Monday, 23 September 2013

evening, Constable

Most people of my generation who grew up in the sixties and seventies assumed that The War and its aftermath, the Fifties, happened in black and white. 

Ye Olden Days and Tymes Gone By were in full technicolor, as recorded here by Constable. 

Table Mats, John Constable, 1776 - 1837

By the time of the Industrial Revolution and then Victoria's reign the rot was setting in.  There was a fog descending over the country as can be seen below in Grimshaw's painting.  Flann O'Brien spoke about this in The Third Policeman (if you haven't read it you really should, go on, you can borrow my copy).

View of Heath St by Night, Atkinson Grimshaw, 1836 - 1893

By the 20s and certainly the 30s colour had gone from the UK. Northern towns in particular just happened in black and white. Or greyscale.

 Liverpool skyline, old postcard
The early 60s (as far as I recall) were still in black and white.

Ferry 'Cross the Mersey, Gerry & the Pacemakers, 1963

Colour reappeared with a bang in the mid 60s. 

Cavern old and new
Arthur Dooley sculpture, Mathew Street

 It could well be that MerseyBeat had the same effect as the tornado did in the Wizard of Oz. Britain was transformed almost overnight from a grim industrial workshop into the Oz-like centre of the Swinging sixties.

Wallasey skyline from the Pier Head

Liverpool skyline from Mersey Ferry

1 comment:

  1. Subtly clever, yet, In-One's-Face neo-nostalgia meets over saturation of All We Hold Dear.

    It works on a visceral level.

    Bravo !!