Sunday, 7 October 2012

I recommend A 1960s Childhood From Thunderbirds to Beatlemania by Paul Feeney

I love the Sixties and was lucky enough to grow up in that magical decade when anything seemed possible, including landing a man on the moon. Fabulous!
So I was really pleased to find this book in a National Trust shop, although it's also available on Amazon.
Paul Feeney gives a nostalgic account of the Sixties starting on January 1st 1960, listening to Jack de Manio (remember him?) on the Today programme (no breakfast TV then or even Radio One) and moving through the decade.
Each page jogs a memory:
Remember party line telephones, Encyclopaedia Britannica door-to-door salesmen, and when postmen wore uniforms like Postman Pat, and not shorts in all weathers?
Remember School Friend magazine, outside toilets in the school playground, and playing two ball against the wall?
Remember Worzel Gummidge, The Clitheroe Kid, and Crackerjack?
'It's Friday, it's five o'clock and it's Crackerjack!'
And all the children in the audience would yell, 'CRACKERJACK!'
I adored Thunderbirds, Stingray, and  Fireball XL5 with Steve Zodiac too, however, Paul Feeney said he watched Laurel and Hardy, but would have loved to have some kind of recording device to allow him to see them all!
It's hard to believe that 50 years ago this week, The Beatles released their first single Love Me Do, which only reached number 17 in the charts, but Paul mentions that their second single Please Please Me got to number 1, and was the beginning of Beatlemania in the UK and America.
This is truly a fabulous book, illustrated by some atmospheric black and white photos of magazines, adverts and cinema posters, and whether you read it for the memories, or you are researching into those  times, or just curious about what it was like to be a child in your parents' time, it is well worth a read. The only thing that I would add would be an index to help look things up.


  1. I do remember Jack de Manio Jean and can almost hear his distinctive voice now. I feel privileged to have been brought up in London in the sixties and would just love a time machine to pop back again and have another look although this book sounds like it might do the trick!

  2. Thanks Cara, I'd love a time machine too.

  3. It sounds fabulous, Jean - all that lovely nostalgia!

  4. Yes I remember it all,going to Eel Pie island too.I felt very naughty going there but the music was fabulous!

  5. Looks like a good book! Thanks for the recommendation, Jean.

  6. Thanks, Rosemary, Angela and Talli. I hope that if you can get hold of the book, you will enjoy it too.