SPECIAL PAPERBACK BOOK:
Life in 1950s London
By Mike Hutton. Paperback Book. 256 pages. 32 pages of black & white photos.
From austerity to rock ‘n’ roll – the story of a fascinating decade for the world’s greatest city.
After the trauma of the Blitz and wartime restrictions, London embraced the arrival of a new decade. Austerity was slow to loosen its grip, but the Festival of Britain pointed a tentative way forward. Two years later saw the birth of a new Elizabethan era that was greeted with an almost naïve enthusiasm. This was a time when class still dominated and divided. Despite the introduction of the welfare state, grinding poverty still existed. The rich were also suffering under a barrage of punitive taxation. The artistic community set out to challenge the bounds of perceived decency. As always, London spearheaded change. Against a background of grisly murders and organised crime, often shrouded in fog, London lurched into the unknown. It was loud, brash and chaotic, yet also sophisticated. A city of opportunity and dangerous temptation, it set the agenda for others to follow. Huge success and degrading humiliation were of passing interest only as the world’s greatest city hurled itself restlessly forward seeking its next distraction. 17 nostalgic chapters cover everything from the death of King George VI to the London smog, to the HM Elizabeth II’s coronation to Teddy Boys, innovations in the kitchen with new-fangled gadgets like electric mixers, to Television, London’s criminal gangs, the rise of the coffee bar, home grown pop stars and everything that came with the post war era and the beginnings of ‘modern’ life.