YOU NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD.
FIRST PICTURE: WITH AVAILABILITY OF HIRE PURCHASE A WASHING MACHINE IN MANY HOMES WAS NOW POSSIBLE
SECOND PICTURE: THE FAMOUS SPAGHETTI HARVEST FROM BBC TV’S PANORAMA
Firstly welcome to a new schoolmate Paul Fenwick. Paul left Manor Court in 1964 and love to hear from anyone who remembers him.
YOU NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD.
Have you ever thought that the period of time when we all left school, 1960-1965, saw so many major changes in life in general throughout the country. The Prime Minister at the time Harold McMillan, SuperMac, had convinced us all in 1958 that ‘we had never had it so good’ and to a degree that was correct. So let’s just, as the film newsreel used to say, take a look at life in 1960-1962 and see what some of those changes were. These were the years when many our traditional ideas and those of our parents were challenged, the years that saw the end to National Service and how often since have we heard ‘a spell in the Army is what the youth of today need’.
To the average family hire purchase became possible and the never, never was soon to allow many households to afford the luxuries that had long been denied to them.
Our idea of a sports car, the Morgan or MG shaped car was totally changed by the introduction of the sleek E type Jaguar. This was a car, which sold for just £2,196 when the average weekly wage was £8 6s 8d for a 46 hour week. Also about now the millionth Morris Minor rolled off the production line.
What else? BBC TV dropped Children’s Hours from the radio schedules after over 40 years, George Blake was convicted of spying and sentenced to 42 years in jail. Great Britain applied to join the Common Market and massive anti nuclear protests were staged outside the Russian Embassy. These were protests where celebrities joined in and were arrested, people like Vanessa Redgrave, George Melly, Bertrand Russell and John Osbourne.
Prices of everyday items rose. A pack of cigarettes was 1/9d for 10 and petrol, if you could afford an old banger, was 3/10p a gallon. Whilst talking about road in 1961 the government announced the slow introduction of pedestrian operated crossings, they were soon to be known as Pelican crossings and would eventually replace the old zebra crossings with their Belisah Beacons.
It was as long ago as 1961 that the British Government agreed in principle to the introduction of decimal currency but it would not take effect for another ten years!
The big news locally in the early 60’s was the discovery of Fishbourne Roman Villa and for weeks many volunteers and almost as many experts spent hours excavating the site. On completely the other side of things the Russians succeeded in putting a man, Yuri Gagarin, into space albeit only on an up and down basis.
On the TV front Danny Blanchflower famously refused to be the subject of ‘This is your Life’ and Panorama ran that famous Spaghetti tree story on the first of April 1957.
In 1952 tea bags had been introduced and in 1960 Nestles tried to introduce coffee bags but these were never to catch on. But one sort of food bag did excite the public’s interest in 1960 when Vesta introduced their boil in the bag range of curries and Chinese foods.
I have spoken several times about the food of the 60’s, the clothes of the 60’s and the music of the 60’s so I will not touch on them here but instead look at inventions of the period.
Firstly the 1950’s saw these for the first time:- The World's First Credit Card (1950) In 1950, the Diners’ Club issued the first credit card, invented by Diners' Club founder Frank McNamara, in the United States for use in restaurants. Super Glue (1950). Superglue is actually a chemical substance called cyanoacrylate that was originally discovered by Dr. Harry Coover during a research project.
Mr. Potato Head was invented and patented in 1952 by George Lerner of New York. The idea was based on an earlier toy known as “make a face”.
The Black Box Flight Recorder. David Warren of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia was involved in the accident investigations related to the mysterious crash of the world’s first jet-powered aircraft, the Comet, in 1953. He argued that a cockpit voice recorder would be a useful means of solving otherwise unexplainable aircraft accidents. The idea initially raised little interest, so David decided to design and build an experimental unit to demonstrate the concept.
Liquid Paper (1956). Bette Nesmith Graham never set out to be an inventor, her vocation in life was to be an artist. However, after the Second World War ended she found herself divorced and a single parent (the child Michael Nesmith, later went on to become a member of The Monkees) living in Dallas and working as a secretary. Being an artist and noticing that typing errors at work were costly, she considered better ways to correct them. Using the theory that if artists could paint over their mistakes, then typists should be able to do something similar, she mixed up her first batch of Liquid paper by using her own blenderin her kitchen at home.
New toys of the time were: Fuzzy Felt (1950), Matchbox Cars (1953), Play-Doh (1956), Corgi Toys (1956) and Barbie Dolls (1959).
Now the 60’s: The Laser (1960) Albert Einstein laid the foundation for the invention of the laser in a published paper as far back as 1917, but it wasn't until 1960 that a working laser became a reality.
Light Emiting Diodes - LEDs (1962) The first practical visible-spectrum (red) LED was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr., while working at General Electric Company.
The Computer Mouse (1963) Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute invented the mouse in 1963 after extensive usability testing. He never received any royalties for it, as his patent was owned by the Company.
Astroturf (1964) AstroTurf was co-invented in 1964 by James M. Faria and Robert T. Wright, employees of Monsanto. It was patented in 1967.
New toys of the time were: Mouse Trap Board Game (1963), The Operation Board Game (1965), Action Man (1966), Action Man (1966)
Stay in touch and keep those memories coming.
Had this sent in:-
The other day someone asked, ‘What was your favourite fast food when you were young?’ I replied ‘We didn’t have fast food then, all food was slow’.
'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?'
‘It was a place called home’ I explained. Mum cooked every day and when dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I did not like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.
Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if his system could stand it:-
Some parents never owned their own home, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a Credit Card.
My parents never drove me to school.
We never had a telephone at home.
Pizzas were not delivered but milk was.
NEWS AND VIEWS:
A street in the Smogorzewie district of northern Poland was named after the Beatles. A plaque noting the honour was also erected.
ON THIS DAY 19TH SEPTEMBER 1960-1965
On 19/09/1960 the number one single was Apache - The Shadows and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) 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.The big news story of the day was Parking tickets and traffic wardens introduced in London
On 19/09/1961 the number one single was Johnny Remember Me - John Leyton and the number one album was Ipswich Town. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £not very interesting and 13.25 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Take Your Pick (AR)".
On 19/09/1962 the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley 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 19/09/1963 the number one single was She Loves You – The Beatles 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 19/09/1964 the number one single was You Really Got Me - Kinks 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 19/09/1965 the number one single was (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. 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.