Summer of 67 - the Summer of Love

60s hippy chick

The Summer of 1967 was known as the Summer of Love. It was a time of gatherings, happenings, love-ins and be-ins. There were open air concerts at Hyde Park. One of the biggest events of the Summer was the "Festival of Flower Children", ironically enough in the grounds of the stately home of the Duchess of Bedford, Woburn Abbey.  According to the Sunday Times, it attracted over 25,000 hippies from all over Europe!  On the other side of the Atlantic, the hippies converged on the Californian coastal town of Monterey.

Psychedelic flower motive from the 60s

Flower Power

The flower became the symbol of the younger generation's rebellion against their parents' values. It was everywhere; young men, as well as women, wore flowers in their hair.

Music

The flower - the symbol of the hippy dream Psychedelic flower motive from the 60s

The soundtrack of the Summer played out the psychedelic beat. On 6 June 1967, Procol Harum's classic, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached number one in the UK. It remained at the top spot for six weeks, only to be knocked off that position by the anthem of the year - the Beatles' "All You Need is Love". The Summer of Love was complete when Scott McKenzie had a number one hit with "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)". Fittingly as the Summer ended in September, Engelbert Huperdinck's "The Last Waltz" reached the top spot and remained there for five weeks.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The flower - the symbol of the hippy dream Psychedelic flower motive from the 60s

1967 was also the year of the Beatles fantastic Sergeant Pepper Album. A mixture of psychedelic tracks, combined with a hint of Victorian style, made this album unique. It was far more than a collection of singles - more a work of art in itself.

Radio Caroline and Radio 1

Throughout the Summer of 67 if you wanted to listen to pop music you would have probably tuned into one of the pirate radio stations, probably Radio Caroline, which defied the Government's attempts to ban it. In September, radio broadcasting was changed forever when Radio 1 was broadcast for the first time. The first DJ was Tony Blackburn and the first record played on Radio 1 was the Move's "Flowers in the Rain".

What else was going on in 1967?

Outside the world of music there were other, far-reaching, changes afoot. New laws legalising abortions and homosexuality came into force in 1967.

Britain exploded with colour in another way when the first colour television programmes were broadcast later in 1967. In the world of medicine, Dr Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in South Africa.

In many ways 67 was a watershed year for the UK. Changes that had begun many years earlier were beginning to take effect. Life was becoming much more like what we know today, but there was still a long way to go.

What do you remember of the Summer of 67?

Add your comments

hi , im only ten but am so jealous of the cool clothes peace out to the hippies Olivia Symes

i remember the summer of '67 really well we used to spend all day led in the sun smokin and drinkin not a lot changed but that summer will always be one of my best yo homie & co

I remember the summer of 1967 very clearly. It was the summer I left Primary School to go to Secondary the following September. I was 11 in August 1967. That was the summer, where I watched The Monkees TV show on Saturday afternoons. It was the summer when Dr Who destroyed the Daleks for ever, and one where the local toyshops seemed to burst at the seams with multicoloured space rockets, moon buggies and similar items as never before.

I remember the beaches at Bexhill and Hastings were marred with tar after the Torrey Canyon disaster. August here in the UK was mostly fine especially at the end of the month. The end of that summer holiday was tinged with trepidation, due to starting Secondary school. I enjoyed that summer, but was too young for the flower power bit. Simon Lake

The Summer of '67, the so-called "Summer of Love", was for me, another ordinary summer vacation from school. I was only nine years old at the time.

I was listening to the top-rated tunes of that time such as "WHITER SHADE OF PALE", "LIGHT MY FIRE", "THE LETTER", "PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY", "SAN FRANCISCO", and "THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHTTIME" on my father's old 1940's radio that he had up in his bedroom. At the same time, my mother had bought the August (1967) issue of TV Radio Mirror, and I was looking at picture of my favourite 60's couple, Eva Gabor and her husband at the time, Richard Brown, while I was listening to the music. It was one of my favourite picture of her, in which she was wearing a print strapless gown, a choker necklace, a satin wrap around her, her hair styled so perfectly neat and chic, and she had that big, beautiful, bright, and sexy smile.

Speaking of Eva Gabor, I was also watching "GREEN ACRES", which is my all-time favourite TV show, on Wednesday nights on CBS.

I also went to drive-in movies with my parents and we went to see "DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE" with Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds, and "HAWAII" with Julie Andres. Those intermission drive-in ads were oh so cute.

At nine years old, I was just too young to understand what the hippie and flower movement was all about. The summer of '67, to me, was an ordinary summer vacation for me from school. Nan E. Fagan

I remember the "Hippy Love-in" (that's how it was actually advertised) at Woburn Abbey as the best weekend of my entire life. Not just the groups (with "Sgt Pepper" played constantly in between acts) but the friendly atmosphere - peace-and-love indeed. And at the end we all pitched in a cleared up after ourselves - not like the chaotic mess left after today's pop festivals!

I'd love to make contact with others who were there. Jane

I was at the Woburn Abbey Festival in '67 too. What fun! I'd painted flowers up my legs and on my face. My boyfriend, Alex, had a really 'flowery' car too. If only we could get back some more of that love in today's scenario...... Ros

I am living in the wrong era!!! o how i would've loved to live through it!! .. i'm only 23, so i was a long way off! ha, i envy you!!!. peace and love... wildflower

We love the flower power style and fashion xxxxxxxxxxxxx its well kool xxxxxx rosie + toni

 
 

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