London Rock Tours > Special ‘Swinging Sixties London’ Tour
Special ‘Swinging Sixties London’ Tour
The 23rd – 30th July, 2017, marks the annual London 60s week, with events throughout the city commemorating this near-legendary decade. As part of the commemoration we offer a very special tour with two objectives – having a fun and nostalgia afternoon reliving the Swinging 60s and raising some money for the ABC Trust Charity. And what better time to take this tour than during the 50th anniversary of the famed Hippy Summer of Love’!
The tour itinerary will focus on the epicentre of Sixties cool – Chelsea– where aristocracy ran .
So, what was so cool about Chelsea? Well, just about everything from music and fashion through literature and art. Even the food! The neighbourhood literally crawled with celebrities. The glamorous world of the movies was represented by Michael Caine, Diana Dors, Julie Garland, Terrance Stamp, Christopher Lee and many, many others. Roman Polankski married Sharon Tate at the Chelsea Registry Office, as did Judy Garland her 5th and final husband.
Fashion ruled; scores of trendy boutiques lined the streets including the legendary I was Lord Kitchener’s Valet and Granny Takes a Trip, where threads were sold to the pop and movie stars of the day. The Kinks great song ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’ was a brilliant satire on the fashion-conscious 60s style-follower who colonised this area. from her shop, Bazaar, on Kings Road, designer Mary Quant gave birth to that fundamental icon of the 60s the miniskirt. A short distance away Alice Pollock opened the boutique “Quorum” in 1964 with Ossie Clark. Even the Beatles opened a tailors shop!
The world of music was represented by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, The Who and Eric Clapton amongst many others. Stars and wwanna-be stars from across the globe converged on Chelsea; from Brazil, future Minister of Culture but then political exile, came Gilberto Gil; from the USA The Eagles came to make thiwr forst albums, ‘Taking it Easy’ on the Kings Road; Jim Morrison staggered drunk out of the Chelsea Potter pub.
This the stamping ground of the notorious ‘bent copper’, Seargent Pilcher of the Chelsea Drug Squad (‘Semelina Pilchard’ as Lennon nicknamed him), who worked hard raiding apartments and ‘busting’ both celebrities and the unknown public alike!
Local photographic studios turned out album covers like St Peppers, and music studios put the Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull on wax. This was the neighbourhood of the ‘angry young men’ of the Royal Court Theatre, and of woman’s liberationist, Germaine Greer. Oz magazine, house magazine of the counter-culture, was sold on the streets by a young Felix Denis, while photographer Martin Sharpe created some memorable album covers including the Cream’s ‘Disreali Gears’. Oh, yes, and this was where Ian Fleming decided where James Bond should live…
With all this going on it is little surprise that American magazine ‘Time’ identified the Kings Road as the centre of Swinging London.
On this fun and informative tour you can see where history was made during this golden decade; locations of the studios and boutiques, the apartments, clubs, pubs, that defined a generation. We’ll even stop for a drink at the famed Troubadour Club where Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Al Stewart began their London experiences! You’re accompanied by a truly expert guide who was ‘there on the day’ and will bring Chelsea to life.
Sat,29 July and Sun, 30 July, 2017
Adult £40/Child £30. All proceeds to the ‘ABC Trust‘.
2pm to approx. 6pm
Departs from the Original Tour Visitor Centre,
17-19 Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square.
See map for directions.
Nearest Underground Station:
Piccadilly Circus or Charing Cross.