So it’s 2013, the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ first LP. By general reckoning this is the year the sixties began, setting the tone for the decade’s notoriously sloppy timekeeping. But forget all the myths - what really happened during those turbulent years? Here’s another sheet of student pass notes, from someone who swears he was there (well, that’s what my birth certificate tells me)
Things were incredibly cheap in the sixties. A house cost about six pounds twelve shillings and threepence halfpenny. However the pre-decimal currency was so complicated that people were nervous about spending money. The market slumped.
A draconian Government edict of 1967 compelled people to dance on the streets. This gave rise to the famous protest movement, in particular the sit-ins. Anything but dance! The tyrannical law was finally defeated by the lousy weather.
As Philip Larkin said, sexual intercourse was invented in 1963. The inventor was a Middlesborough guy called Darren. He was having too much fun to remember to patent it, and, although the idea caught on like wildfire, he died penniless, ruined by a stack of paternity suits.
Pretty well everything else was invented in the sixties, too. Music, Lycra, Bronco toilet rolls, mumbling and Goldie Hawn. Goldie Hawn has proved very long-lasting and has been kept on, long after anyone can remember what her original purpose was.
The single most significant social development of the sixties was the nylon sock. This led to the invention of the Odoureater and, soon after, the washing machine. The combination of the socks, energetic movement and plastic shoes was toxic. To this day British males hate to dance.
Were we happy then? Decide for yourself but remember: this was the decade when people started landing on the moon….