1960S BLOG POST
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 1960S- THE MAN ON THE MOON AND BUBBLE CARS
They say if you remember the sixties, you weren’t there. Well, that’s probably true for the beautiful people and rock stars who embraced the drug culture, but as I was just achild then, my perceptions of that time are more sugar-fueled than drug-addled!
In recent years, I’ve spent a lot of time in my memories of that time as I wroteMine, a novel based on real events in my family in the late sixties. A few things stand out from 1969 in particular:
In July 1969, while on holiday in Somerset, we sawthe brand new, super- sonicConcorde on one of its test flights. It was so different from other airplanes, so sleek and modern! I always wanted to fly on Concorde one day, but it wasnever to be.
The same month,the first man landed on the moon . My mum woke me up to watch it live on our little black and white TV. “You’ll be able to tell your children that you saw it happen,”said Mum . Flash forward a generation and I proudly tell my ch ildren about it. Were they impressed? Of course not! They had more technology in their mobile phones than the Apollo rockets. My grandchildren are equally unimpressed.
The Representation of the People Act 1969 changed the age at which a person in the UK was regarded as an adult. It reduced from twenty-one years to eighteen years. My sister was eighteen in 1969, so was one of the first affected by the law. It was a double -edged sword for her because, when she suddenly found herself alone with a small childof her own to care for, she was regarded as an adult and wasn’t given any support. If the law hadn’t changed, she would have been regarded as a child and she and her baby would have become the responsibility of the state. She might have lost her baby as having a child out of wedlock was regarded asa bad thing and social services had the power to put both my sister and her baby into care and could well have separated them. Thankfully, we had lots of family who stepped forward to support them and mother andchild remained together. How different from the attitudes and the support available to young mums today.
While visitingone of my uncles in June 1969, I had my first experience of watchingcolour television.Like most people, we hadablack and white TV then, so seeing the Wimbledon tennis tournament in colour was quite a shock. It was sogreen!
Unusually for the sixties, my dad had acar phone.He worked as a chauffeur for a company director and in his company Jaguar there was a box attached to the dashboard with a Bakelite phone receiver and circular dial. To make a call, you had to dial the radio operator and ask them to put you through to a landline number. I remember my mum using the phone to call my grandparents to tell them to get the kettle on as we were on our way to see them. We’d lose the radio signal when we drove into the Blackwall Tunnel. Finally, I mentioned Bubble Cars in the title of this post, so I’d better tell you of one of my favourite memories from the 1960s. My mum had a big win at bingo and used the money to buy a lovely red Bubble Car. It was so cute– a little round car, with a door at the front and only two seats. I was very small at the time and used to sit on the parcel shelf at the back (no health and safety considerations in those days!). One day, the Bubble Car broke down in the Blackwall Tunnel between East and South – East London, causing a large traffic jam. To clear the gridlock, four men picked up the car and carried it out of the tunnel. My mum was so embarrassed she soldit the next day.
So, those are some of my memories from the 1960s. I remember it as a time of laughter and music and amazing possibilities. But it was also a time when Victorian attitudes still prevailed i n a lot of aspects of life; when you were born into a class and were expected to know your place; when women were still regarded as second-class citizens andfeminism was just beginning to gain support.What are your impressions of the 1960s?
My book,Minȩ is set in London in 1968-69. It explores themes of class, ambition and sexual politics and shows how ordinary people can make decisions that lead them into extraordinary situations. Here’s the blurb:
“What’s mine, I keep.”
Lily’s dreamsof a better life for her family are shattered when her teenage daughter refuses to give up her illegitimate child. It doesn’t help that Lily’s husband, Jack, takes their daughter’s side.
Taking refuge in her work at a law firm in the City, Lily’s growing feelings for her married boss soon provides a dangerous distraction.
Will Lily be able to resist temptation? Or will the decisions made by these ordinary people lead them down an extraordinary path that could destroy them all?
Mine – a powerful story ofclass, ambition and sexual politics.
BUY LINK– Mineis published by Darkstroke Books on 25th November and is
available for pre-order now: mybook.to/mineknight
INVITATION TO AN ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH: On Saturday 28th November 2020, Alison will be joining four other authors for a joint event via Zoom called Darkstroke Defined: The five writers will talk about their new books, read extracts and answer questions. For your free ticket, go to:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/darkstroke- defined -tickets – 125793372363
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY– ALISON KNIGHT
Alison has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund – raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.
In her mid-forties, Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full -time. Her first book was published a year aftershe completed her master’s degree.
Alisonco-manages Imagine Creative Writing with author Jenny Kane. She teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreatsfor writersas well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS– ALISON KNIGHT http://www.alisonroseknight.com http://www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk http://www.darkstroke.com/dark-stroke/alison-knight/ http://www.facebook.com/alison.knight.942 @Alison_Knight59 on Twitter