Recollections in general about 1960’s London

“We had such simple pleasures as regards entertainment, just a record player and someone’s front room. All friends gathered just to dance and enjoy the music.The girls never drank alcohol and the boys had a couple of pints that lasted all night. On a Saturday we would go to a record shop and all crowd into a tiny booth to hear the record of our choice. Hardly ever actually bought a record because someone else in your group already had it. I can so remember my starched net petticoats which were all squashed into the record booths, all of us wore them or mini skirts.” Gill Palin

“I remember the music, transistor radios, buying 45s and waiting by the
radio for every new Beatles single to come out, listening to the
pirate radio. I recall buying Sgt Pepper from my pocket money as I
entered my teenagehood, a group of hippies once visited the school and
were allowed to talk to us one lunch break by the head. I recall
feeling embarrassed when the Beatles grew beards. Seeing my photo from
that year it seems amazing that I look so young and innocent! I recall
finding the times enticing but somehow mysterious  – and
overall much of life was very ordinary! Obviously we only have one
teenage period and so it is hard to distinguish whether those senses
of the time would be just about ‘growing up’.”  Mike Aiken

5 thoughts on “Recollections in general about 1960’s London

  1. January 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I thought London was the center of the universe. I was a teenager living in the States and a huge Beatles fan. I imagined that everyone living in London was going to the “Bag of Nails” or “Scotch of St. James” clubs dressed in the latest Mary Quant outfits and surrounded by the Beatles, the Stones,, or any of the “British Beat” bands. The excitement and color of London wafted across the Atlantic in a big way that was irresistible.

  2. February 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I was 12 when we moved to London for a year in 1962, and these are some of my memories of that time.

  3. February 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I forgot that in 1962 tights weren’t really worn yet – the really short miniskirt, which required tights, was still a year or so away. At school our winter uniform (in the school color of Navy, with touches of red and orange), consisted of a white blouse, a navy wool jumper (pullover sweater), a navy wool sleeveless pinafore, dark knitted knee socks, sturdy leather mary jane shoes, a navy blue flannel blazer with the school logo on the pocket in red, and a navy wool beret also embroidered with the logo. For rain we wore a dark blue mac over everything. In summer we wore pale blue cotton knee-length belted shirtwaist dresses, covered by the blazer or the pullover as needed. Not exactly Mod London attire, but practical and neat!

  4. June 5, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I arrived in 1962 as a student. I think it was the following year, 1963, in the autumn term, I experienced the last of the real “pea soupers”, the thick London smogs that meant you quite literally couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. I was finding my way slowly in streets I knew well near the British Museum and when I was approached by a man who was walking in front of a bus, leading it foot by foot along the road! He asked me if I knew the Montagu Hotel in Bloomsbury, and fortunately I did and it was quite close. So I helped him guide the bus for the last few yards. Inside was a group of Swedish farmers coming to London for a conference. The man had guided them all the way from Marble Arch — a couple of miles. They were very grateful!
    The smogs were caused by fog mixing with smoke from coal fires. Soon afterwards they banned coal in all the major cities, and there were no more smogs.

    1. June 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

      What an evocative recollection, Kathleen! Thanks for sharing this.

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