Exploding the myths of a decade I never knew

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It’s said that if you can remember the 1960s then you weren’t there.

I arrived late to the ’60s scene - 15 years, to be exact - but I made up for lost time by falling in love with the music of the time.

I still enjoy albums from the likes of the Creation and the Small Faces, more than 40 years after they were recorded.

But I would never claim to have an insight into how things were then just by listening to a few guitar bands of the time.

It’s strange how our perceptions of the past are formed.

The ’60s are viewed as an era of social change and liberation, but the ’70s has a reputation of strikes and three-day working weeks.

A documentary series began this week which aims to shatter some of the myths about the decade that we apparently love to hate.

Presenter Dominic Sandbrook - who was born in 1974 - says that he wants to capture the “complicated, contrary spirit of a decade that was richer, more interesting and a lot more important than most of us realise”.

Some of the facts of how life was then sound unbelievable now.

For example, until 1971 woman were barred from entering Wimpy restaurants alone after midnight, the reason being apparently the only woman still out on their own at that time were prostitutes.

The ’70s certainly were not all bad. Families had more disposable income than ever before, and it had never been easier for children from the poorest backgrounds to reach the best universities.

Sandbrook claims that life in the UK changed more quickly during the 1970s than any other decade post-war.

He sounds right, but what would I know - I wasn’t there.