Web Page 2050
10th May 2014
Top Picture: 1961 E Type Jaguar
Bottom Picture: A view of the Ladies department in 1959 Woolworths in Commercial Road
Please note the change of date for the get together from Thursday 26th June to Friday 27th June.
Life in the Swinging 50’s and 60’s
In the early part of the 1960’s we were all still at school and us lads had just moved on from wearing short trousers. During our later days at Court Lane, before we moved into Manor Court, there was always a group (I was not one of them) who congregated in the freezing cold outside school toilets to smoke. In their innocence the obviously thought that the teachers had no sense of smell, which may have be right because I cannot remember anyone being punished for smoking at school, but they must have been! Once we moved up to Manor Court there were heated inside toilets that must have put a stop to these smoking sessions. I suspect that they then must have moved out of sight and into the cycle sheds.
Most of us lads spent a lot of time looking at the girls but we were spectacularly naive and far too young for them even though they were in the same class! The girls always seemed to want older boys.
In the roads and streets in the summer we could cycle for miles (not on the pavement!) without being disturbed by cars and those that did pass us had no synchromesh in first gear and were prone to making terrible grinding noises.
All the policemen seemed to be well over 6 foot tall and some even still wore capes. All police cars and ambulances has fast ringing electronic bells but the fire engines still had roof mounted hand operated traditional bells.
Education for some meant corporal punishment and the cane, bullying and all sorts of non-pc behaviour by the staff. British Bulldog was played in the playground, although this was against school rules, and seemed to involve at least 50 boys at any one time.
There was always homework! Most of us fretted and worried over it and with great trepidation handed it in each day to be marked. This all lead up to the mock and actual GCE and RSA exams to be taken in the 4th, 5th and 6th years.
Every so often we were obliged to set off on the obligatory school cross country run which was usually routed across Farlington Marshes or the slopes of Portsdown Hill. This torture was followed by compulsory mass showers that were either ice cold or scalding hot - never in between.
In the early days at Court Lane School I was allowed out after I had done my homework and could be out until half past seven on school days and eight o’clock on Saturdays. Even when I was in the 5th year my father still insisted on me being home by 10.30 during the week and 11.00 at the weekend. How things have changed!
I can remember that one year I was given a ten-bob note for my birthday, I was rich! It took me ages to spend it, on what I cannot remember.
When I look back at the early 60s I think of my mother buying my school uniform from Beaumonts in Cosham High Street and also buying me a long navy blue gabardine raincoat big enough to last for several terms and also, when I went to Court Lane, having to wear a school cap and carrying it in my pocket on the bus and only putting it on when we reached the school gates.
But there were up sides. I used to enjoy playing around and repairing valve radio’s and so could avidly listen to Radio Luxemburg through the wow’s and whistles of the almost deafening static depending on the weather conditions. Radio Luxembourg, in those days, provided the only pop music in the evening, pirate radio had not been born yet.
Now lads do you remember the new style make up of the 1960’s that the girls started wearing? Woolworths had begun to sell various flavoured lipstick (was that Rimmell, beauty on a budget tray?) that came in pink, red, orange or beige, I can vividly remember one evening kissing a girl wearing light pink lipstick and suddenly tasting peaches. It was quite a surprise. One of their other ‘teenage’ fashions from Woolworths was unusual coloured nail polish. The gold one I especially remember as when it was exposed to the dance hall lights the gold resembled nicotine stains. I have never liked to see bright nail polish maybe this gold polish put me off for life!!!
Ah well so much for nostalgia! Have you any memories of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that you could share with us? If so drop me an email and I will try to combine them all into one long article if I can.
And lads we all wanted an E type Jag!
Stay in touch
And as you remarked who plays those board games nowadays, not Adults or Children, Monopoly and Scrabble were the last games we played many years back and don't have either now! Regards Hornby train sets and Scalextric tracks, someone around our age are more likely to have either in a spare room or a boarded out loft space. No, I don't have either but often fancied the latter in ours maybe one day.....
Hi Peter, your article a couple of weeks ago brought back a lot of the same memories you wrote of. Building our own bikes, there were three of us that I knew did so, in our case it was track bikes. I suppose the forerunners of today's BMX and mountain bikes or rather a cross between the two. Small frames, bigger rear cogs, higher and shortened mudguards and of course the must have 'Knobbly tyres'!
When built we used to ride them around 'Dead Man's wood' racing each other around for hours and imitating our Scrambling heroes. Back then it was accessible and not slap bang in the Golf Course as it is today. My last trip to Pompey we did have a sneak around the wood, which brought back those great memories. The three racers were Rex Whistler, David Costick and myself.
I did see a group of youngsters in the park at the rear of us over the Easter weekend, acting more like the exploring kids we were, one was even overheard suggesting building a den amongst the very few trees there. So there is still some hope for some of them, if only they could leave their computers, I-pods, I-pads, mobile phones etc; and get out in the fresh air like we used to! Remember all those weeks of School Summer Hols, I bet like me you were never in? Many happy hours a day spent either exploring over Farlington Marshes, or around the chalk pits and woods and fitter than most of today's kids.
P.S. I still spend more time outdoors when the weather is fine, either in my garden or someone else's, failing that I'm out on my Motor Cycle fresh air fiend me.
News and Views:
On this Day 10th May 1960-1965
On 10/05/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) 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 10/05/1961 the number one single was Blue Moon - The Marcels and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. 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 10/05/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows 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. The big news story of the week was London trolley buses decommissioned
On 10/05/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) 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.
On 10/05/1964 the number one single was Don't Throw Your Love Away - Searchers and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) 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 Comedian Max Miller dies.
On 10/05/1965 the number one single was Ticket to Ride - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.