Friday, 23 February 2018

Sixties Memories

Members' Memories of the Sixties

By our calculations, all of our members must have experienced the Sixties. If not, they are too young to be members. They say that if you remember the Sixties, you weren't there! Well, maybe you were just a babe in arms or a small child or maybe you were enjoying yourself so much that you genuinely had no time for memories.

Thanks to all those brave members who sent in their sixties memories published here. We're sure you'll enjoy reading them just like we did. It's never too late if you want to send in your own. Just write it in an email to

Here's my own one to start us off.....

"Memories of going to Blackburn Open Market in the mid sixties and searching through and buying ex Jukebox singles for half price and fitting little plastic inserts so that they could be played on the record player. How times have changed!" Stephen Harding

And now from Helena (AKA Mme Zola of the Christmas Party)........

"Sadly I think I must have blinked and missed the promiscuous swinging sixties and,
whilst I am aware that my pastimes were somewhat unsophisticated compared to the modern teenager, the music of the 60s was truly ground breaking. How often did I hear my parents berate the ‘awful’ haircuts or ‘get ups’ of the groups on ‘Top of the Pops’?
How many of us secretly tuned into our trannies under the blankets at 2 am to listen to the pirate radio stations? My school friends and I messaged the ‘Radio London Breakfast Programme, School Report.’ We tried to make ourselves sound as cool as possible with newly invented, catchy nick names.  Sadly, the reverse was probably true. We were thrilled when someone heard it being read out, although we missed it ourselves.
Some years later in August 1967, whilst on holiday in the Isle of Wight, I listened, along with a group of downcast teenagers, to the dying moments of Radio London, following the passing of The Marine Broadcasting Offences Act.   However, I did tune in to hear Tony Blackburn open up the new Radio 1 station with ‘Flowers in the Rain,’ vowing I would never like it as much as Radio London. Oh to be a rebel!)

Helena Welch

And not to be outdone, our Treasurer's recollections - Peter (or should he be Signor Zola?)

"1961, lunchtime, school day, starving, white fish floating in greasy yellow sauce with cabbage boiled to an albino white, INEDIBLE. Me, told again ‘mother has paid for this’.  Hoping for gypsy tart but tapioca in lukewarm milk is in dinner lady Hilda’s ladle.
Latch key, council kid, cold empty house, heat and eat Vesta ‘boil in the bag’ curry, lay and light coal fire, ride book’n skate till Mum back from Morphy Richards factory shift."

Peter Welch

Maybe we need to get the violins out for that one!

And I can always rely on my wife.........

"July 30th 1966 and my family, as well as most of the football loving population of the
country, were eagerly anticipating the World Cup Final at Wembley between England and West Germany. However, there was a small problem. A good friend of ours was getting married and my youngest sister was a bridesmaid. The bride had booked the date of her wedding 18 months previously, with no thought of World Cup Finals.

The ceremony was booked for 4pm which meant that most of the guests watched the first half of the game and then made a mad dash for the church. Unfortunately, there was no choir or an altar boy to be seen and the photographer was less than particular with the composition of his pictures. At the reception many of the guests could be seen glued to their transistor radios (it was the 60s) and some even left early to see Match of the Day.

Even with such an inauspicious start the couple are still happily married after 51 years.

Match Memories

It is the only World Cup England has ever won.
The game was watched by 96,924 spectators at Wembley and 32.30 million British television viewers.
Geoff Hurst's hat-trick.
England's controversial third goal."

Mary Harding

And straight out of Grease........

"My early teenage years coincided with a dramatic change of landscape for young people in the late 50s, early 60s. Since the end of the war, teenagers had simply been younger versions of their parents in terms of fashion, social attitude and  musical taste.  Now Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle and Bill Hayley’s rock  ‘n roll burst noisily onto this tranquil scene.  Net petticoats flared, waists were nipped in with elastic belts,  pumps and pony tails appeared - and that was only the boys!  Actually they were looking pretty cool too.  Although some were still dressed in the uniform of the 50s, sports jacket and cravat, many wore leather jackets, drainpipe trousers, thick crepe soles, quiffs and d.a.’s.  We were straight out of “Grease”.  I loved all of it and most definitely rocked around the clock.  We congregated in droves at the newly-opened coffee lounge in West Wickham High Street - the first ever establishment in the town aimed at teenagers.  

We revelled in jive parties and almost everybody practised smoking and drinking  - Woodbines, Senior Service (untipped), beer and Babycham.   Because we felt very daring and stylish with just one drink or ciggy there wasn’t the need, or  in any case the money, to overindulge.. Some lucky lads had motorbikes- a real magnet for the girls. me included.  Crash helmets were deeply uncool and in any case wouldn’t fit over a quiff or a beehive. The local church clubs were the centre of the youth scene and although we weren’t all perfect, we could be pretty well behaved .  The only bad boys were the notorious Addington Gang, a group of Teddy Boys who occasionally made forays into our territory looking for trouble with other boys but rarely the girls.  

This was the period in musical history when each passing week brought another classic rock ‘n roll track. We fell in and out of love to the music of  Elvis the Pelvis who was idolised by all the girls.  Cliff Richard attempted to dethrone the King of Rock, but was always considered second best and much too English.   I loved to dance. A favourite haunt was the innocently sounding St. Christopher’s Hall where we dived into a smoke filled basement, dodged the odd scuffle and bopped to Denny and the Renegades - a local group who almost “made it”.

Briar Blake

And dancing the night away........

"I remember going to the Wiremill at Newchapel and dancing and twisting the night away and also going to the Whitehall in East Grinstead and doing the same!  I still have some of my old 45’s!  Anyone like to hear them?  I also remember dancing in the WI Hall in Edenbridge, with the Big Bopper I think.  

We also used to go to the Wheatsheaf in Old Oxted where we used to meet up with actor David Hemmings quite often.  That is where he and Tim Nightingale used to speak ‘Arp Language’  (I think that is how you spell it!).  Therefore ‘Hello’ was ‘Harpalapo!’  Also went to Brands Hatch in David’s Floride!  Great fun!"

Jenny Chettle

And another about the World Cup......

"I can remember leaving school and my first job as a shorthand typist on £4.50/week. I remember dancing at a club above Burtons tailors shop in Uxbridge in front of Dave Clark Five before they were famous and watching Rolling Stones on Eel Pie Island before they were big. I was dancing in the fountains in Trafalgar Square the night England won the World Cup! And the roads were blocked with tooting cars."

Patricia Falconer

Memories of Edenbridge in the mid sixties
A small town where you could walk the high street and know everyone.  A great assortment of shops including a blacksmiths.   Everyone gathered at the youth club and dances that were always crowded with rockers and mods from rival villages nearly always a fight would break out.  I was only allowed to go to theses events as I had an older sister. Every Friday after work we would all gather at Gracies Cafe in Lingfield Road for a coke or coffee and play the jukebox.   Miniskirts were frowned on by some parents but we all wore them like a belt.  Highlight of the weekend was going to Oxted cinema and having to catch the last train home before the film had finished.  Coming from a working class background there was little spare money but still enjoyed our teenage years in an age where we spoke to each other rather than the new electronic age where we just send texts.

Yvonne Whittaker 

And yet another World Cup Story....
It was the morning of the final of the World Cup 1966. I was living at home with
my parents in London. My Dad was at work but my Mother said to me why don't we go up to Wembley and get a couple of tickets from a tout. And that's what we did.  We found one quite easily and agreed to pay the inflated price of £5 each for two ten shilling tickets but not before my Mother, a very forceful woman, threatened the chap with all sorts of retribution if they proved to be forgeries! We returned home and when my Dad came in I could say to him "You and I are off to the final". Obviously he was delighted and fortunately for the tout the tickets were authentic. My Dad and I had places right behind the Goal where Geoff Hurst scored the winner. With Hurst scoring a hat trick, Martin Peters getting the other and the impeccable Bobby Moore captaining the team we could claim that it was West Ham 4 West Germany 2! Amazing atmosphere on a memorable day and the evening celebrations weren't too bad either!
Wow! They were there!!!!!!!

And short and to the point.......

Steam trains. Coal fires. Outside loos. No central heating. Weekly trips
to Plaza Cinema to see Randolph Scott. Running to school: the cane when
you got there. Penny lollies made from Vimto. News Chronicle. Spangles.


And well I'm exhausted just reading this one. What memories!

Wow, the sixties best decade of my life!
Seeing the Beatles at Fairfield halls in 1963 when the Beatles were SECOND on the bill and I wore my brothers black diamond cycling socks under a lime green shift dress (still have the programme)
My father driving a Bond Bug 3 wheeler to the sea side and my mother had to get up and walk up the hills, then eating fish and chips on top of the Downs as the sun went down over the sea.
Warlingham Pony Club meets and gymkhanas every month at Ivatts field in Farleigh
Seeing the Rolling Stones at Fairield Halls 1964  when my mother threw marshmallows at Mick Jagger (still have the photos)
Driving my brother mad when I played "Come On" full blast for hours.
St Barnabas  Youth Club 1964 in Purley on Sunday nights-the best disco in South London, dancing to Motown.
Discovering Bob Dylan.
Doing the end of term party for the Home for the Elderly at Whyteleafe School in 1969 (when we did the can-can and half the old gents in the front row nearly had a heart attack.
Summer evenings at the Wiremill in East Grinstead and playing the roulette wheel.
Going Bowling at Croydon Bowl 1967 and listening to Whiter Shade of Pale everywhere.
Buying Brute aftershave for my boyfriend 1968 and seeing the film 2001 in sensurround.
Buying a Biba dress pattern and altering it to make 12 different dresses

Summer dances at Caterham Community Centre 1965 
Attending Croydon Art School Saturday 1965 classes and walking barefoot around Croydon as Beatniks
Going to the Italian cafe in St Georges Walk and eating cream cheese and peanut butter sandwiches.
Joining Croydon Judo Club
Sunday evenings in the White Lion in Warlingham
Whitgift Rugby Club dances alternate Saturday nights and watching them play on Saturday afternoons.
Parties at Warlingham Rugby Club when we all dressed in pyjamas
Manfred Mann Fan Club
Seeing my first hippy girl at the Hurlingham Club in 1968
Working for the Loch Ness Investigation in 1969 when the yellow submarine descended to the bottom of Urquart castle waters and sprang a leak.
Dancing on the stage of Hair with the cast after the show 1968.

I could go on ......

Lizzy Lloyd