Memories of the late 1960’s – numbers, a Moon landing, loss and grief

1969

My second year at junior school began with another horrible teacher. Her name was Mrs Thomas and I seem to remember her having long blonde hair and a fondness for velvet alice bands, although this may well be misremembered. She was very friendly with Miss Please and seemed to have taken discipline tips from her. There were raps across the knuckles with rulers, hair pulling and general cruelty. She was one of those, find a weakness and pick on it, kinds of teachers and public humiliation was her favourite weapon. Continue reading Memories of the late 1960’s – numbers, a Moon landing, loss and grief

Memories of the late 1960s – not fitting in

1968

The change from the relative simplicity of Infant School to the far more structured environment of Junior School was a shock to my system. For one, the building itself was far larger. The long, L shaped corridors, filled with more children that I’d ever imagined existed in the whole world, were daunting for a small girl of seven or eight. Something about the rows of doors made me feel like Alice in Wonderland and I half expected to come upon a white rabbit with a pocket watch or a glass table with a key. Unlike the little Infant School, this had two floors and three sets of stairs, one at each end and a giant staircase at the apex of the L, going up, then dividing into two directions. The classrooms were almost all upstairs, mine at the far end, nearest the back gates of the school.
Continue reading Memories of the late 1960s – not fitting in

Memories of the early 1960’s – landmark days and the passage of time

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January 1965

While some of my earliest memories are vivid and detailed, most are very vaguely fixed in time. Once I started school, dates began to mean something to me. My days were ordered into week days, weekends, months and years interspersed with long school holidays. There were also a few landmark events, dates that will never be forgotten.  Continue reading Memories of the early 1960’s – landmark days and the passage of time

Memories of the 1960’s – music

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One of the most exciting things I was ever given was an old record player. Of course it wasn’t new, it came from Alex’s sister it law Penny, along with a stack of old 45rpm records, but I loved it. Alex explained that I had to be very careful not to scratch the shiny black discs or they wouldn’t work any more and, although I was only four or may even five, I did take care of those records and I still have them today although I have nothing to play them on.  Continue reading Memories of the 1960’s – music

Memories of the early 1960’s – entertainment

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In the early sixties entertainment was far different to today’s 24/7 portable TV in every room affair. Like most families, we had one small, black and white television in the corner of the living room but it played a much smaller part in our world than TV does today. In the 1960’s, radio was King. There were broadcasts all day and it was the background to our lives. We listened to the BBC, as did most Familes, although I think Alex may have secretly tuned to Radio Luxembourg or one of the pirate stations like Radio Caroline, broadcasting subversive rock and roll music. Continue reading Memories of the early 1960’s – entertainment

Memories of the early 60’s – playground games

Children's Games. Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1560)
Children’s Games. Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1560)

Playground games have changed a lot since I was a child. These days it feels as if children need a mass of gadgets to have fun and, mostly, they play alone and indoors. Back in the 1960’s playtime meant being outside, even if the weather wasn’t that good and mostly we needed nothing but our companions and maybe a piece of old rope. Continue reading Memories of the early 60’s – playground games

Memories of the early 1960’s – Christmas

Percolator 2.4 (2.4) Grind: Extra Fine (Tiny Circles & Effect: Auto Adjust), Brew: Ishihara (No Pic & Full Blended Circles), Serve: Stirred (Spectrum Tone & Smooth Texture)

For a child Christmas is a magical time filled with tinkling sleigh bells, elves and anticipation. One of my most vivid Christmas memories is being allowed to help decorate the huge pine tree that had mysteriously appeared in the front room. Normally our time was spent in the back room where large French Windows looked out into the garden and the front room was kept for best, the door firmly closed. Continue reading Memories of the early 1960’s – Christmas

Memories of the 1960’s – school days

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Finally the day had come for me to go to school. There were special clothes, a grey skirt, white shirt and bottle green cardigan Mother had knitted, along with white ankle socks. Everything felt scratchy and new, not at all like the cotton dresses I’d been wearing. With the help of Tiny Dyer, a giant policeman wearing his tall black helmet to make him seem even bigger, we crossed the Main Road a little way down from our house along with a stream of other children I didn’t know. Amongst them was Libby, the girl with the curly blonde hair who lived on the corner at the top of The Crescent, tantalisingly close but too far away to play with. Everyone was wearing the same green jumpers and grey skirts or trousers. Continue reading Memories of the 1960’s – school days

Memories of the early 1960’s – the last long summer of freedom

From Wikimedia Commons by Wing-Chi Poon
From Wikimedia Commons by Wing-Chi Poon

1964

As winter 1964 drew to a close leaving me with memories of Dad lifting me up to snap icicles off the arch of the porch and sucking them like ice lollies (obviously no one had heard of acid rain and pollution in those days) I knew my days at home were numbered. Spring brought my fourth birthday and, in September, I would be going to school. Pappy was preparing me by teaching me to sing the alphabet, to tell the time on the arched wooden clock on the mantelpiece and to write my name. Continue reading Memories of the early 1960’s – the last long summer of freedom

Memories of the early sixties – holidays

Ulwell Caravan & Camping Site Swanage from geograph.org.uk by OLU
Ulwell Caravan & Camping Site Swanage from geograph.org.uk by OLU

These days people jet off to some warm exotic place for holidays. Back in the sixties only the rich knew the joys of air travel and working class familes like mine spent their holidays far closer to home. My first holiday memories were of a caravan park in Dorset when I was about two or three.  Our little caravan was permanently pitched on a grassy hill in Swanage, saving the need for towing it back and forth.  These days there are lots of caravan parks in Swanage and I have no idea which one it was but we spent many happy weekends there. Continue reading Memories of the early sixties – holidays