• Donnington Grove

50 years ago

Swingin 60’s

Celebrating our 50th issue, we thought it would be fun to look back to 50 years ago.

If the Fifties were in black and white, then the Sixties were in Technicolor. The ‘Swinging Sixties’ remain the defining decade.
In just ten short years, London had transformed from the bleak, conservative city, only just beginning to forget the troubles of the Second World War, into the capital of the world. Full of freedom, hope and promise, it was the centre of all excitement.

In Brief
Population of Britain
was about 53 million
The world’s population
was just over 3 billion.
The audio cassette was invented and by Christmas many carol singers had pre recorded their songs onto a cassette tape.
BBC2 went on air in and was the first channel to have colour in 1967.
One year footy fans won’t forget as England won the football World Cup!
On 2nd March 1969, Concorde, the world’s first supersonic passenger jet made its maiden voyage from Toulouse.
How much!
The average house price was £2,530
Loaf of bread 5p
A season ticket to see Manchester United cost £8.50.

Fashion in the decade mirrored many of the social changes of the Sixties. Mary Quant became famous for popularising the mini skirt which became the epitome of 1960s fashion. The mini was designed to be free and liberating for women, allowing them to “run and jump”. Her fashion designs used simple geometric shapes and colours which gave women a new kind of femininity.
Women were free to wear more playful, youthful clothes that would have seemed outrageous ten years before. By the late Sixties, psychedelic prints and vibrant colours began appearing on clothes as
the hippie movement gathered pace.

Feminism began to become a more influential ideology as more jobs became available to young women in the Sixties. This allowed them to move away from home and become more independ

ent. The contraceptive pill became legalised for all women in 1967 and gave them the opportunity to broaden their hopes and dreams far beyond motherhood and marriage.
The Women’s Liberty movement was in its infancy when in 1968 at a Ford factory in Dagenham, 850 women went on strike, arguing for equal pay with their male co-workers. This action resulted in the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Furthermore, women were becoming increasingly involved in politics. In 1968, Barbara Castle became the first and only woman to be appointed First Secretary of State.

Technological advancements of the 1960s drastically changed how people spent their leisure time.
The increase in employment in factories and increase in money allowed people to spend more on leisure activities. Colour television and pocket transistor radios allowed people to spend their free time listening to music and watching TV.
Every teenager owned a transistor radio allowing them to listen to pop music on the move. The microwave oven shortened the amount of time women spent in the kitchen, further allowing them more freedom and time to enjoy themselves.

At the summer Olympics in Rome, Cassius Clay – who later restyled himself Mohammad Ali – won gold in boxing.
Real Madrid won the European Cup Final 7-3 in front of a crowd of 135,000 at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.
Graham Hill won the Formula One World Championship in 1962.





One of the biggest, defining aspects of the 1960s was music. Although rock and roll began having an effect on Britain in the 1950s, it wasn’t until the early Sixties and the emergence of ‘British Invasion’ groups like The Beatles, that music truly began its revolutionary changes. In 1967 The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became the turning point in music and inspired other musicians, such as The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones, to experiment with new sounds and develop innovative pieces of music.Rock swept the country and in 1964, Greater London could claim the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Who and the Kinks.

By the 1960s, the first teenage generation free from conscription emerged in Britain. Young people were finally given a voice and freedom to do what they wanted.
The parents of the Sixties teenage generation had spent their youth fighting for their lives in the Second World War and wanted their own children to enjoy their youth and be able to have more fun and freedom.

was seen at the Brighton Toy Fair for the first time in 1960 and the blocks took Britain by storm, guess what was on every childs Christmas list.