Sixties children grew up in a more permissive and commercial age. They enjoyed a childhood in which new vaccines gave children protection from life threatening diseases while the contraceptive pill meant smaller family groups. A controversial programme of comprehensive education began to be rolled out while primary schools would become less rigid and more centred on the needs of the child. This was also the first young generation not to be conscripted into the armed forces.
Rising prosperity and rapid technological advances meant more children lived in homes with refrigerators, washing machines and science-inspired toys. Parents had more leisure time to spend with their children and television became the norm. Sixties children routinely travelled in cars and went on family holidays, increasingly abroad. Sweets and toys were plentiful in this first full decade without rationing. Teenagers had money to spend on fashion, pop music and, worryingly, drugs. The Beatles began to dominate the vinyl record market.
This book is part of the Britain's Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain's past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with a 1960s childhood in all its variety.
Dr Janet Shepherd gained her doctorate in Poor Law education at London Guildhall University. She is co-author with John Shepherd of 1920s Britain (2010), 1970s Britain (2012) and 1950s Childhood (2014) for Shire Books, and is currently working on a history of a little known radical twentieth century society, the Progressive League. Professor John Shepherd has worked at the University of Huddersfield since 2010, and was previously joint director of the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. His publications include Crisis? What Crisis: the Callaghan Government and the British Winter of Discontent (MUP, 2013).