In pictures: Was life in London better in the 1960s?

Greg Dickinson
·17 min read
It was a simpler time - Getty
It was a simpler time - Getty

When you think of the 1960s, what comes to mind? The Beatles and the Stones? The World Cup victory of 1966? Or perhaps the civil rights movement in the US, the Vietnam War and political assassinations.

But beneath the big events, life in London rumbled along. On the ground, this was a decade defined by the dawning of counterculture and the revolution in social norms when it came to sex, drugs, fashion and music. The anti-nuclear and anti-racism movements took hold, while a new youthful generation of Baby Boomers brought fresh energy to the city.

Get yourself a drink, sit back, and allow us to take you on a journey through London of the 1960s.

On Carnaby Street you would find plenty of dandies like this fellow

UNITED KINGDOM : Fashionable male wearing a bowler hat and fur coat standing in the middle of the road on Carnaby Street in London in the heart of the ?Swinging Sixties?. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)  - Getty
UNITED KINGDOM : Fashionable male wearing a bowler hat and fur coat standing in the middle of the road on Carnaby Street in London in the heart of the ?Swinging Sixties?. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images) - Getty

Photographers didn't shy away from risque compositions

A female model stands on a plinth in Trafalgar Square, with the clock tower of the Palace Of Westminster visible through her legs, in a view of 1960s London. Circa 1965. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)  - Getty
A female model stands on a plinth in Trafalgar Square, with the clock tower of the Palace Of Westminster visible through her legs, in a view of 1960s London. Circa 1965. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns) - Getty

Dapper took on new meaning, as this man in a 'zoot suit' displays over in Notting Hill

A man fashionably dressed in a zoot suit walking down Great Western Road, Notting Hill, London, 1968. (Photo by Charlie Phillips/Getty Images)  - Getty
A man fashionably dressed in a zoot suit walking down Great Western Road, Notting Hill, London, 1968. (Photo by Charlie Phillips/Getty Images) - Getty

People would take their horses for a trot on Rotten Row, in Hyde Park, just as they do today

Horse riding on Rotten Row, in London's Hyde Park, circa 1965. (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images) - Getty
Horse riding on Rotten Row, in London's Hyde Park, circa 1965. (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images) - Getty

Hold on a second. What's this hubbub all about?

The Worlds First ATM, Cash Machine is unveiled at Barclays Bank, in Enfield, Middlesex, just North of London, 27th June 1967. Picture shows the crowd of local shoppers and onlookers, seeing the worlds first ATM work for the first time. (Photo by Tom King/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
The Worlds First ATM, Cash Machine is unveiled at Barclays Bank, in Enfield, Middlesex, just North of London, 27th June 1967. Picture shows the crowd of local shoppers and onlookers, seeing the worlds first ATM work for the first time. (Photo by Tom King/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Why, it's the first ever ATM machine, at a Barclays branch in Enfield

Horse riding on Rotten Row, in London's Hyde Park, circa 1965. (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images)  - Getty
Horse riding on Rotten Row, in London's Hyde Park, circa 1965. (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images) - Getty

New projects were underway, like the building of the West Cross Route in west London

Building work in progress on three levels at the Latimer Road interchange with the Western Avenue extension at its junction with the proposed West Cross Route. This section of elevated motorway will link Marylebone Road with Western Avenue at Westway, near White City Stadium (top left). (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)  - Getty
Building work in progress on three levels at the Latimer Road interchange with the Western Avenue extension at its junction with the proposed West Cross Route. This section of elevated motorway will link Marylebone Road with Western Avenue at Westway, near White City Stadium (top left). (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) - Getty

The tallest building in London went up in 1965 – named the GPO Tower (later, the BT Tower)

Building - Getty
Building - Getty

Is it a bird, is it a plane?

Water scootering back to the office after lunch? It was 'skipper' businessman Jack Hornsby, with his 17 year old daughter Stella seen here before sailing pillion, during a try out on the River Thames. It is an amphibious motor scooter fitted with two floats which are let down before entering the water. A paddle fixed to the back wheel, and it is steered by a rudder controlled by the handlebars 20th October 1965 U9429 . (Photo by George Greenwell/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
Water scootering back to the office after lunch? It was 'skipper' businessman Jack Hornsby, with his 17 year old daughter Stella seen here before sailing pillion, during a try out on the River Thames. It is an amphibious motor scooter fitted with two floats which are let down before entering the water. A paddle fixed to the back wheel, and it is steered by a rudder controlled by the handlebars 20th October 1965 U9429 . (Photo by George Greenwell/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

No! It's an amphibious motor scooter, taking a spin down the Thames

Water scootering back to the office after lunch? It was 'skipper' businessman Jack Hornsby, with his 17 year old daughter Stella sailing pillion, during a try out on the River Thames, London. It is an amphibious motor scooter fitted with two floats which are let down before entering the water. A paddle fixed to the back wheel, and it is steered by a rudder controlled by the handlebars 20th October 1965 U9429 . (Photo by George Greenwell/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
Water scootering back to the office after lunch? It was 'skipper' businessman Jack Hornsby, with his 17 year old daughter Stella sailing pillion, during a try out on the River Thames, London. It is an amphibious motor scooter fitted with two floats which are let down before entering the water. A paddle fixed to the back wheel, and it is steered by a rudder controlled by the handlebars 20th October 1965 U9429 . (Photo by George Greenwell/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Technology was progressing at a pace – here, a young boy demonstrates the new Perdio Portorama portable TV receiver

A young boy demonstrating the new Perdio Portorama portable television receiver at the National Radio Show, at Earls Court, London 22nd August 1961. (Photo by Ron Burton/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
A young boy demonstrating the new Perdio Portorama portable television receiver at the National Radio Show, at Earls Court, London 22nd August 1961. (Photo by Ron Burton/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

This was the prediction, at that same Earls Court exhibition in 1961, of what the television of the future might look like

Celia Hammond sets off this futuristic design of aTV set for 1971 by Mr John Denison Hunt of Pye at the 1961 National Radio Show at Earls Court, London, 22nd August 1961. (Photo by Ron Burton/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
Celia Hammond sets off this futuristic design of aTV set for 1971 by Mr John Denison Hunt of Pye at the 1961 National Radio Show at Earls Court, London, 22nd August 1961. (Photo by Ron Burton/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Any guesses what we're looking at here?

A revolutionary car driven by sun power. The veteran car has solar cells on the roof. Dr Charles Escoffery, a scientist from El Segundo, California, has pioneered development of solar cells, 9th August 1960. (Photo Charlie Ley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
A revolutionary car driven by sun power. The veteran car has solar cells on the roof. Dr Charles Escoffery, a scientist from El Segundo, California, has pioneered development of solar cells, 9th August 1960. (Photo Charlie Ley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

You got it! The world's first solar-powered car, designed by Dr Charles Escoffery

A revolutionary car driven by sun power. Dr Charles Escoffery with his veteran car, showing the solar cells on the roof. Dr Charles Escoffery is a scientist from El Segundo, California, who has pioneered development of solar cells, 9th August 1960. (Photo Charlie Ley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
A revolutionary car driven by sun power. Dr Charles Escoffery with his veteran car, showing the solar cells on the roof. Dr Charles Escoffery is a scientist from El Segundo, California, who has pioneered development of solar cells, 9th August 1960. (Photo Charlie Ley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Hard to imagine how society would have progressed if this long-distance bait dispenser was never invented

The first London International Inventions Exhibition, held at London's Royal Horticultural New Hall, Westminster. Pictured, an invention that will be a boon to anglers, is this silent ground bait dispenser. A metal cup on the end of an extending arm will place an approximate handful of bait up to 15ft from the operator's position, demonstrated here by the inventor Mr Hugh Knight from Sussex, 6th January 1969. (Photo by Eric Harlow/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
The first London International Inventions Exhibition, held at London's Royal Horticultural New Hall, Westminster. Pictured, an invention that will be a boon to anglers, is this silent ground bait dispenser. A metal cup on the end of an extending arm will place an approximate handful of bait up to 15ft from the operator's position, demonstrated here by the inventor Mr Hugh Knight from Sussex, 6th January 1969. (Photo by Eric Harlow/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Now we're talking. Here, families enjoy Battersea Park lido in 1960

Families enjoying Battersea Park Lido, London, circa 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty
Families enjoying Battersea Park Lido, London, circa 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

You could get your fruit and veg from the bustling Berwick Street Market in Soho

Fruit and vegetables on sale at Berwick Street Market in Soho, London, April 1961. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)  - Getty
Fruit and vegetables on sale at Berwick Street Market in Soho, London, April 1961. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

Protest culture was taking off – and we started young

Industrial Disputes: Teachers Strike: All the schools in the Ealing area were closed for the day because of the teachers pay claim dispute. 7 year old Bily Fuller of Stanhope Junior School, Greenford, leads the demonstration down the Broadway with his sister Ann (12) OC Costain Senior Girls School, Greenford. December 1969 Z11596-006 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)  - Getty
Industrial Disputes: Teachers Strike: All the schools in the Ealing area were closed for the day because of the teachers pay claim dispute. 7 year old Bily Fuller of Stanhope Junior School, Greenford, leads the demonstration down the Broadway with his sister Ann (12) OC Costain Senior Girls School, Greenford. December 1969 Z11596-006 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty

Kids had a lot of responsibility back in the Sixties

Today they went to the Tooting Police Station, where P.C. Brian Curson of Wandsworth showed them around, they have become his group and come to him for advice, but primarily they run the club themselves. Year old twins Peter and Nigel Nethercote try on new policeman's uniforms which had just arrived at the station. In the background P.C. Curson and the other children. October 1969 Z10506-001 (Photo by Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty
Today they went to the Tooting Police Station, where P.C. Brian Curson of Wandsworth showed them around, they have become his group and come to him for advice, but primarily they run the club themselves. Year old twins Peter and Nigel Nethercote try on new policeman's uniforms which had just arrived at the station. In the background P.C. Curson and the other children. October 1969 Z10506-001 (Photo by Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty

Exhibit B

Two boys fighting with sticks in front of a concrete wall, London, UK, circa 1960. (Photo by Frederick Wilfred/Getty Images)  - Getty
Two boys fighting with sticks in front of a concrete wall, London, UK, circa 1960. (Photo by Frederick Wilfred/Getty Images) - Getty

Here, Adam West (AKA Batman) fronted a road safety campaign – not sure why we needed one of those?

Adam West as Batman helps out with road safety campaign in London which is being sponsored by the Ministry of Transport, 7th May 1967. (Photo by Freddie Cole/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
Adam West as Batman helps out with road safety campaign in London which is being sponsored by the Ministry of Transport, 7th May 1967. (Photo by Freddie Cole/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

It's not like we used to play stick sword fights on the streets

Two boys fighting with sticks in front of a concrete wall, London, UK, circa 1960. (Photo by Frederick Wilfred/Getty Images)  - Getty
Two boys fighting with sticks in front of a concrete wall, London, UK, circa 1960. (Photo by Frederick Wilfred/Getty Images) - Getty

Or start driving at six years old

Fin de la course pour les garçons portant un casque de sécurité et agrippés à leurs volants, à Crystal Palace, Londres, en Angleterre, Royaume-Uni, le 9 juin 1968. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)  - Getty
Fin de la course pour les garçons portant un casque de sécurité et agrippés à leurs volants, à Crystal Palace, Londres, en Angleterre, Royaume-Uni, le 9 juin 1968. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) - Getty

Or use the middle of a road as our playground

Children dance the twist in a designated play street in the East End of London. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)  - Getty
Children dance the twist in a designated play street in the East End of London. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) - Getty

That's more like it. Play in the junkyard, kids

Children playing at an adventure playground in Peckham Road, Southwark. July 1967 P012095 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)  - Getty
Children playing at an adventure playground in Peckham Road, Southwark. July 1967 P012095 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty

Here, a look at the cityscape back in 1967

London - Getty
London - Getty

Good old Trafalgar Square, where little has changed in 60 years

A high angle view of Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column, London, circa 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)  - Getty
A high angle view of Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column, London, circa 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

Likewise over at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich (though the backdrop has changed now, somewhat)

The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, South East London, seen from the top of the hill in Greenwich Park, circa 1965. (Photo by Raymond Kleboe Collection/Getty Images)  - Getty
The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, South East London, seen from the top of the hill in Greenwich Park, circa 1965. (Photo by Raymond Kleboe Collection/Getty Images) - Getty

Indeed, the skyline was absent of any of the skyscrapers we have today

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 3: A view of the River Thames on September 3, 1963 in London, England. (Photo by Ponzini Family/Getty Images)  - Getty
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 3: A view of the River Thames on September 3, 1963 in London, England. (Photo by Ponzini Family/Getty Images) - Getty

As you can see slightly better, from this perspective

Battersea Power Station on the River Thames in Battersea, southwest London, England, 1967. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images)  - Getty
Battersea Power Station on the River Thames in Battersea, southwest London, England, 1967. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

Is that definitely London? Yes indeed – the toll gate house up at the Spaniards Inn, in Hampstead

Toll Gate House, Spaniards Road, Hampstead Heath, Hampstead, London, 1967. Artist: John Gay  - Getty
Toll Gate House, Spaniards Road, Hampstead Heath, Hampstead, London, 1967. Artist: John Gay - Getty

Just down the road in Hampstead village, an open-air art exhibition was underway

Open-air art exhibition, Hampstead, London, 1960-1965. Artist: John Gay Open-air art exhibition, Hampstead, London, 1960-1965. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)  - Getty
Open-air art exhibition, Hampstead, London, 1960-1965. Artist: John Gay Open-air art exhibition, Hampstead, London, 1960-1965. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images) - Getty

On the other side of the city, Brixton market was (and is) the best place in the capital to pick up some yams

Customers weigh up the bananas, sweet potatoes or yams and peppers on sale on a fruit and vegetable market stall, Brixton, London, England circa 1969. (Photo by RDImages/Epics/Getty Images)  - Getty
Customers weigh up the bananas, sweet potatoes or yams and peppers on sale on a fruit and vegetable market stall, Brixton, London, England circa 1969. (Photo by RDImages/Epics/Getty Images) - Getty

We would express ourselves through our wallpaper

Actor Michael Caine pictured at his home in Grosvenor Square, also pictured is girlfriend Minda Feliciano from the Philippines. November 1969 Z11244-006 (Photo by Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)  - Getty
Actor Michael Caine pictured at his home in Grosvenor Square, also pictured is girlfriend Minda Feliciano from the Philippines. November 1969 Z11244-006 (Photo by Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty

Some of which was printed over at Sanderson and Sons, in Islington

Wallpaper Sanderson and sons - Getty
Wallpaper Sanderson and sons - Getty

We would watch global icons strut their stuff in Hyde Park

The Rolling Stones on stage at their free concert in London's Hyde Park on 5 July 1969 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)The Rolling Stones on stage at their free concert in London's Hyde Park on 5 July 1969 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)   - Getty
The Rolling Stones on stage at their free concert in London's Hyde Park on 5 July 1969 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)The Rolling Stones on stage at their free concert in London's Hyde Park on 5 July 1969 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty

Or strum their guitars on rooftops

LONDON - January 30: (L-R) American photographer Linda McCartney (1941-1998) sitting beside English musician, singer and drummer Ringo Starr, English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul McCartney, English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist George Harrison (1943-2001), and English singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lennon (1940-1980) of the Beatles as they play their final live performance on the roof of 3 Savile Row, Apple Corps headquarters, January 30, 1969 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)  - Getty
LONDON - January 30: (L-R) American photographer Linda McCartney (1941-1998) sitting beside English musician, singer and drummer Ringo Starr, English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul McCartney, English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist George Harrison (1943-2001), and English singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lennon (1940-1980) of the Beatles as they play their final live performance on the roof of 3 Savile Row, Apple Corps headquarters, January 30, 1969 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images) - Getty

Mods (and their conflicting subcultural counterparts, rockers) were labelled as 'folk devils'

The mods and rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early to mid-1960s. Media coverage of mods and rockers fighting in 1964 sparked a moral panic about British youths, and the two groups became labelled as folk devils. John Rogers on his scooter with friends in peckham, 6th May 1964. (Photo by Cyril Maitland/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
The mods and rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early to mid-1960s. Media coverage of mods and rockers fighting in 1964 sparked a moral panic about British youths, and the two groups became labelled as folk devils. John Rogers on his scooter with friends in peckham, 6th May 1964. (Photo by Cyril Maitland/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

The Notting Hill Carnival was as vibrant as it is today

Crowds fill the street during the Notting Hill Carnival, London, August 1968. (Photo by Charlie Phillips/Getty Images)  - Getty
Crowds fill the street during the Notting Hill Carnival, London, August 1968. (Photo by Charlie Phillips/Getty Images) - Getty

These hippie squatters resided at 144 Piccadilly

Commune of hippie squatters at 144 Picadilly. (Photo by Terence Spencer/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) - Getty
Commune of hippie squatters at 144 Picadilly. (Photo by Terence Spencer/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) - Getty

A glimpse inside a pub over on Portobello Road

A barman and customers at the 'Piss House' pub on the Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, 1969. (Photo by Charlie Phillips/Getty Images)  - Getty
A barman and customers at the 'Piss House' pub on the Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, 1969. (Photo by Charlie Phillips/Getty Images) - Getty

Others opted for a coffee, perhaps from the 2 i's over in Soho

A group of young people outside the 2 I's coffee bar in Soho, London, April 1961. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)  - Getty
A group of young people outside the 2 I's coffee bar in Soho, London, April 1961. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

Traditional entertainment endured in the East End's boozers

Cabaret singer performing in a East End of London pub on a Saturday night, 6th July 1963. (Photo by Brian Randle/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
Cabaret singer performing in a East End of London pub on a Saturday night, 6th July 1963. (Photo by Brian Randle/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

These chaps were part of a London modelling agency called 'UGLY'

Varied assortment of male models who work for the London agency UGLY posing in striped bathingsuits. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) - Getty
Varied assortment of male models who work for the London agency UGLY posing in striped bathingsuits. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) - Getty

We had hope for sporting victory, just as we do today

Young fans at World's Cup match. (Photo by Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)  - Getty
Young fans at World's Cup match. (Photo by Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) - Getty

And for once, our dreams came true

World Cup win - Getty
World Cup win - Getty

Battersea Power Station was still in operation

A view across the Thames towards Battersea Power Station, with a train crossing Grosvenor Bridge (aka Victoria Railway Bridge) in the foreground, London, 28th December 1966. (Photo by Chris Morphet/Getty Images)  - Getty
A view across the Thames towards Battersea Power Station, with a train crossing Grosvenor Bridge (aka Victoria Railway Bridge) in the foreground, London, 28th December 1966. (Photo by Chris Morphet/Getty Images) - Getty

And we paid the price, in the air quality across the city

Smog caused by coal fires hangs over the roof tops of Battersea, London, 7th December 1962. (Photo by Ron Burton/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
Smog caused by coal fires hangs over the roof tops of Battersea, London, 7th December 1962. (Photo by Ron Burton/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Crime was rife – here, the criminal records file at Scotland Yard

Criminal records file at Scotland Yard. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) (1967) - Getty
Criminal records file at Scotland Yard. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) (1967) - Getty

Some protest movements continue to resonate today

A demonstration in Whitehall, London, organised by the Coloured People's Progressive Association. The protesters carry posters and placards including a picture of Kelso Cochrane, a black man murdered in Notting Hill recently. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)  - Getty
A demonstration in Whitehall, London, organised by the Coloured People's Progressive Association. The protesters carry posters and placards including a picture of Kelso Cochrane, a black man murdered in Notting Hill recently. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) - Getty

Elephants would parade the streets – here, Billy Smart's Circus on Queenstown Road

BATTERSEA, LONDON - circa 1968: Billy Smart's Circus Elephants with riders and mahouts and trainers march along Queenstown Road in South London with Battersea Power Station in the distance circa 1968. (Photo by Chris Morphet/Redferns)  - Getty
BATTERSEA, LONDON - circa 1968: Billy Smart's Circus Elephants with riders and mahouts and trainers march along Queenstown Road in South London with Battersea Power Station in the distance circa 1968. (Photo by Chris Morphet/Redferns) - Getty

We still had our milk delivered to the door

A milkman does his rounds in London's East End during the 1960s. (Photo by Steve Lewis/Getty Images)  - Getty
A milkman does his rounds in London's East End during the 1960s. (Photo by Steve Lewis/Getty Images) - Getty

And we received our news from physical daily newspapers

A newsagent, London, UK, 1960. (Photo by Frederick Wilfred/Getty Images) - Getty
A newsagent, London, UK, 1960. (Photo by Frederick Wilfred/Getty Images) - Getty

Traffic wardens controlled the streets, like on this busy crossroads in Croydon

Britain's first Traffic Warden to control traffic as opposed to booking cars for parking offences, Mrs Joyce Roffey, on point duty at a busy crossroads in Croydon, Surrey, the junction of Park Lane and Coombe Road, 2nd January 1967. (Photo by Eric Harlow/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
Britain's first Traffic Warden to control traffic as opposed to booking cars for parking offences, Mrs Joyce Roffey, on point duty at a busy crossroads in Croydon, Surrey, the junction of Park Lane and Coombe Road, 2nd January 1967. (Photo by Eric Harlow/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Although health and safety wasn't quite as it is today

Elephant interacting with visitors at the London Zoo, London, UK, 1960. (Photo by Wilfred Frederick/Getty Images) - Getty
Elephant interacting with visitors at the London Zoo, London, UK, 1960. (Photo by Wilfred Frederick/Getty Images) - Getty

People took to Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, just as they do today

A preacher with a placard listing the world's dams at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London, with Marble Arch in the background, May 1960. (Photo by Michael Ward/Getty Images)  - Getty
A preacher with a placard listing the world's dams at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London, with Marble Arch in the background, May 1960. (Photo by Michael Ward/Getty Images) - Getty

Men who struggled to grow facial hair finally had a realistic alternative

False beards for teenage men who haven't the time or the inclination to grow a real beard, 20th October 1960. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
False beards for teenage men who haven't the time or the inclination to grow a real beard, 20th October 1960. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Covent Garden still operated as a fruit market, rather than somewhere to buy a mulled wine for £13

1960 Vauxhall Cresta Friary estate in Covent Garden fruit market. Creator: Unknown. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images) - Getty
1960 Vauxhall Cresta Friary estate in Covent Garden fruit market. Creator: Unknown. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images) - Getty

The Tube was slightly less packed than it is at today's rush hour

Passengers commute on a train on the London Underground, London, England, circa 1960. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images)  - Getty
Passengers commute on a train on the London Underground, London, England, circa 1960. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

Ford cars were all the rage – here, an assembly plant in Dagenham

General scenes outside the Ford paint, trim and assembly plant in Dagenham, Essex as new Ford cars roll off the production line, 16th November 1960. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
General scenes outside the Ford paint, trim and assembly plant in Dagenham, Essex as new Ford cars roll off the production line, 16th November 1960. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Although some were trailblazing a more environmentally-friendly transport alternative

London to Brighton Bike Ride. The National Association of Veteran cycle clubs staged a commemorative run from Trafalgar Square to Brighton, to mark the 100 years anniversary of the first recorded cycle journey over the route. Brixton Hill, London. 8th February 1969. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)  - Getty
London to Brighton Bike Ride. The National Association of Veteran cycle clubs staged a commemorative run from Trafalgar Square to Brighton, to mark the 100 years anniversary of the first recorded cycle journey over the route. Brixton Hill, London. 8th February 1969. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) - Getty

Some more practical than others

London to Brighton Bike Ride, 9th February 1969. (Photo by Eric Piper/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
London to Brighton Bike Ride, 9th February 1969. (Photo by Eric Piper/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

Who needs iPhones or new dating apps? 'Be Popular' was the advertisement seen here on the Bakerloo line platform

A Bakerloo line train pulls into an Underground station in London, England, circa 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)  - Getty
A Bakerloo line train pulls into an Underground station in London, England, circa 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

My word – what a beautiful Doric Arch you had back in 1960, Euston Station

Euston Arch, Euston Station, Euston Road, Camden, London, 1960. Traffic in front of the Euston Arch. The arch was designed by Philip Hardwick in 1837 as part of a screen and portico around the station forecourt. It was demolished in 1963. Artist Eric de Maré. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)  - Getty
Euston Arch, Euston Station, Euston Road, Camden, London, 1960. Traffic in front of the Euston Arch. The arch was designed by Philip Hardwick in 1837 as part of a screen and portico around the station forecourt. It was demolished in 1963. Artist Eric de Maré. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images) - Getty

Well, it was good while it lasted. The arch was dismantled to make way for today's monstrosity of a station, in 1961

UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 17: The campaign against the destruction of the arch became something of a cause celebre and many protesters argued that the arch should not have been destroyed but dismantled and re-erected on another site. The loss of the portico was a major influence in changing attitudes to the preservation of Britain's architectural heritage. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)  - Getty
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 17: The campaign against the destruction of the arch became something of a cause celebre and many protesters argued that the arch should not have been destroyed but dismantled and re-erected on another site. The loss of the portico was a major influence in changing attitudes to the preservation of Britain's architectural heritage. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images) - Getty

Fortunately, the splendour of St Pancras has stood the test of time

St Pancras Station, London, 1960-1972. View looking towards St Pancras Station from a busy Euston Road with the Underground sign in the foreground. The station clocktower is covered in scaffolding. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)  - Getty
St Pancras Station, London, 1960-1972. View looking towards St Pancras Station from a busy Euston Road with the Underground sign in the foreground. The station clocktower is covered in scaffolding. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images) - Getty

Clapham Junction was, and remains, London's busiest station (here, a colour print painting by Terence Cuneo)

UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 19: Colour print from a painting by Terence Cuneo looking down towards Clapham Junction in London. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images) - Getty
UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 19: Colour print from a painting by Terence Cuneo looking down towards Clapham Junction in London. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images) - Getty

Wembley was yet to have received its facelift

Wembley Stadium, London, 1963. Aerial view of the stadium on 8 May 1963 during an international friendly match, a 1-1 draw between England and Brazil. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images) - Getty
Wembley Stadium, London, 1963. Aerial view of the stadium on 8 May 1963 during an international friendly match, a 1-1 draw between England and Brazil. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images) - Getty

On the Thames, the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge was no less fierce than it is today

Oxford versus Cambridge Boat Race, on The River Thames, London, 23rd March 1963. The 109th Boat Race took place on 23 March 1963. Held annually, the event is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames. The race, umpired by Gerald Ellison, the Bishop of Chester, was won by Oxford with a winning margin of five lengths.. (Photo by Cyril Maitland/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty
Oxford versus Cambridge Boat Race, on The River Thames, London, 23rd March 1963. The 109th Boat Race took place on 23 March 1963. Held annually, the event is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames. The race, umpired by Gerald Ellison, the Bishop of Chester, was won by Oxford with a winning margin of five lengths.. (Photo by Cyril Maitland/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

London Airport (now, Heathrow) was our gateway to the world

The No. 1 Passenger Building at London Airport, later Heathrow Airport, London, August 1963. (Photo by Les Graves/Fox Photos/Getty Images) - Getty
The No. 1 Passenger Building at London Airport, later Heathrow Airport, London, August 1963. (Photo by Les Graves/Fox Photos/Getty Images) - Getty

A peek inside the control tower, in 1964

Air traffic controllers in the control tower at Heathrow Airport handling departing and arriving flights, 18th October 1964. (Photo by Randle/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)  - Getty
Air traffic controllers in the control tower at Heathrow Airport handling departing and arriving flights, 18th October 1964. (Photo by Randle/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) - Getty

In some ways, the London of the 1960s is unrecognisable

Smokers - Getty
Smokers - Getty

But then again, some things never change

(Original Caption) London office workers wear masks in an effort to evade the current influenza epidemic that has hit Britain and most of Europe. Emergency flu cases in London rose to their highest level in seven years, December 30. Volunteer nurses stepped in to fill gaps in hospital staffs throughout the country as the number of cases climbed and doctors and nurses were among victims of the outbreak.  - Getty
(Original Caption) London office workers wear masks in an effort to evade the current influenza epidemic that has hit Britain and most of Europe. Emergency flu cases in London rose to their highest level in seven years, December 30. Volunteer nurses stepped in to fill gaps in hospital staffs throughout the country as the number of cases climbed and doctors and nurses were among victims of the outbreak. - Getty

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