. Starting with old black and white sets that faded to a white dot, with 'Mr Pastry', 'Sooty and Sweep' and 'Doctor Who' - we later progressed to colour; mainly sports programmes at first, in about 1968. We always rented our TVs - they were too expensive to buy. The 60s was the decade in which 'ordinary families' could afford to buy cars. My parents passed their tests in 1965 and I have a photo of them proudly standing next to their first car; a Ford Cortina.
Iain Sankey, London, UK

As a student at London University, I lived in Commonwealth Hall, Cartwright Gardens, Bloomsbury, from where I could see the Post Office Tower gradually rising over many months. Sadly, it wasn't quite finished by the time I left!
Mike Kellett, Cardiff, Wales

I was 11 in 1960. Boys still wore short trousers at primary school, and graduated to long trousers at 11 when you went to secondary school. Television (ITV) was very regional. We lived at the boundary between London ITV and ATV Midland. My mother refused to believe we lived anywhere near the Midlands and had the aerial pointing at London. As a result I had nothing to talk about at school as London was a week or two behind ATV with the popular programs (Batman was particularly bad). As the 60s progressed I grew older, but was banned from attending Chelsea College of science as my parents would not allow me to live on the Kings Road! I listen to them and studied at a different college. I never did find the swinging 60's. Some friends did but I never had the luck.
Nick Morton, Camborne, Cornwall

In the 1960s I was growing up in Congleton, Cheshire. I was actually born in March '61 in Stoke-on-Trent but were advised to move to a rural location due to the air-pollution in Stoke being bad for my health. As a young boy in 60s Britain my strongest memories are of the Apollo space program, seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, watching live TV coverage of the first flight of the British Concorde prototype and being amazed at seeing an E-Type Jaguar on the roads in Cheshire. TV was black-and-white in those days and had only recently switched to 625 lines. I still remember the huge 'X' and 'H' shaped aerials used by the original 425 line system, all the TVs and radios using valves of course.
Stephen Malbon, Staffordshire

Certainly one of my most vivid memories from the Sixties, when I was a small girl, is of hiding behind my mother's chair because I was so scared of the Daleks on Dr Who. Dark coloured rough corded type fabric on the chair, multi-patterned lino on the floor (before we had carpets), the scary Daleks and looking out of the big window at the blue sky. I think I was about 3-5 then.
Vicki Woolf, Bridgwater

We moved to Canada in 1965 when I was 11. When I think of the first half of the 60's I recall our family purchasing our first television so that we could watch that new show - Coronation Street. School milk that was left on the radiator and was lukewarm for our break, school dinners I think they coast 5 shillings/wk - in my experience the meals were good. Didn't enjoy the "afters" so much and would have a teacher standing over me while I forced down the last bite. School uniforms with the summer gingham dresses.
Carol MacDonald, Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Not many months after we had our first TV set (black & white) I recall seeing reports of the Kennedy assassination and later on, England winning the World Cup and the first moon landings. All this with a musical backdrop provided by the Beatles and the Stones. My general overriding memories of the 1960s are of being very happy, never bored and being given freedom to roam and play wherever, as long as I came in for dinner and teatime meals. Parents were not overprotective then, as they are now; the PC squad had yet to gain control over our lives.
Paul Savage, Hong Kong, SAR China





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