Talking about my generation

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First there was the Carnival,

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then there was the Fair.  I’ve written before about the Fair in Chelmsford’s Central Park. Now, in celebration of the Living in 1966 programme (BBC1 Wednesday 7.30), after you’ve remembered the music, the pirate radio ships, the mods and the rockers, you can read a chapter from the forthcoming Beyond the Beehive.

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In this chapter Linda and Sandra are going the Fair together.  Sandra is still dreaming of Danny, her bad-boy boyfriend.   Linda is just looking forward to an exciting evening – the Dodgems, the Ghost Train, the Waltzers, and hearing some good music, including Dream Lover by Bobby Darin.

Read more about Beyond the Beehive here  as you listen to Bobby Darin whose hair indicated that he was a bit of a rocker, but whose suits were really quite sharp  (the song starts 46 seconds in).

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It was a cold and grey day.  It was 9am Sunday in Soho.  Not a lot is open at 9am.  We were there early to beat the crowd, taking pictures that will form the basis of the cover of Beyond the Beehive.  Our model, Billie, was shivering and needed coffee.  She was polite about the clothes she was required to wear, but it was clear they weren’t her usual style.  A straight skirt and a simple twin-set didn’t speak to her the way they spoke to me in Chelmsford, queuing to get into the Corn Exchange on Saturday night.  I suppose that’s what they call the march of progress.

And suddenly the Bar Italia was there, open.

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Warmth at last.  Then we walked round Soho taking pictures.  At Ronnie Scott’s it was obviously an omen that Georgie Fame was appearing.  We hummed Yeah Yeah to ourselves as we completed the shoot.

Now we have to start making decisions.  Should it be this one?

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Or this one?

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Or this? …

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