27 Wonderful Photographs Showing London’s Youth Culture in the Late 1950s and Early 1960s

Britain has one of the most innovative and vibrant youth cultures in the world. It has come to define post-colonial British identity and it has helped to make London the cultural and commercial capital of Europe. This course will examine the history, sociology, aesthetics and economics of British youth culture, from the early days of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, through to Beatlemania, Punk, Britpop, Rave and the latest contemporary developments.

By the 1960s, the first teenage generation free from conscription emerged in Britain. Young people were finally given a voice and freedom to do what they wanted. The parents of the Sixties teenage generation had spent their youth fighting for their lives in the Second World War and wanted their own children to enjoy their youth and be able to have more fun and freedom. By the early 1960s, teenagers were already significantly different to those of a decade ago.

These interesting vintage photographs were taken by photographer Roger Mayne that show London youth culture scenes from the late 1950s to early ’60s.

Teenage boy, October 15, 1959
Teddy boys on a corner, Southam Street, 1956
Teddy girls, Battersea Fun Fair
Southam Street, London
Southam Street, London
Southam Street, London
Southam Street, London
Southam Street, London
Teddy boys, Princedale Road, 1956
Group with policeman, Southam Street, 1956
Teenagers, Soho Fair, 1958
Girl, Soho, October 14, 1959
Teenage band, Parkhill Estate, Sheffield, “Teenage night”, April 7 1961
Hampstead Heath Fair, 1961
Teenagers on the ground, Beaulieu Jazz Festival, 1961
Boys gambling, Princedale Road, April 15 1956
Couple Jiving, “Teenage night”, April 7 1961
Girl, Beaulieu Jazz Festival, July 29 1961
Couple, Richmond Jazz Festival, July 1962
Rockers, Brixton, 1963
Southam Street, London
Two teenagers, Soho, October 14, 1959
Rockers on motorcycles, Brixton, 1963
Couple in front of window, Richmond Jazz Festival, July 1962
Jivers, Richmond Jazz Festival, July 1962
Girl eating crisps with couple
Jivers, Richmond Jazz Festival, July 1962

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