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Britain Since the 1930s

by Mandy Barrow
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Britain in the 1960s


The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1969. It is known as the Swinging Sixties and is associated with the birth of British pop music and fashion.


  • 1961 - First man in space
  • 1966 - England won the football World cup
  • 1969 - First humans to walk on the Moon


  • 1960 Population of Britain was about 53 million
  • 1960 World's population was just over 3 billion.

Cost of items

  • The average house price was £2,530
  • Loaf of bread 5p
  • A season ticket to see Manchester United cost £8.50.

Homes and households

  • Most houses now had a refrigerator and a cooker.
  • People could buy sliced bread.
  • Plastic buckets could now be bought.
  • CoCo Pops were launched in 1961.
  • Ice lollies and choc ices on sticks became very popular during the 1960s


For the first time, virtually all houses had electricity.


The Anglo-French airliner Concorde makes its first supersonic test flight


  • 1961 - First man in space
    First human space flight to orbit the Earth: Yuri Gagarin, Vostok 1.
  • 1966
    The Soviet Union launches Luna 10, which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.
  • 1968
    First humans to leave Earth's gravity influence and orbit another world: Apollo 8.
  • 1969
    First humans to walk on the Moon: Apollo 11.


The audio cassette invented.

1963 -
The first geosynchronous communications satellite, Syncom 2 is launched.

Touch-Tone telephones introduced.

Sony markets the CV-2000, the first home video tape recorder.


Most homes had televisions by the end of the decade.

Coronation Street first aired in 1960.

Live trans-Atlantic satellite television via the Telstar satellite was made possible in 1962.

BBC 2 went on air in 1964 and was the first channel to have colour in 1967.

Dr Who first appeared on television during the 60s.


The first supermarkets opened – mainly in town centres. Now you
could buy all your food in one shop.


In the 1960s, tower blocks were considered a solution to the housing shortage caused by second world war damage and increased population.


  • 1962
    The first computer video game, Spacewar, is invented.
  • 1964
    The first successful Minicomputer, Digital Equipment Corporation’s 12-bit PDP-8, is marketed.
  • 1968
    The first public demonstration of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, and hypertext.
  • 1969
    Arpanet, the research-oriented prototype of the Internet, was introduced.


First heart transplantation operation.


The Beatles began their career. They leapt to fame in 1963 with 'Please, Please Me'.

The Beatles moved through the late 1960s as favourites of the 'flower power' generation - many young people enjoyed 'hippie' music. Other teenagers preferred the music of the 'Mods' - ska music and The Who.

1960 Elvis Presley
1961 Chubby Checker
1962 Cliff Richard
1963 The Beatles
1964 The Kinks
1965 The Rolling Stones
1966 Dusty Springfield
1967 The Monkeys
1968 Jimmy Hendrix
1969 Serge Gainsbourg


1960 Doc Martens boots
1962 Teddy Boy suits
1963 Mop top hair
1964 Wigs
1965 The Twiggy look
1966 Mini skirts
1967 Paisley
1968 Body art
1969 Love beads

More information on the 60s fashion

1960s Fashion and Textiles


1960 Etch-a-sketch
1961 Skalextric
1962 Mousetrap
1963 Sindy
1964 Mr Potato Head
1965 Spirograph
1966 Action Man
1967 KerPlunk
1968 Batman utility belt and the Spacehopper


New cars of the 60s included the Capri (1961), Consul Cortina ( 1963) and Ford Escort (1968), which replaced the Anglia.

1n 1966, the first Intercity train was used, which could travel much quicker than old steam and diesel trains. Many trains now run using electricity, which is much quieter and cleaner.


People started to spend more money on holidays. Many people no longer wanted holidays in Britain. Package holidays became popular - people arranged holidays through a travel agent.





1960 The first working laser Theodore Maiman
1962 The audio cassette  
1963 Ring pull can Alcoa

Inventions since the 1930s | Timeline from the end of the war

Life in 1948 | Population from 1991 | Money | Websites

Life in the 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s

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