1960s

The Swinging Sixties Dude, Far Out Man…

Sultry Sex Scandal!

Reported in the Student Union newspaper, Crefft, two women allegedly stayed in men’s halls to bath and wash their hair before the long-awaited Pyjama Dance. Scandalous at the time, the predominantly-male writers for the newspaper added that this kind of behaviour was not tolerable, oh how times have changed! [Crefft, 1962]

Student publication Dawn goes psychedelic for the swinging sixties!

John C. Keen

Homosexual Elephants: Odd but it Happens!

‘The average Englishman is either a good actor or he has a neurosis about sex’. Homosexuality was, to many, a hard topic to openly discuss and thus these neuroses were repressed and only freed when attacking those involved in the ‘unnatural’ practice. Giles Alan, however, argues that homosexuality is a norm, occurring ‘throughout the animal kingdom; the thought of homosexual elephants seems decidedly odd but it happens’, hence disproving homosexuality as unnatural! [Crefft, 1964]

Student Union newspaper Crefft throughout the decade

Britain’s Next Top Rag Queen!

As many men waited, eager-eyed, upon the announcement of Swansea University’s Rag Queen, ‘several gentlemen pushed lustily while others nearby shouted encouragement’. It was the most important decision of the year as Swansea’s Rag Queen would compete in the finals against other universities, much to the enjoyment of men! [Crefft, 1961]

Bob Baker’s Bird of the Week

Source: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University

The University Halls of Residence

Swansea University proposed to add ‘to the existing two hundred and sixteen hall places’ another ‘four hundred and forty’. The University believed that “halls have a vital part to play in any full-university education as University’s purpose is not solely academic”. Swansea continues with this attitude today, offering approximately 3,400 places in halls. [Dawn, 1961]

Poem – In the Library

Furtive faces

Looking down

Going places

Underground

One looks up

And stares around

Like prairie pups

They run around

Twenty faces reappear

Look at watches

Collect up gear

What sudden instinct

Cleared the scene

– the all pervading coffee bean.

Decades on from this and still nothing has changed! [Dawn, 1967]

***

From looking through Swansea Students’ Union newspapers, Crefft and Dawn, I found a vast amount of thoroughly intriguing articles which were easily accessible to me thanks to the Richard Burton Archives. After reading such fascinating articles, it became increasingly obvious that the students at Swansea University during the swinging 60s were seemingly psychedelic in their attitudes! Despite the absence of minute books from the 1960s, I was able to effectively research and analyse this period extensively. Discovering that the 1960s has been labelled the ‘decade of change’ by many, the student newspapers were a great source of information as they reflected the attitudes of many university goers during the decade. The Researching and Re-telling the Past module, which has newly been made available to second year history students this semester, has been extraordinarily useful in helping me to understand the university further. It has opened my eyes and left me thought-provoked as to life as a female student, in particular, during the 1960s.

[Victoria Bodington]

One response to “1960s

  1. Rebecca Clifford

    A wonderful selection of material — you are right that it is certainly thought-provoking where gender issues are concerned!

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