I wonder what you would do, where you would go, if you had one crack at a time-machine? I would not try anything fancy, in case I damaged the fabric of time itself, so I would go back to London, in 1967, just as the Capital was bursting with artistic energy which, like a black hole, sucked in creativity from all over the world and spewed it out again with people like Jimi Hendrix or David Hockney or Peter Blake or of course, The Beatles. To walk through the streets of
in the 1960's was to feel the kind of energy you get when being mildly electrocuted. Habitat had opened a store in the London Fulham Road. All of a sudden, you could buy things you did not really need. (This was a novelty back then). But you could also create style and statements.
My uncle's flat in
bristled with modern lighting and a Braun radiogram that went on to become a design classic. Harrods was about to open the Way In, a very groovy boutique, on the top floor. You could go to Chelsea Carnaby Street and buy T shirts with purple swirls on them. (You have to remember...not wearing a tie was regarded as bad form in most formal and semi formal situations.)
If the 1960's got one thing right, it broke a lot of conventions. You could be born on a lousy council estate in Rotherham, go to
and become a star. This was the first time this happened to any great extent. Suddenly, the young were important and visible. There was a sense of mutability and dynamism that affected the Arts and the way we live our lives. Compared to 2010, it was liberated, free-thinking and exciting. London