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7 February 2011
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Teenager The 1960s saw the birth of the teenager and life was never the same again. It was the start of a social and sexual revolution in Britain, and this was mirrored in the North East and Cumbria.

This revolution was partly a reaction to the austerity of the post war years, increased prosperity and spending power, and advances in technology and science.

Young people woke up to the idea that that they could have an identity and lifestyle different from their parents.

Teenagers started to break free from the traditions and rules of previous generations in fashion, lifestyle and sexual behaviour. They wanted their own music, clothes and freedom to do their own thing.

The Teenage Boom

In the early 19th century teenagers were treated as 'big children' or 'little adults' but this was to change from the 1950s and 60s.

Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones were a symbol of teenage rebellion

The 1960s saw young people liberated from Victorian and post-war taboos, limitations and inhibitions.

It was the age of the contraceptive pill, drug culture and the permissive society.

Music provided the soundtrack for a generation with groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks topping the charts.

Clubbing became popular, and Tyneside alone boasted 91 licensed clubs in the mid 1960s. The most famous was the Club A Go Go in Newcastle featuring gigs by the hottest new artists including Jimi Hendrix and The Animals.

Local lads The Animals went on to achieve international success with hits like 'House of the Rising Sun' and 'We've Gotta Get out of this Place'.

Fashion Revolution

he fashion revolution had its roots in the 1950s when Mary Quant opened her first shop, Bazaar, on Kings Road Chelsea in 1955.

Hemlines were raised in the age of sexual liberation

But it was the Sixties that were to be the fashion decade with models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton hitting the headlines.

London's Carnaby Street was the height of fashion whilst boutiques sprung up across the North selling affordable versions of the latest fashion gear.

Mini skirts revealed more than we'd seen ever before whilst hot pants created a sensation as seen in our 1960s film from the archives.

Not bad for a country where 50 years earlier, table legs had been covered up for fear of offence!

Even the boys weren't left out with the new mods, rockers, hippies and dandies snapping up fashions to create their own tribes.

Hemlines went up and down with the mini, the midi and maxi skirt enjoying success with trendy shoppers. Then there were hot pants which caused a fashion sensation in the late 60s and early 70s.

Teenage rebellion

Teenage boy with guitar
Teenagers came into their own in the 1960s

The decade ended with the trial of underground magazine Oz whose publishers were found guilty of obscenity.

The offending issue was entitled 'The Schoolkids Issue' which included contributions from teenagers which included a cartoon of Rupert bear involved in a sexual act.

Richard Neville, Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis were found guilty after a lengthy trial and faced severe sentences, but were released on appeal.

Youth culture had become a powerful force, and the teenager was to dominate popular culture for the next three decades.

In the North teenagers were also changing our culture forever with an explosion of music, club culture and fashion.

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