Remembering life in St Ives in the Swinging Sixties

A DVD chronicling the Swinging Sixties in St Ives got its debut screening last week.

A DVD chronicling the Swinging Sixties in St Ives got its debut screening last week.

Researched, filmed and narrated by four students at St Ivo School, the film turns back the clock to show the town in the decade the mods and the rockers clashed, the sexual revolution took hold and England won the World Cup.

The students, led by history teacher Claire Ellinor, interviewed former teachers and residents of the town who were teenagers at the time, sourced archive photographs and recorded the links for the DVD, called 20th Century St Ives: The 1960s.

The 78-minute film was shown at the school last week to an audience of contributors, school governors and the Civic Society of St Ives.

Mrs Ellinor, who wrote the script, said the film preserved an important part of St Ives history and would be used as an educational resource.

“It was an iconic period, and a time of great social change across the country: drugs, fashion and music were all changing. We were able to speak to people who lived through the time in St Ives, who told us how the town changed, and to look through the archives at the Norris Museum,” she said.

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The four student narrators – Annie, James, Joe and Cameron – began research for the project in September last year, filmed until Christmas and have been editing the film since, with the help of John Morrison of Hartford-based production company Visual e.states.

The film is split into four sections, with the first two examining education and life opportunities for residents. It compares the modern-day St Ivo to the school as it was 50 years ago, St Ives Secondary Modern, and the university and career choices available to students upon leaving.

The town’s cinema in the Broadway is central to part three, which examines entertainment culture in the sixties, but it is in the film’s final part that the significance of the decade is most apparent.

“The biggest change in the sixties was in the morals and values of society,” said Mrs Ellinor.

“Children began to pull out of the Christian Church, it was the time of mods and rockers, the pill and the sexual revolution.”

She added: “Our aim was to bring local history into the classroom and, in turn, send history out to the wider community.

“The end result is informative about the history of St Ives and a very valuable resource for our students and the people of the town.”

INFORMATION: 20th Century St Ives: The 1960s is priced at �8 and available from the town’s Norris Museum or the St Ivo School shop.