The Sixties Project

The Sixties Project – Talking about our generation

Update August 2019


This is a Shared Learning Project led by Denise West and Shelagh Woolliscroft.  It started in January 2018 and is expected to run until the end of 2019.  Over 100 members have had some involvement to date.  The final Open Meeting will be held at the Showroom on 21 October from 2 pm to 4 pm.  This will focus on the education topic where there are gaps in our knowledge – Polytechnics, teacher training, day and block release, Open University, evening classes.  Margaret Barr is leading on this topic – contact her at al_marg(AT) if you’d like to help. (Note, all personal email addresses on the website are protected by replacing “@” with “(AT)”. Type as usual to send an email.)


Some of the highlights of the Project have been:


The ‘Sixties Night’ event held on 13 October 2018 was enjoyed by 90 members.  The highlights included a wonderful fashion show (all original garments), the music (some of us were dancing in the aisles) and the fantastic display of photographs, stories and other memorabilia.  Samina Aslam took videos and photos, some of which accompanied Denise’s report for December Links and Third Age Matters.


The seminar on National Service in January 2019 SU3A member Mike Cox talked about his time in Special Ops.  17 members completed questionnaires about their experiences and the material from these will be used to produce an overall account.  Meanwhile Derek Cave has produced his own story- you can read it by clicking on the link opposite.


Meetings with University of Sheffield students. Some of us met up with students of Modern History last semester to help them with their specialist topics.  In May 2019 we were ‘grilled’ by school students as part of a History Day – click on the links opposite to find reports from Linda Evans and John Dixon.


The Topic Work:  Politics, Fashion and Science and Technology are on the website – just click on the link opposite.  A Fifties Childhood is also complete. We aim to have uploaded Arts, Music, Food and Drink and Family Life by early August.   Post-16, higher and adult education will be the main topics at our next open session which will take place at the Showroom on Monday, 21 October 2019 starting at 10.00 a.m and finishing at 12 noon. Please come and help us to fill the gaps.  If you would like to write about your experiences Margaret Barr would love to hear from you – you can email her at


Life-Writing Workshops.  John Turner ran a four-part life-writing workshop in May and will run another in March 2020 (details). John, who has recently become a member of SU3A, is a retired senior lecturer in creative writing and performing arts at SHU.   He is a published poet, playwright and short story writer and has performed regularly with Ian McMillan and other poets, both in the UK and in Europe.


Denise managed to get an account of the Project in April’s Third Age Matters without any abridgement or amendment from the Editor.  We think this may be unprecedented!    Maybe as a result of this publicity we have been invited to do a keynote presentation at Rotherham’s 25th birthday lunch at Aston Hall Hotel in October.  And we may well do other roadshows over the coming year.


If you have a query about the Sixties Project please contact Denise West at denisewest3(AT)