It was half a century ago and yet the memories of The Sixties seem as fresh as ever. This group is all about recalling key moments – people, events, music – and sharing memories. Every month we agree on the next topic. The dilemma – and it’s a nice one – will be who or what or when or where to choose? The 1960s is such a rich and vibrant time to recall and relish, a time when Britannia was cool and London was swinging, when the world was colourful and positive and, for young people especially, anything seemed possible. The old rules and conventions were there to be challenged. They say “If you remember the 60s, you weren’t really there”. We say “Nonsense” and the course is already proving it!
Group Convener: Stephen Rigg
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1968: The year that changed history. Part 2
Because it is such a rich topic, the group agreed to keep considering events in 1968, at home and abroad, because there is still more to explore and remember.
There will be several individual presentations, followed by discussions and the meeting will be rounded off with a quiz reviewing the year. We will see if then we are closer to deciding if 1968 really deserves to be remembered as “the year that changed history”.
1968: The year that changed history. Part 1
This, the third monthly meeting of the group, was again a well-attended gathering, to which we welcomed two new members, Tammy and Charles.
We started with Jacki Reason reading us an account from Jenny, her cousin, of her time as a young university exchange student in Paris in 1968. It was powerful and compelling, bringing to life, fifty years on, her fear and curiosity of living in, and through, historic times.
John Hinshelwood then led a session on “May 1968: Precursors, Events and Legacy”. This was a sparkling and enjoyable discussion, in which key events were recalled and we recognised the convenient temptation to say that the reasons behind them all, around the world, were somehow linked, whereas perhaps what they really had in common was the unprecedented willingness of the people to take on the “Powers That Be” and challenge the status quo.
We finished with a “Name the Face” picture quiz. The prize, a nostalgic mouth-watering tube of “Giant Parma Violets”, was shared among the group … it was that kind of day!
Food for thought
“Food and drink in the 1960s” was the theme for our second group meeting on 10th May. Roslyn’s introductory overview was followed by members enthusiastically recalling and discussing aspects ranging from home cooking and family meals, the impact of fridges and freezers, eating out, package holidays’ new exotic tastes, the abolition of RPM and the growth of supermarkets, the decline of door-step deliveries, shopping locally, new products from around the world and convenience foods. No longer did shopping have to be done daily nor everything cooked from scratch. Recipes in magazines, newspapers and books were introducing new and exciting dishes.
Who, even now, can look at the photo of Chicken with Rice (above) and not feel a shudder of excitement?!
A journey into the known
The first group meeting was on Thursday 12th April at the Union Church. There was a splendid turn-out, fifteen of us sitting round a large table upon which were displayed treasured memorabilia from the 1960s brought by the group members as requested. The display included records and concert programmes, autograph books and photos, menus, a Biba dress and two splendid ties. The conversation was animated and informative. We had all been there in the 60s but our personal recollections varied widely and richly.