Step back in time: to 1969

Take a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic look back at 1969.

Welcome back to the end of a decade of growth and progress; the first humans landed on the moon, the Troubles were brewing in Northern Ireland and tension and change were present all over the country.

1969 was a time of rock and roll, new technology and colour television. There were new opportunities for men and women as Britain began moving in a new direction.

So grab a cuppa and step back in time with us to 1969…

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 1969.

30 January – The Beatles give their last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. They release their final album, Abbey Road, in September the same year.

The Space hopper toy was introduced in Britain.

 7 April – Oliver! wins the award for best picture at the 49th annual Academy Awards. Cliff Robertson wins Best Actor, while Katherine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand tie for Best Actress.

25 March – John Lennon and Yoko Ono are married in Gibraltar.

The UK share first place in the Eurovision Song Contest with France, Spain and the Netherlands. The song is Boom bang-a-bang by Lulu.

The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II leaves Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York.

The pre-decimal halfpenny ceases to be legal tender. A new seven-sided 50p coin was introduced to replace the 10-shilling note.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus airs its first episode on the BBC.

At the cinema: The Italian Job, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie all debut in cinemas.

World Events

1969 wasn’t just an important year in Britain. Here’s a look at some of the most significant events that took place in 1969 around the globe. 

The Troubles begin in Northern Ireland. By August British troops are deployed in Northern Ireland to restore law and order. Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Jack Lynch, makes a speech requesting a UN peacekeeping force for Northern Ireland.

4 March – The Kray twins are found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison for a minimum of 30 years.

7 March – The London Underground Victoria line was opened by the Queen.

20 July – Men land on the moon for the first time in history. American Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to step onto the lunar surface, followed shortly after by his crewmate Buzz Aldrin. Footage from the landing is broadcast on all three British television channels – Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon at 3:56 a.m British Time.

The Woodstock Festival is held in upstate New York and would go on to be one of the most legendary festivals of a generation.

Sporting Moments

From big upsets to big wins, here are some of the most significant moments to take place in sport in 1969.

12 July – Tony Jacklin wins The Open Championship

Ann Jones wins Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles titles at Wimbledon and is voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Famous Births

Some big personalities came into the world in 1969. Here’s a few of the famous faces born this year.


Nothing takes us back like music; these were some of the best-selling artists and most popular songs on the radio in 1969.

Best selling single of the year: Sugar Sugar by The Archies

Other popular songs

Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones

Get Back by The Beatles with Billy Preston

Where Do You Go To My Lovely by Peter Sarstedt

Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye

How old were you in 1969? Does our timeline bring back any memories? 

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant 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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bob scott
25th Nov 2019
Thanks for voting!
1969. Remember it well? ten years since I left the army the year I got a sever back injury, spent 3.months laying on a wooden board in the down stairs living room. A little black and white T.V. on the floor nearly every day watching coverage of the Moon Landing.
It ended up me buying first envelopes stamps from around the world. Still have to this day.
As regards my back injury no operations back then, I had to wait till 1982. I still had to work all strapped up and I am still paying the price of that injury to day.
16th Sep 2019
Thanks for voting!
I was 17 in 1969 .Loved everything about the sixties .Also met my husband in September of that year and we're still together after all these years.
5th Sep 2019
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On a family holiday in St Annes on Sea - I was nine. my sisters five and three. Also took Nana and Grampa - seven of us in a Hillman Minx, with deck chairs, windshield and luggage! Dad promised to wake me up to see Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon, but he didn't!
The sun shone every day - happy times.
6th Aug 2017
Thanks for voting!
Produced my 5th and final baby in January so the rest of 1969 passed in a haze.
roseanne dick
20th Jul 2017
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Was still at school but remember it well
20th Jul 2017
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My husband Roy & I were married in June 1969 & I got pregnant with our son Gary in the Autumn. It was a wonderful year & still think we are lucky we were alive then, the best times in the sixties! Now we look forward to our Golden Wedding in two years, God willing!
20th Jul 2017
Thanks for voting!
Celebrated my 21st birthday in May 1969, what happy memories
20th Jan 2017
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1969 almost passed me by! I had four young children and I was expecting a fifth baby. My mother, who lived in Switzerland, was worrying about me and thought that I needed a break. So leaving the children with my husband I travelled to Switzerland for a rest! Everyone was excited about the moon landing, and on the evening that it was televised, we sat out on the balcony looking at the moon. Using our imagination we thought that we could see something there! Idid enjoy the rest but missed the children and at the end of the week was happy to go home again. My beautiful baby girl was born in November and was much loved by her brother and sisters. That was my 1969!
31st Aug 2016
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Really enjoy all the content of Silversurfers lovely old memories brought to the surface, common sense tips that we all take on board,thankyou all.
Thanks for voting!
Thank you 🙂 so glad that you are enjoying Silversurfers 🙂
Pooky Perkins
29th Aug 2016
Thanks for voting!
Lovely to see memories of 1969. I was 20. I'd recently joined the QE2 as a beautician in the Steiner salon, so I would have been on board in the picture you showed of the ship's Maiden Voyage to New York. A really great year for me.
29th Aug 2016
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Really good article thanks. At the start of 69 I had just (reluctantly) started school...
29th Jun 2016
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1969 was the year we got married, I was 18, my husband 21, still together now, although many people thought we were too young. Loved the music, especially the Stones, and the fashion, everything seemed to be making a statement
8th Apr 2016
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I was 13 in 1969 and living in Northern Ireland when the British troops arrived. Fortunately I lived well away from all the main trouble areas. I remember the moon landing and the excitement surrounding it, but I'm sure I didn't fully appreciate the full signifiicance and greatness of that event at the time. I remember the Peter Sarstedt record above. Funny enough, I heard it on the radio this week and I sang along to it and had no trouble remembering all the words.
3rd Apr 2016
Thanks for voting!
One of the best years of my life great music
Tony Murrey
3rd Apr 2016
Thanks for voting!
Joined HMS Londonderry(remember not being allowed to wear uniform ashore on official visit to Londonderry because of safety concerns in 1970). Aged 19. Isle of Wight Festival. Single at the time. Bought Abbey Road the day it came out. My last year as a teenager, did we actually change when we hit the advanced age of 20?
3rd Apr 2016
Thanks for voting!
Great year and some fantastic music. I reemember the Moon landing as I was allowed to stay home that day by Dad as he said it was such an important event. He was right! I loved the song Sugar Sugar by the Archie's and also In the Summer Time by Mungo Jerry. Wonderful times.

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