Web Page 2032
8th March 2014
Top Picture: The Millionth Morris Minor
Middle Picture: Drophead 1961 E-Type jaguar
Bottom Picture: Danny Blanchflower
1961 was quite a momentous year for many of us. It was the time when we started to think about either the forthcoming exams and further education or leaving school and going out into the wide world of work. But if we had stopped to look around us 1961 was a real turning point in history; just take a look at the events of just that one year.
This was the year that the millionth Morris Minor came off the production line. It was painted a strange light lilac colour and had Morris Minor 1,000,000 in chrome letters on the bootlid where it normally said Morris 1000. For some reason I often saw it driving up and down Lealand Road in Drayton, maybe at some time it was owned by one of the residents. In total motoring contrast this was the year of the introduction of the famous E-type Jaguar, this was a car that could cruise easily at 100mph and could reach a speed of 150 mph all for just £2,196, just £500 cheaper than the average house price at the time but it was still a lot of money in 1961! Also on the transport front, London Underground ran the last steam train on the subterranean underground lines.
There were a lot of other notable events that year, many I expect passed us by at the time. Dr Michael Ramsey was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury succeeding Dr. Geoffrey Fisher who had actually crowned the Queen on Coronation Day. In the City plans were announced to build a Post Office tower complete with a revolving panoramic restaurant at the top, The BBC decided to drop Children’s Hour on the radio after almost 40 years continuous service. On the legal front George Blake was arrested and tried as a spy and CND protestors such as the jazz singer and author George Melly, the actress Vanessa Redgrave and the Philosopher Bertrand Russell were all jailed for their part in a Ban the Bomb protest which was held outside the American Embassy. We also find in this year Margaret Thatcher becomes the youngest woman Conservative MP to get a job in government.
Prices for utilities and in the shops were the hot topic of the day, for example, cigarettes went up by 1/2d to 1/9d for ten (for the younger readers that would be about 7.5p) and then to add insult to injury in a mini Budget later in the year another 4d was added and it was at this time that another 3d a gallon was put on petrol!
The first edition of Private Eye hit the shelves, Pop Art was introduced and was developing a huge following as was the satirical world of ‘Beyond the Fringe’.
Fairly locally it was a really exciting time at Fishbourne as the earliest Roman mosaics in the country were discovered as serious excavations began eventually exposing the fantastic remains of the Roman Villa now world famous.
Sportswise Danny Blanchflower was the very popular Spurs Captain and he was the first person to refuse to appear on ‘This is Your Life’ even the introduction to the programme by Eamon Andrews was completely withdrawn, so, in that modern phrase, the BBC had to show ‘One that they had done earlier’! This was a great year for British Tennis as we had two British players, Angela Mortimer Barrett and Christine Trueman Janes, contesting the ladies Wimbledon Singles Final. Angela won 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Abroad John F Kennedy became the youngest ever President of the United States, the USSR puts a man into space and East Germany erects the Berlin Wall and the 20-year-old Bob Dylan performed in New York for the first time.
By this time pop music had become the biggest force in entertainment but the song lyrics still explored the age old topics such as love, loss and attitude but there was far more personal freedom than ever before with more and more young people getting together and forming groups and performing.
Those notables who left us in 1961 were Sir Thomas Beecham, Gary Cooper, Jeff Chandler, Ernest Hemmingway and George Formby.
Not that we would know them, here are a few well known people who were born that year. Barack Obama, George Clooney, Eddie Murphy, Princess Diana and Boy George.
As you can see it was a very eventful year, for myself I was looking towards RSA’s and GCE exams, we went on holiday to Guernsey and I had my first steady girlfriend. But it is all so long ago!
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News and Views:
On this Day 8th March 1960-1965
On 08/03/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Larkins (ATV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/03/1961 the number one single was Walk Right Back/Ebony Eyes - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/03/1962 the number one single was Rock-a-Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. 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 Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/03/1963 the number one single was The Wayward Wind - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. 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 Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was International direct dialing introduced.
On 08/03/1964 the number one single was Anyone Who Had a Heart -Cilla Black and the number one album was With the Beatles - The 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Malcolm X breaks with Nation of Islam.
On 08/03/1965 the number one single was I'll Never Find Another You - Seekers and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.