Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Web Page 756 1st August
Web Page 756 1st August 2009
FIRST PICTURE: Jane Asher wearing a paper dress designed by Ossie Clarke.
SECOND PICTURE: Green Shield stamps
Talking 'bout my Generation
A young lass said to me the other day, "I wish I had been around in the sixties, it must have been great!" Before I could launch into a trip down memory lane, I was filled with a nagging doubt and it told me not to go down that road. But this set me off thinking, what is it about the sixties that appeals so much to young people who never experienced it?
When we were teenagers in the 1960s you will now be approaching 60 or have just passed it and retirement, but do you remember when we were teenagers sixty was really old? Because if you are anything like me you will be in some sort of denial and try to drown out the thought by turning up the stereo really loud in the car that just happens to be playing 'My Generation' and before you know it, you find yourself singing along with the words.
By the time we reached our late fifties the expectation was that us blokes would all be in flannel trousers and tweed jackets or blazers while the girls would have a nice twin set and pearls or at least a tartan skirt, a nice blouse and cardigan. But it hasn't turned out like that has it? We still, to a large extent dress like we did when we were young not platforms and flares of course, you have to make some concessions to current fashion but jeans and tee shirts still hold sway.
The sixties image and how it is now remembered was confined to the experiences and outlook of a relatively small number of people and they were, with few exceptions under 25 at the time. The older generation in the 1960s seemed to be rather stuck in their ways and many could not relate.
In lots of ways the sixties were fantastic and I had a great time and you may well have done too, but as a friend said, "What you forget is that the sixties looked as though it was full of old people." Not quite true, but I knew what he meant, back then nearly everyone over thirty appeared old, they dressed old and they behaved old. Never was the cultural gap between the ages so great, but 'they' were the majority.
And this is my point, returning to the remark by the young lass who thought the sixties were great. The current concept of the sixties landscape being solely populated by kaftan wearing hippies interspersed with girls in Mary Quant fashions doing all sorts of 'groovy' things with joss sticks, is sadly a fiction created by our generation, the generation that refuses to grow old. It seems to me that as our years have advanced we have spun this tale of the sixties to the younger generation through the media.
Have a look around at the celebrities that are still around from those days in the 1960s. Take Jane Asher, Paul McCartney's girlfriend when he was a Beatle, she is 62+ now but she does not look like anyone in the 1960s looked at that age does she? Then there is Twiggy the ultimate sixties girl still looking great she will turn the 'new forty' this year, not forgetting Lulu who doesn't seem to change from one decade to the next. And just when will the Rolling Stones call it a day? I wouldn't mind betting that more than half their audience at their stadium shows are at least over thirty years younger than they are, trying to capture some of that sixties magic by proxy.
I just wonder how the young girl who wanted to live in the sixties would really like it? No mobile phones so no texting, no computers so no email. If you wanted to see a film you had to go out to the cinema and queue to get in because there were no DVDs or even videos. If you missed your favourite TV show, tough luck, and only three channels on the TV anyway and all of them in black and white. And there was no 24 hour television either, you were packed off to bed by the epilogue just after 11.00 pm.
No endless pop music on TV or even on the radio apart from Radio Luxembourg on an evening or the pirate radio stations if you could receive them. Otherwise all there was, was Top of the Pops, Ready Steady Go and Thank Your Lucky Stars and Juke Box Jury all adding up to an hour and half for the week. No CDs just albums that cost nearly 20 per cent of your weekly wage. No ipods in fact no portable music at all except transistor radios. So, no cassettes in your car and if you were a teenager you couldn't afford a car anyway.
No central heating in your home, no automatic washing machines, dryers or freezers and microwaves were still just a twinkle in the inventor's eye. No take away food other than fish and chips and the pubs closed at 10.30. No supermarkets, well not like we have now. No shopping malls, if it rained while you were shopping you got wet. No twenty-four hour shopping and everything was shut on a Sunday. No taking back the clothes you just bought, in the sixties once you bought something, you were stuck with it. No credit cards, no holes in the wall and no 'cash back'. Once you ran out of cash that was it until payday. Women did not earn as much either and women also expected a man to always pay for them out on a date. That's what it was really like and I loved it!!!
The lady in the woolshop always remains in my mind as I was asked by my father where I had been with my mother that afternoon. I was only about 3 at the time and replied" to see Mii Mocktit". The name was Moffitt. Around the corner from us in First Avenue was a gents barber who was also a bookies runner. The barbers shop was his front room. His wife was a hairdresser too. Also in our road was a dressmaker and her front room was her workroom.
The shoe mender on the Havant Road in Farlington was Mr Stubbington, he was a lovely man, our family always took our shoes to him for mending.
NEWS AND VIEWS:
Now how sad it this? All those who were in my English Literature class for GCE ‘O’ level will remember this. We had three set books, the Scottish Play, a Golden Treasury of Verse both of which can be easily found on any library book shelves. The novel we studied was A pattern of Islands by Arthur Grimble, a book I have not seen since 1962, however in a charity shop today there it was a bargain at just £1.00 so I am off to settle down and se how much I can remember.
ON THIS DAY AUGUST 1ST 1960-1965
On 01/08/1960 the number one single was Please Don't Tease - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Elvis Is Back - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Rawhide (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/08/1961 the number one single was Temptation - Everly Brothers. The top rated TV show was Harpers West One (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £ 13.25 and Ipswich were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was No Hiding Place (AR).
On 01/08/1962 the number one single was I Remember You - Frank Ifield and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/08/1963 the number one single was (You're the) Devil In Disguise - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/08/1964 the number one single was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/08/1965 the number one single was Mr Tambourine Man - Byrds and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.