Six icons we owe to the Sixties

An explosion of colour and culture, the sixties is easily one of the most vibrant decades of our past.

From the summer of love, winning the world cup, to flower power and moonlandings, no other decade has done as much to shape the course of history. So take a trip down memory lane and delve back into the past as we uncover six things we owe to the sixties…

ONE: The First decimal coins

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You’d be correct if you questioned this one at first. Although the UK didn’t officially say goodbye to the old pounds, shillings and pence system until 1971, the Royal Mint issued the first decimal coins in 1968! On 23rd April, the British public would have found the 5p and 10p coins in their change for the first time. They were issued and circulated alongside the Florin and Shilling coins as part of a process to help the public acclimatise to the new decimal system, and are arguably one of the most important issues in UK numismatic history.

TWO: The First James Bond Film

The quintessentially British spy with the code name 007 first graced our screens in “Dr No” released in 1962. Since then there have been over 25 films with the legendary spy and his iconic gadgets. Without the first Bond film in the sixties, we may not have had the James Bond £5 Coins that were released earlier this year, or the ‘Bond’ 10p issued in 2016 by the Royal Mint!

THREE: The Beatles

Of course this wouldn’t be a sixties piece if I didn’t mention the Beatles and ‘Beatlemania’. Born out of rock and roll with new pop culture, the Beatles have become the defining sound of the sixties, with people all over the world still inspired by their music today.

FOUR: Doctor Who

The first ever Dr Who episode was released in 1963. From then on, every week, the nation joined the Doctor and his companion in the Tardis to adventure through space and time, encountering aliens, cybermen, and of course the dreaded Daleks. Dr Who has since given rise to thousands of commemoratives, including a special Royal Mail stamp issue in 2012!

FIVE: Colour TV

The sixties is remembered as a colourful and vibrant era, and what better defines that than colour TV! In 1967 BBC launched the first UK colour channel – a truly defining moment that has shaped the films and characters we see on screen today.

SIX: The Moonlandings

The end of the decade saw one of the most iconic moments in world history as Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon. There isn’t a person alive today who can’t finish the phrase “one small step for man… “. As such an important moment, it gave rise to huge opportunities in space exploration and technology that we still see today.  

Of course there is a never ending list of inventions, iconic moments, fashion, music, films, TV shows and more that we owe to the sixties. One thing’s for sure is that it shaped a generation and was a decade like no other.

If you’re interested

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