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Life in 1950's London
“From austerity to rock ‘n’ roll – the story of a fascinating decade for the world’s greatest city."
After the trauma of the Blitz and wartime restrictions, London embraced the arrival of a new decade. Austerity was slow to loosen its grip, but the Festival of Britain pointed a tentative way forward. Two years later saw the birth of a new Elizabethan era that was greeted with an almost naïve enthusiasm.
This was a time when class still dominated and divided. Despite the introduction of the welfare state, grinding poverty still existed. The rich were also suffering under a barrage of punitive taxation. The artistic community set out to challenge the bounds of perceived decency. As always, London spearheaded change. Twin sets and pearls gave way to a new elegance in women’s fashion, while young men ditched their cloth caps in favour of Teddy Boy suits. A new teenage culture arrived along with coffee bars and rock ’n’ roll.
To a background of grisly murders and organised crime, often shrouded in fog, London lurched into the unknown. It was loud, brash and chaotic, yet also sophisticated. A city of opportunity and dangerous temptation, it set the agenda for others to follow. Huge success and degrading humiliation were of passing interest only as the world’s greatest city hurled itself restlessly forward seeking its next distraction.
"A fascinating read” Books Monthly
“A Fantastic book and a wonderful read” Bernie Keith (presenter for BBC Radio Northampton)
Get to know the author - a little bit about Mike.
Educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School, I grew up in London and became seduced by its energy and complexity.
Whilst it presents itself with a certain swagger, a dark, less appealing, city is never far away. It has the power to inspire and destroy in equal measure. It’s where wealth and squalor meets and often merges. My books unearth the glamour, the underlying violence and the sheer volatility of the greatest capital in the world. They cover the period from the roaring twenties through to the war and the austerity that followed.