Forty seven years ago, Alf Ramsey got a knighthood and Bobby Moore an OBE, the UK’s application to join the Common Market was knocked back by President deGaulle and colour television was broadcast for the first time.
On this very date of November 4, the Bee Gees were topping the charts with When The Lights Went Out In Massachusetts and my wife Maria and I were married.
Wow, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?
There were more memorable songs than the Bee Gees hit in 1967, a year I mostly wore a kaftan and beads and frequently had flowers in my hair. Scott McKenzie was urging people to visit San Francisco (we didn’t), ProculHarum were confused about A Whiter Shade of Pale, and we enjoyed a Waterloo Sunset and trips to Itchycoo Park.
It was the era of flower power when everything seemed possible, we lived in Cool Britannia, psychedelia ruled and we played naked rounders in the grounds of the rather grand house where Maria lived (but only after dark).
The Stones were arrested in drugs busts and Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire on stage for the first time. Patrick McGoohan was trapped in a North Wales village in the cult TV show The Prisoner, Nicholas Parsons launched Just A Minute on Radio 4, a panel game that, like our marriage, is still going strong.
The year also saw momentous legislation when Parliament finally decriminalised homosexuality. It seems amazing that until then, those of a different sexual inclination to what was judged the norm, could be sent to prison.
The wedding was in Blackpool, where I worked for the evening newspaper and my wife was a member of a prominent seaside business family. We had to wait until the end of the season to tie the knot which is why we got married the first Saturday after the end of the Illuminations.
Where have the years gone?
At least we lived through the Swinging 60s, one of the most iconic decades ever, and I can even remember parts of it, and all those wild young things who were sharing the same dream are now of a similar age.
When my Auntie Doris went into a nursing home, the residents enjoyed a sing-song of Vera Lynn melodies and were visited by concert parties bashing out It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and Roll Out The Barrel.
If our two daughters and four grandchildren ever visit Maria and I in an old folk’s home, at least the singalongs will be the Beatles back catalogue, there’ll be a loop of the Stones, Kinks, Searchers and Hollies records instead of muzak, and entertainment will be from rock and roll tribute bands.
“Excuse me. We’re looking for my mum and dad.”
“Sorry. You’ll have to speak up. They like the music loud.”
“Well that old chap in the corner is certainly enjoying himself. He knows all the words.”
“That’s Keith Richards. He’s been a resident for years. They only let him out when the Stones are touring. Now, you wanted your mum and dad?”
“That’s right. Do you know where they are?”
“Last I heard they were in the back garden with flowers in their hair playing naked rounders.”