Swingin’ Sixties London Tour – Chelsea & The King’s Road
Half Day Tour
The tour itinerary will focus on the epicentre of Sixties cool – Chelsea…
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, Judy Garland, Terrance Stamp, Christopher Lee and many, many others. Roman Polanski 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 Carnaby Street and the Kings Road. 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 wanna-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 their first album ‘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 liberation hero 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 too…
With all this going on it is little surprise that American magazine ‘Time’ identified the Kings Road as the centre of Swinging London.
SUGGESTED ITINERARY FOR PRIVATE DEPARTURES
This is a custom tour available for private departures. Cost is based on size of the vehicle, how many people, if you choose a half day (2 – 4 hours) or a full day (up to 8 hours.)
Private tours are the date/time of your choice, provided we have a vehicle and driver/guide available. A private tour is just yourselves with the personal services of driver/guide. It is a flat rate for the hire of vehicle/driver/guide:
Contact us for a quote: [email protected]
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