Saturday, June 13, 2015

Everyday Melbourne in the 1960s

Big news in Batmania! I have an article about The Mystrys — a sensational but short-lived band previously profiled in this blog — in the forthcoming issue of legendary British magazine, Shindig! I’ll be ppublishing a couple more blog posts about the group to mark the occasion, based on interviews I did with a couple of the key players, but while they’re taking shape, I wanted to share this interesting photo-essay about ‘everyday life in Melbourne in the Swinging Sixties’ that I found on The Herald Sun website.

Naturally, the usual suspects are present — The Beatles, The Stones, Normie Rowe, Jean Shrimpton at the Melbourne Cup. But there’s also Graham Kennedy, a haunting shot of Ronald Ryan and two photos of the footballer that even folks who couldn’t give two flying whatevers about AFL can’t help liking... Ron Barassi. 
Don't knock the Ron: Barassi, Hawaiian style. Photo: Herald Sun
Whether he’s helping women in distress, pulling folks from flaming cars, bowling in Melbourne’s first ten-pin bowling alley, posing with Hawaiian beauties or (so I hear) kicking a footy, Ron Barassi is The Man.

New Australians

A couple of pics of European migrants arriving in Melbourne provide a stark contrast to the current immigration situation. As the exuberant scene below illustrates, approaching Aussie shores by boat 50 years ago was a joyous rather than fraught experience. And not a border control official in sight..
Migrants on the Flavia arriving at Station Pier in 1964. Photo: Herald Sun

Hitting the streets

Unsurprisingly, the street scenes included in the photo essay are wonderful, not least for the drool-worthy cars upping the aesthetic ante. Bourke, Flinders and Spencer Streets all look distinctly more glamorous than they do these days, but this one of Sydney Road is pick of the bunch. Did someone say Holden heaven?
Sydney Road (1964)  looking somewhat less chaotic than it does today. Photo: Herald Sun
Meanwhile, a selection of suburban shots evoke a palpable sense of nostalgia for simpler times. Check out this back-street billy cart race: can you imagine that happening in this era of helicopter parents and PlayStation? 

Full tilt! Billy cart kids in action, 1962. Photo: Herald Sun

Hello, ladies!

But pièce de resistance is this stylin’ line-up of likely lads taken from a spread in the newspaper’s fashion pages in 1967 (is that John Steed on the left?). While I’ve featured plenty of women’s fashion in this blog, local male fashion snaps from the decade are a rare treat. 
Five alive: men's fashion in Melbourne, 1967. Photo: Herald Sun
Factor in several photos of children, the Royal Show and the Queen, and one can't help thinking that the 1960s portrayed by The Herald Sun isn't so much swinging as downright sweet... 

All these pics and more can be seen here: Photo essay: Take a look back at everyday life in Melbourne in the Swinging Sixties

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