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Step back in time: to 1963

Take a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic look back at 1963.

Welcome back to all the excitement of the Swinging Sixties; Beatlemania was beginning to take hold just as the snow thawed from the worst winter in more than twenty years.

The 60s were a time of optimism and change around the world and a golden age for fashion, art and music – mid-way through the decade we can already see some of the exciting changes begin to come about.

So grab a cuppa and step back in time with us to 1963…

Pop Culture

Popular Culture offers a glimpse into the lives of people and the big and little things that made up the everyday. Here’s a snapshot of life and pop culture in 1963.

The price of things: In 1963 a gallon of petrol cost 5 shillings.

A brand new Ford Cortina car cost £675. The average house price in Great Britain in 1963 is £3,160.

Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture at the 35th Academy Awards.

22 March – The Beatles release their first album, Please Please Me and Beatlemania begins to take hold across Britain. The album holds an unbroken 30-week spell at the top of the charts, and is replaced only by the group’s second album, With the Beatles.

The Sindy fashion doll is first released in stores.

23 November – The first-ever episode of cult classic Dr Who is broadcast on BBC Television.

The Astro lava lamp is launched by Edward Craven-Walker, and goes on to enjoy enormous success in homes around the country.

American Express introduces credit cards into the UK.

Mop top hair, made famous by the Beatles and other musicians of this era, becomes a popular hairstyle with young men around the country.

World Events

1963 wasn’t just an important year in Britain. Here’s a look at some of the most significant events that took place in 1963 around the globe. 

Winter 1963 – Britain has the worst winter in nearly 20 years. Low temperatures mean snow is on the ground until April in some areas.

March 1963 – The Duke and Duchess of Argyll divorce in a highly-publicised and salacious case. Suspecting his wife of an affair, the Duke hires a private investigator to break into a locked cupboard while the Duchess is away from home, where he finds nude photographs of her and another man, believed to be the Minister of Defence Duncan Sandys.

 6 April – The Polaris Sales Agreement with the United States leads to the commencement of construction of nuclear submarine facilities at Faslane Naval Base.

8 August – The infamous Great Train Robbery takes place in Buckinghamshire. A Royal Mail train heading between Glasgow and London is apprehended by a 15-strong gang of robbers, the group stole over £2.6 million and fled to Leatherslade Farm. Evidence recovered there would lead to the arrest and conviction of most of the gang.

10 October – After seven years, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announces his resignation tat the age of 69 on the grounds of ill health.

22 November – American President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas while travelling with his wife in a presidential motorcade.

Sporting Moments

From big upsets to big wins, here are some of the most significant moments to take place in sport in 1963.

11 May – Everton F.C. win the Football League First Division title.

1 May – Tottenham Hotspur become the first British football team to win a European trophy at the European Cup Winners’ Cup after a 5-1 win over Atlético Madrid in Rotterdam.

Famous Births

Some big personalities came into the world in 1963. Here’s a few of the famous faces born this year.

Music

Nothing takes us back like music; these were some of the best-selling artists and most popular songs on the radio in 1963. 

Best selling single of the year: The Beatles – From Me to You

Christmas number 1: The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand


Other popular songs

Gerry and the Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cliff Richards & The Shadows – Summer Holiday

How old were you in 1963? Does this timeline bring back any memories?

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Silversurfer's Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assitant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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mrsstell54
21st Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
i was 9 that year , and i remember walking on the river dee in chester as it was frozen solid, i also was in trouble for doing so, but i remember there was a mini being driven on it !!
MikeB3
17th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was married to my wife Sheila on 5th August 1963, three days before the Great Train Robbery. When I got back to work after our honeymoon I was asked where I'd hidden the money.....!
gypsy47
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news about JFK. I was walking down Deansgate in Manchester on my first date. Remember it like it was yesterday.
SusanW92
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 12 a schoolgirl.
LollyM
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
To me it just seems like yesterday! Remember it all but Kennedy assassination & the snow, followed by floods where I lived are the most memorable .......1963 was the year of our very first overseas holiday! Paris where we conceived our first child- born 1964!
RichardK7
16th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I was 9, I rambert the snow i woke up and snow was up to the bedroom window. Dad had made a tunnel out to the barn yippee no school until the it melts and can get out of the valley on the Quantoxhead Somerset. RAF dropped supplies in when it thawed it was a torrent with trees floating by.
pommiegranate
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Re: The Astro Lava lamp.
I wasn't aware that 1963 marked its introduction to the UK.
However, four years later I began working for Mr Craven-Walker. Some time in '68 I acted as interpreter when there was an issue of patent rights with the German manufacturer of a similar lamp, Herrn Peckels of Wuppertal. An interesting time. Maybe someone out there has connections to either firm or interest in the Topic.
November
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 38 in 1963. It was daughters first year at school and the snow was so deep I was walking her to school on hard baked snow, holding on to wire which was usually the top of the wire fencing surrounding the .school. I slipped over and lay flat on m'y back. She stood ;looking down at me saying " get up Mummy "
ChrisD5
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 14 and got to see the Beatles live at the Odean in Birmingham, none of your huge stadiums for us! Magical times, happy memories
Cas70
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 17 and loving every minute the music ,fashion every day there was something new and exciting. Us baby boomers have been a very lucky generation, so many privilege's, to our parents thank you.
KathyT3
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 12 in 1963. It was the year my Father went missing for 24 hours as a result of the snow. He drove from Chester to Barmouth to deliver papers and got stuck in the snow. The local paper took his photo and wrote an article about him. I have tried to find that article and photo as I do not have a photo of Dad. Does anyone else have a memory cod the winter of 1963?
Putty
16th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 15 in 1963. What a year for teenagers, so different from anything which had come before. We had our own fashion, our own hair styles and the Beatles. If I could revisit any decade it would be the sixties. What memories.
johnnybkb
16th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Myself and my family were stuck in westmorland for two weeks snowed in scary times.
blackbeard
27th Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I know we've go global warming, so in reality I guess it should be a warmish winter, but gut feeling says we could be on the fringes of a winters such as 1962/63
Mackenzie8
27th Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I got married that year a very windy but a very lovely day
wessex17
2nd Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 14 in 1963. Living in Northern Ireland. Coal lorries couldn't get through to the villages. So I was out in the land rover with my Cousin delivering peat briquettes to the cut off houses from my Uncles shop. Also because the bread man couldn't deliver I was helping my Mum bake soda bread and potato bread for the village.
Washing brought in off the line and stood in the corner to thaw!!
Hamie
31st Dec 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I was 15 in February 1963. I remember very well that winter. I was still at school ( which remained open) and the ice was thick and deep. Several male neighbours had to get together to dig up someone's path, as best they could, in order to try to thaw out the water pipes. They were frozen so no water for a while. Then I left school at Easter that year and started to work in town at the Cooperative grocery store. Oh they were such happy years.
eyewit63
7th Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
This all brought memories back to me 1963 I was 12 just started secondary school we had
to walk To school
I loved the Beatles the stones Elvis Gerry and the pacemakers Hermans Hermits to name
a few.
I was given my first record player that Christmas
We used to play with conkers lay on a pice of wood pinch mums old wheels off the
old pram out all day
themgs
7th Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
June 1963 was our wedding day and we are still together. Remember the snow well, as Hubby to be was travelling home from Scotland with snow by the side of the road, well over the height of the car.
Mrs.H.
7th Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I was just 18 and in the 6th form. I remember walking home from school when the snow started as the buses just couldn't run! A long way to walk across Birmingham that day, but great memories of the huge drifts and piles of snow everywhere through the following weeks.
Roni57
7th Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Was 6 in Scotland couldn't get to school for a week milk bottles were frozen on the door step house was cold only coal fires in two rooms sleighing was great built a real igloo with older brother slept with hotwater bottles and about ten blankets frost INSIDE bedroom windows don't know how we survived
minniecooper55
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I was 9 and I remember the Beatles starting out - such an exciting time! We lived in Leeds and I also remember snow still thick on the ground at Easter (April). We'd spent all winter scurrying out to the coal store for more coal and trying to keep warm. Ice on the windows in the mornings - every morning! And walking to school several times because the buses couldn't run. Brrr!
Simply the best
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I was 19 and I remember teetering along in my 3" heels on the ice because only old fogeys wore boots in those days.
Kincraig
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I was 16 and still at school in Edinburgh. I remember nearly all of the above except perhaps Everton winning the English league and the price of petrol.
Curlylocks
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
My mother was pregnant with my brother that winter. We had no water for 6 weeks & my poor Mum had to carry buckets from a neighbour. I remember. My Dad building us a sledge with runners from a scrap yard, still have it in our garage. What memories.
Katykookaburra
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
1963 I was 16 just left school started work had money in my pocket and the world was my oyster.I don't think we will ever experience the freedom the 60s gave us.
JanP1352
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I was 11 getting ready to go to 'big school'
I remember walking to the village school on top of 6 foot high snowdrifts. No way in or out of village which was 900feet above sea level. Happy days sledging though!
swanland
7th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I was sweet 16. I absolutely loved the Beatles went to see them in 64 ....never heard a word for all the screaming .... X
Wilf
3rd Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Great year. I was only 5 but still remember dad pulling me along on a wooden sledge as the snow was so bad

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