The Ellis family discover how life has changed for northern working-class families. 1960 marks the start of an era of prosperity. Dad Jon puts in a shift down the local pit.
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Meet the Ellis family.
Lesley, John, Caitlin,
Freya, and Harvey.
This Bradford family of five are about to embark on
a time travelling adventure...
..to discover how changing food eaten in the north of England...
That is Scouse.
..can reveal what life was like...
-I think perhaps I do need to work on my frying technique.
..for working-class families over the past century.
-I think it's just potato pie.
-I think so.
From regional classics...
Pan haggerty for tea.
We'll have two chip nans.
..to dishes that expanded our horizons.
I'm so happy. Honestly, this is, like, amazing.
The Ellises' own home is their time machine,
transporting them through a different era each week.
They'll experience the ups... THEY SCREAM
-What the heck is tripe?
This is so hot!
GUNSHOT ..and play...
..as they fast forward through 100 years
of northern history...
..and still get back in time for tea.
The Ellis family are about to enter their third decade of time travel.
Their house has been transformed into a family home of the 1960s.
The kitchen features new and colourful plastics,
giving it a modern look.
The living room is more comfortable,
with telly and hi-fi as standard,
and the garden has changed from a functional yard
to a place of leisure.
Social historian Polly Russell and I are heading to set the stage
for the Ellises' journey into the 1960s.
That's very different, isn't it?
There's a subtle pattern, if you look closely at the wallpaper,
you can just... I mean, that's just what jumps out.
There's a lot going on, isn't there?
There is. The rooms before were sort of dwellings,
-but this is like a home, isn't it?
They've replaced an actual coal fire
with one that looks a bit like one...
-..but in plastic.
You can dust it. Let's have a look at the kitchen.
-Oh, I like this.
We think about the 1960s as being a sort of time of
big technological change, sort of sci-fi, you know, monorails.
Actually, in Britain, particularly in the homes of working people,
kitchens are still pretty basic. There's no fitted kitchen,
there's no washing machine at this point, there's still no fridge.
That's why it looks bigger, cos there's not much in it.
-There's nothing in it, yeah.
-Food-wise, I'm excited.
-Can we look in the pantry?
Always my favourite moment.
CUPBOARD CREAKS Oh, haunted!
Oh, look! Mothers Pride.
I remember Mothers Pride, delicious white sliced bread.
Look, there's more brands, straight away.
Bird's Custard, Corn Flakes.
I mean, this isn't that different from my pantry at home.
I mean, look.
Oh, the stuff of joy, salad cream.
You're too posh for salad cream, aren't you?
No, I am not too posh for salad cream. No.
What you're going to see is there's going to be more and more packaged food. More...
So convenience food starts to become part of the diet.
But, having said that, there's still a big reliance on home-cooked food.
Look, we've got, sort of, suet, flour, butter, eggs.
Lesley's still going to be doing an enormous
amount of cooking from scratch.
In 1960 the north of England was thriving.
Although the strength of traditional industries such as textiles
and shipbuilding was fading, factory work ensured
that the north remained a driving force of industry,
at a time when an impressive 17% of the world's manufacturing
exports were made in Britain.
Busy production lines meant full employment and high wages,
and working families began to embrace the consumer boom.
Post-war reforms in housing, health care
and education were paying off for working families.
It's like being in Heaven up here
because we've always been poor people.
As memories of austerity slipped into the past,
the north looked optimistically towards the future.
Historical surveys show how much money families had
and how they were spending it.
This is where you sort of see the rise of the affluent worker,
a worker who has actually got disposable income
to spend on leisure activities, on consumer goods.
The biggest spend is still on bread, milk, meat, potatoes.
It's quite, sort of, traditional, standard, as we've been used to.
And out of an income of around £14 or £15 they're going to be
spending about £5 per week,
so a third of their income, on food.
But what you see when you look down into this survey in the 1960s...
-I spotted that, "Meals bought away from home."
-So, eating out?
-Starting of an eating out culture...
-SARAH WOLF WHISTLES
..beginning of Chinese food, maybe an
Italian cafe. Who knows?
-Certainly, for working families, you know,
this is the beginning of a period
of optimism and hope.
-I'm excited for them.
-Should be good.
I'm leaving their guide to the 1960s on the kitchen table.
You know, I think the Ellis family are really going to enjoy
I feel like we've been through so much hard times
and it's always been up and down,
but I feel like the '60s are going to be an up time, and it will be an
era of music, which obviously will always bring up the mood, I think.
-The door's blue!
-They've got flowers!
-Oh, my God, look how bright the door is!
-That is really blue, isn't it?
Here we go.
-Oh, wow! Wow!
-Oh, my God!
Look at the TV!
Oh, good grief! We've got a three-piece suite as well.
-Look at the wallpaper.
-It's more like a lounge as we know it.
-It's more like...
-Yeah, it is.
There's so much more stuff, isn't there?
And, yeah, but it's promising.
That's what it is, it's promising that the '60s is going to be better.
-This is bright, isn't it?
-This is amazing!
-Oh, my God!
-I love it!
-I love it, too.
-Oh, look! Pantry.
-Weetabix, Coco Pops...
Weetabix, Coco Pops, Corn Flakes, Frosties.
-Is there a fridge?
-Caitlin, look underneath there.
-No, still haven't got a fridge.
-My trusty measuring spoon.
Now the family have seen their 1960s home,
it's time for them to find out what they'll be up to.
"John, in this decade, you are going to be working as a miner.
"The average weekly earnings of men in coal mining in 1961 was £16,
"seven shillings and sixpence. You are making more than many white-collar workers.
"You'll be out the house by 5am and back in time for tea.
"Lesley, in the 1960s, 38% of married women are still out at work.
"Your husband is a skilled miner.
"He's bringing in a good wage, so for the first
"time in the experiment there is no need for you to go to work.
"The house is your domain, and you are responsible for the
"housework and feeding your family."
The school-leaving age is still 15, so Caitlin and Freya will be working
and enjoying their pay packet,
whilst Harvey is still at grammar school.
RELAXED '60S POP MUSIC PLAYS
It seems as though we've got such a big change.
I'm really relishing it and looking forward to the exciting '60s,
really, and seeing where it does take us.
Gender equality was not a much used phrase in 1960, so the men
are doing some DIY...
Getting some...some elbow grease into that now, aren't you?
..and the girls are finding out what's for tea.
"Welcome to 1960. Your first meal will be taken from a popular
"women's magazine, My Weekly.
"Chops are on the menu. Keep an eye on the clock, Lesley - you'll need
"to finish your tea by seven o'clock, cos there's a brand-new
"programme on the telly that the family won't want to miss." Yay!
-Let's have a look.
"Casserole of mutton chops.
"Six lean mutton chops, breadcrumbs as required, half a
-"cupful of diced celery."
-That sounds good.
-It sounds like a waste of time.
We're going to miss this TV programme.
We've got two hours to cook, eat, wash up...
We'll save the washing for after the programme. Yeah?
-That is that.
So let's get the chops out first.
In 1960, the average family spent the equivalent of £3 a week
on mutton. Over the decade, the mutton market would take a hit.
As the demand for wool was outstripped by new synthetic
fibres, it made less economic sense to raise sheep to old age.
I'm going to try and make that.
Mutton was replaced by lamb, never to return to the weekly shop.
Ooh! I mean, up until now,
tea-time has revolved around whether it's light enough to wash
up by candlelight, you know, before we had to put the candles on.
So I guess eating to fit around a TV programme is a really big change.
Doing a good job with that, aren't you?
I'll just go and wash my hands and then I'll come out.
How are we doing, ladies?
We need to get this in quickly, because we're running out of time
and it needs to be done in about
double the time it says on the recipe.
All this for a TV programme.
Could watch it on Catch Up if it were chuffing Love Island.
Right, I'm going to go...
It might only be mutton, but the family no longer have to eke
out meat between five. For the first time,
they can afford a cut per person.
How do you cook this?
-I'm going to break this plate.
-Oh, is it really tough? Is it
because I didn't cook it as long as it should have been cooked for?
-I'm not going to lie, this isn't the best.
But, obviously, mutton needs slow-cooking,
and we've not had time to slow cook it.
It's like eating octopus.
It's like whelks.
-Have we time to...
-..make a cup of tea.
'60S ROCK AND ROLL PLAYS
Thanks, Mum. Love you.
Go on, then.
-Come on, Les, that programme's going to start.
-Yeah, I'm coming.
-Ay up, look at this.
-Oh, you are a good one.
HUMMING TO CORNATION STREET THEME
-I guessed it!
-I love the fact that it's the same tune.
They haven't even updated it or anything, have they? It's brilliant.
-So familiar, isn't it?
-I know, it is.
It will be for you,
cos your mum literally has watched this...
-All her life.
Ken Barlow! He's still in it! Honestly, he's still in it.
That is just so weird.
In 1960, Granada television took a risk on a brand-new soap
which put a Northern community at its heart.
Coronation Street was part of Granada's continuing vision
to put the North on the map.
Their founder believed, what Manchester sees today,
London will see eventually.
True to their conviction,
Coronation Street quickly spread from the North West,
playing to a national audience of 22 million viewers twice a week.
It remains the longest-running soap in the world.
What I needed to get used to was the voices at first,
because they were talking really fast,
and the accent's not...isn't the same at all.
And I was like, "What? What are they saying?"
It's unusual to be hearing Northern accents on TV. On the BBC...
-..they would have all talked like that.
And suddenly you've got some
vibrant, working-class Northern characters on TV.
For the good of the North, isn't it? It's put us on the map.
Very, very first Coronation Street.
It's amazing, really,
because, you know, Corrie was actually entertaining.
We were all...
..watching it and interested in it, and I'm looking forward to
watching the next episode, just to see what happens.
MUSIC: Tower Of Strength by Frankie Vaughan
# If I were a tower of strength
# I'd walk away
# I'd look in your eyes and here's what I'd say... #
For the first time in the experiment,
Lesley does not have to go to work.
But her husband does,
so it's up at the crack of dawn to get his breakfast on.
-What's for breakfast?
-We've got kippers.
In his modern role as a managing director of a medical supplies
company, John is not used to getting his hands dirty.
Going down that shaft, that mineshaft, is on the back of my
mind, and I feel, like, a bit daunted about it.
I suppose the best thing I can do is just make sure
that you're well set up for t'day.
-And hopefully I can put a decent shift in, eh?
Bring home that spondooly,
to keep me in the manner to which I am now accustomed.
LANGUID BRASS BAND MUSIC PLAYS
In 1961, Britain ran on coal.
Every day, over 500,000 miners headed to the pits.
The coal they grafted so hard to produce fuelled railways,
factories and family homes.
On his first shift, John will be working with former miner
Andy Smith, who worked the pits of Yorkshire for over 30 years.
-Good morning, Andy.
-Welcome to Caphouse Colliery.
-A bit cold this morning.
-A bit early as well.
-No, not early, not early enough.
-It is for me.
In 1961, 120 men were employed underground at Caphouse Colliery.
-Thank you very much.
-No contraband with you, have you?
-Right, that's fine.
The average age of a British miner was 41.
The mine offered apprenticeships from the age of 15, and the prospect
of a job for life.
It jerks a bit, just beware, it jerks a bit at the start.
-You're making me feel...
-That's it. Right, we're on our way now.
140 metres, that's how far we are going.
-Shallow for mining, but...
-140 metres, yeah?
They go to about 1,000 metres now. It's a fair distance.
Come on, John. We've about a five-minute walk to get to where
we're going to be working today. Make sure you shut the door, mate.
-Shine your light up the floor.
-Yeah, you lead the way.
Like John, every '60s miner would have relied on a helmet-mounted
light, battery pack and kneepads.
You'll find out what your kneepads are for now.
It's pretty...pretty scary, knowing where you are...
-Black gold, John. That's the coal.
-Black gold, eh?
-Black gold, yeah.
So what we've got to do, this is where we work the coal, John.
-Right? And what it does, it forms in layers with bedding planes.
If I pick now, nice and steady...
You see? So that's what you've got to do.
So this is how miners started,
and you're paid by how much you produce.
So we'll swap over now.
Get into a rhythm and get comfortable.
-Cor, Andy, how do you do this all day long?
That's it, you're getting there.
-God, it splinters off all over the place, doesn't it?
Yeah, I don't know about you, Andy, but it's pretty tough going,
-It's really tough going, but it does get easier.
Once you've done about ten years, it starts feeling easier.
Getting up on a morning feels easier.
Getting down in a comfortable position feels easier.
Everything feels easier, it's more natural.
I can't just imagine...you, you going through that, really.
MUSIC: Halfway To Paradise by Billy Fury
# I want to be your lover... #
Whilst John is getting stuck into an eight-hour shift,
Lesley has her own work cut out.
# I'm only halfway to paradise...#
In the '60s,
women were still doing an average of six hours of housework each day.
Before I just had carbolic soap to wash clothes with,
to wash pots with, to wash the floor with, everything.
And suddenly I've got choices.
As companies completed to sell more and more cleaning products,
they enlisted the help of the Northern housewife...
I can't stand those snobby women who think a powder that gives more
in a packet can't be worth trying.
I've tried them all, and I'm telling you, Surf's better value.
..an expert that women could trust.
The 1960s feel more aspirational.
There's a great sense that life is now better.
By the '60s, housewives like Lesley were raising their families far
from the inner-city slums that their grandparents might have grown up in.
Post-war governments had promised to put an end to poor
housing in cramped terraces and tenements.
A revolutionary slum clearance programme saw 87,000 homes
demolished in Liverpool and Manchester alone.
They were replaced with brand-new council homes in high-rise
blocks and out-of-town estates.
Many urban communities were disbanded.
By the end of the decade,
2.5 million people were making new lives in houses far from home.
With men out at work, it was often housewives that struggled to
adjust to a less communal way of life.
For Pat, life in her modern house is very different from her
childhood in Liverpool.
There was always lots of people, there was lots of activity.
There was lots of neighbours that used to shout at you, too.
Yes, there was lots of shouting. We've got a detached house.
-This magic word, "detached".
I can spend the entire day doing things,
but I feel that I overdo things.
I polish far too much and things like this.
Today, everyone is out at work.
I'm here on my own.
I am not relying on my neighbours as much.
I'm not relying on... I don't have colleagues any more,
and I imagine that it could be quite lonely.
-Are we going up to the canteen now?
-No, not quite. We're here.
-Snap - Yorkshire slang for food - is what the miners
called their dinner.
Why is it a tin?
It's a tin with a lid on so that mice can't eat your snap
while we're underground, waiting to have it.
-Where's your snap tin?
-I haven't brought one today.
-We're sharing, didn't I tell you?
-No. We are sharing, are we?
This is interesting. Doorstep sandwich, that's exactly what we want.
-Oh, God, dripping.
-Bit of dripping.
-Well, I better break it in half, then.
-Aye, break it in half, aye..
-Seeing as you're gaffer, you can have the big bit.
-You're a star.
-Oh, it's good.
-It's all right.
-So, is this what you normally had for lunch?
You couldn't bring cheese and meat down, it didn't taste right.
Because it all got mouldy with the atmosphere and everything, but
this, this tastes better underground than it does on the surface.
So this would improve by being underground.
When we got snap time, eating sandwiches,
we'd discuss the work problems or the world, you know what I mean?
I hope the wife is cooking a good meal tonight.
-She's already cooked a meal to get your dripping.
-That was Sunday's joint, that.
In the early '60s,
the mining industry was poised for dramatic change.
The introduction of machines meant that extracting coal would
become easier but require fewer men.
Coal was also being challenged by newer cleaner energies,
with natural gas, oil and nuclear on the rise.
Industries across the North were being forced to modernise or
By 1969, almost 400 pits had closed
and the number of miners working in Britain had halved.
The last job is to release the cage from the chains.
From this moment on, no man can go down the shaft
and no coals can be bought up from the coalface.
MUSIC: A Hundred Pounds Of Clay by Craig Douglas
# He took 100 pounds of clay... #
"It's 1961, and you're having panhaggerty for tea."
-"Panhaggerty, have you ever heard of that?
Panhaggerty is made by layering meat with potatoes
and veg, with cheese on top.
It is covered in beef stock and baked in the oven.
Originating in mining communities of the North East,
this dish was traditionally eaten on Monday,
using Sunday leftovers or cheaper meats like corned beef.
The high fat and carbohydrate content would have been perfect to
fill the rumbling bellies of the men returning from a shift down the pit.
I think Dad must be hungry when he's coming home tonight,
though, because it wouldn't be right good to eat,
-where they're working, would it?
-No, it wouldn't, would it? Euch!
# And a brand-new world began
# He created old Adam
# Then he made a woman for the man
# Yes, he did. #
-Did you have a good day at work?
-Oh, you could say that, yeah.
-It looks really yummy, doesn't it?
It's good to be home, that's for sure.
And to have a hot meal like this, it's delicious.
-Could you not imagine going there every day?
-I couldn't, Harvey.
The guys that work there, hats off to them, because I wouldn't
like to think that anybody in my family had to go through it,
because the dangers and everything that's actually involved in it.
-I'm proud of you, mate. Well done.
Yeah, well done, Johnny.
That coal powers the whole country,
so the pressure you must have had must have been overwhelming.
It could really be a stress, but my dad handles it absolutely amazingly.
MUSIC: Some Other Guy by The Big Three
# Some other guy now
# Has taken her love away from me... #
It's a very 1960s Saturday,
and John and Harvey are off to the footy.
-I think we're going to win today.
Top of the league, mate.
Come on, let's go win. Come on.
MUSIC: Bobby's Girl by Susan Maughan
# I wanna be Bobby's girl... #
In the early '60s,
football matches were attended by over 1 million people each week,
with Liverpool, Everton
and Manchester United dominating the First Division.
The top players lived on the same streets as the spectators.
I was born in a little mining town, and we always sort of played
football when we were kiddies, knocking about on the street.
Their skills on the pitch made them local heroes.
Never thought I would ever be professional.
I used to always think...
..professionals were all posh people.
I'm hoping that the girls will be excited to
get their hands on a phone at last.
Although this might not be quite what they had in mind.
-Have you ever used a phone box?
They don't really work any more, it's just where drunk people go into.
In 1962, less than 7% of the population owned a phone.
The average family spent the equivalent of £2.50 a week
on communication, and as the phone box was still relatively expensive,
many continued to rely on the post, with telegrams for emergencies.
Oh, there's a note.
Hey, this looks so cool! "Wondering what to have for tea?
"Dial ASK 8071 for tips. Sarah."
-Do you put that pointer to...
So you go, if it's ASK, you would do A,
and then you pull it round to there and then let go.
-Yeah, put it in.
-No, it's broken.
-Maybe B. Maybe that one. Oh, Oh!
-What's going on?
Stick it in, stick it in! Right, OK, go, go, go!
It's ringing. Must have done something right.
-Do you think... I've got a note pad in my bag.
-Wait, shut up!
-Is there anything I need to write down?
-Yeah, it's reading out a menu.
Go on. Quick, quick, quick!
It's already listed everything!
-Well, what did it list?
-I can't remember!
Her next request, a recipe for dinner.
We predict that the Food Information Centre's telephone service
will out-beat Mrs Beeton and put the cookery book out of business.
The telephone recipe service provided a new recorded
recipe each day, and it was a hit.
Between 1963 and '64,
250,000 callers rang for a recipe from the North West alone.
"Plum-stuffed pork. Ingredients. 4oz of butter...
"something onions chopped...
-"5oz of dried something...
"..one tablespoon of thyme.
-"Spread the stuffing over the pork."
-You haven't mentioned stuffing.
-Put in an oven dish and bake for 40 minutes.
I can't even read my own writing.
-Remove pork in the oven and rest for 40 minutes. 10 minutes.
I don't know.
I have no chuffing idea.
I'm hoping we would ring up and get a Chinese takeaway.
I'm a bit...urgh!
-It said melt butter in a pan, didn't it?
I think it is always important to be looking for inspiration
for new ideas.
And everything sort of in the last eras have been a bit same old,
same old and just recipes that your mum cooked
and that everyone else cooked and all your neighbours cooked...
-A recipe you just stuck by.
This is like a breakaway from tradition
and a breakaway from all those routines.
After World War II, British investment in pork farming
saw the pig population triple.
By 1962, we were eating 350g of pork products each per week.
That is about six sausages.
So, it is called plum stuffed pork.
That is pork, that is plum stuffing.
And it kind of looks good.
-So, did it say 40 minutes and then 10 minutes to rest?
-Hello. Did you have a good time?
-Yeah, it was good.
This honestly looks amazing.
I cannot believe it has turned out like this.
It is like some next level gourmet stuff,
you need to open your own restaurant, woman.
I know we were really critical of that service
but I would never make something like this normally.
-Harvey, stop putting your...
-Mum is trying to cut it.
It turned out so good. It was really, really nice.
And the potatoes, roast potatoes were so good.
# Sweets for my sweet
# Sugar for my honey
# Your first sweet kiss thrilled me so
# Sweets for my sweet... #
-It is 1963.
Working-class teenagers with full-time jobs were the driving
force behind a new teen market worth over £800 million a year.
This new generation could afford to
look for a life beyond the factory floor and the coffee bars
and clubs of the North became a hive of creativity.
# Now ain't that just like me
# Well, you know cracking up over you
# You know that I love you... #
An explosion of northern pop stars proved to northern teens that
a different kind of life was out there for the taking.
Caitlin and Freya are meeting Bobby Elliott,
the drummer from Manchester band The Hollies, whose many hits
include Bus Stop, Carrie Anne, and He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.
Here we are in a coffee bar that would probably be very
similar in 1963 with the frothy coffee
and people were getting better paid
and they wanted more things to do, so the coffee bar was one step up
and then music where we are now.
There would be bands around every corner.
For Bobby, music was an escape from his apprenticeship at the local mine.
We were making more money playing in our little band
around Manchester and around the North than we were
as apprentices, and one of the first gigs I did was at the Royal Albert Hall
and the Beatles were second top to Del Shannon at the end.
We all stood in line and took a bow and I thought, wow, it is
a bit different to being 3,000 feet underground at the pit.
In 1963, Northern bands were changing the face of British
music and they were about to go global.
-3,000 screaming teenagers arrived at New York's Kennedy airport to greet,
you guessed it, the Beatles.
America went mad for the lads from Liverpool.
They would become the biggest selling band in Billboard history.
A title they still hold to this day.
It must be so weird for Americans as well
because their typical view of an English accent is quite posh
and it is not really what it is
and to have northerners go up is like wow, what is that?
They said, "Wow, what sort of English is that?" you know,
broad American, this is how the English are speaking?
Of course it is. "Where are you from?"
"Manchester." "Do you know the Beatles?"
It was a new world. It felt like a new world.
I feel like there is, the whole development of music was such
an exciting time to be alive because you could be sat next to
these people, you could become one of these pop stars that he is
talking about and you don't get that any more.
It seems so far away whereas then it just seemed so close.
After 13 years of Conservative government,
a new leader came to power. Labour's Harold Wilson.
His election rival had been born in Mayfair and educated at Eton.
Harold Wilson was born in a terraced house in Huddersfield
and educated at grammar school.
His election showed young northerners
a career in politics was an achievable dream.
He promised to use science
and technology to revitalise traditional industries.
The Britain that is going to be forged in the white heat of this revolution
will be no place for restrictive practices or for outdated
methods on either side of industry.
The white heat of technology was also appearing in family homes.
-Is this a washer?
-Is that a fridge?
This would have been a massive massive thing.
After years and years and years of scrubbing with your hands.
-It must have come in such a relief.
-I know. It must be amazing.
In the North, wages continued to increase,
the prosperity of the '60s seemed here to stay.
Nigel Haworth, a Michelin starred chef from Lancashire,
is popping in to share the good times.
Hi, how are you guys?
-Make yourself at home, Nigel.
-So, we have T-bone steaks.
-We have potatoes to make chips.
So I have some little treats for you guys.
We have some jelly babies, Smarties, Spangles.
So, which do you want, do you want them all?
Them guys can have the jelly babies because I don't like them
but I'll have these. Thank you, Nigel.
-It has been a pleasure meeting you.
-You will have to fight over them.
-Go on, then, clear off. Don't forget to share, guys.
-Good luck cooking with him!
-Are you not a good cook?
Mum's the cook.
Harvey! Harvey, give... Harvey, give me them, now.
Why are you being like that?
Vimto was created in 1908 in Manchester.
Starting life as a herbal tonic to give added vim, by the '60s
the medicinal value had been dropped and it was simply top of the pops.
It is like unwrapping a Christmas present.
It must have been in 1964 because genuinely we have not had any steak.
-Look at the size of them. So, did you eat steak in the '60s?
And I was really lucky
because I used to be really close to my grandad
and when he was, he used to have fillet and he used to call it undercut.
And he used to invite me over, this was in the '60s,
late '60s, and he would cook undercut with some chips
exactly as we are going to do, he would grill it and give me some.
-Oh, it was so good. That was a real big treat for me as a kid.
Slide them in there.
-There you go.
-Wow. That is quite satisfying, watching that.
-It is, isn't it?
And chips are still the most yummy thing ever, aren't they?
When I used to hear that rattle I used to be in the other
room at my mum's house and I used to think it was tea-time then when I heard that rattle.
I would come running in. Chips are ready.
I can't wait for the chips.
-There you go.
-Look at that.
From now on, former luxuries like washing machines
and steak are here to stay.
-So, who wants a few more chips then?
I won't turn it down.
If we were looking at our 1960s life
from our 1930s place,
we would look distinctly well off,
and all the changes that the
government have brought in over the last probably 15 years have
started to have a dramatic impact on the working classes.
-1965 and we are going on holiday.
I have sent the Ellis family on holiday to
Filey on the north-east coast.
In the 1960s over 60% of holiday-makers at this
caravan site were miners enjoying a well earned break.
-The weather is so good, I am surprised.
-It is gorgeous.
In modern life, the Ellises are keen caravanners
-but what will they make of their 1960s accommodation?
-Is it just me seeing this?
-It looks great. It's green.
-Brilliant. Look at it.
-It has an entrance way.
-This is so cool.
-Oh, it is cute. I like it.
-I actually love it. It is so nice.
It has a dining room.
This is so cute.
The static caravan industry blossomed in Hull where
companies had been shipping temporary accommodation to
war-torn Europe since 1945.
As Europe rebuilt itself, the same manufacturers turned to the
growing holiday market, pitching their prefab homes as static vans.
At a time when only 4% of the population could afford to
holiday abroad, caravan sites were an affordable
½alternative for families wanting to get away.
-So, what is in t'coolbox, Johnny?
-Black pudding, I think.
Do you think these sausages? Yeah.
Full English breakfast this morning.
Don't forget to put this on after.
Freya, we've got a dilemma here.
We have got to cook sausage, egg, bacon,
black pudding and we have one pan. I don't know how I'm going to do it.
I'm not used to working with one burner.
Do you want to start opening the beans?
I think what I will do first is cook the sausage.
So, we have come on holiday so that I can experience a bit of a
break from the routine and here I am again doing the exact same thing!
OK, boys. Breakfast is ready.
The fry up as we know it owes much to the tourism boom of
the 1960s. To entice holiday-makers, enterprising B&B owners marketed
bacon, eggs and all the trimmings as the full English breakfast.
And the name stuck.
-This is cosy, isn't it?
This definitely feels like a caravan holiday now I have a fry up in front of me.
Can you remember when we had one slice of bacon, so for breakfast
you got the bacon and we used the bacon to flavour the bread?
You had to wipe it on the bread, didn't you?
And now look at all this.
Oh, we have a whistle on.
We have coffee. Yay, at last.
# Woke up this morning feeling fine
# There's something special on my mind... #
-There you go.
-That is well cool.
-It really is.
No pressure, no pressure!
You think a lot of the people that came on these holidays to this
campsite in the '60s were miners,
and they spent their lives underground, and to come here
where they have peace and quiet, I think it must have been amazing.
It is 1966.
Caitlin and Freya are in for a real treat,
they are off to the Chinese.
Northern teenagers continued to enjoy financial and social
freedoms that their parents generation could only have imagined.
-I love food.
What are you thinking?
I'm thinking we need to get different stuff
so we can both have a taste of each other's.
That's exactly what I was thinking.
The early 1960s had seen a wave of immigration from Hong Kong
Pre-World War II, Chinese immigrants had often set up laundries,
but as more people bought washing machines, a new
kind of business was required.
Chinese entrepreneurs realised that Northerners didn't have many
places to go after pub chucking out time.
In response, they offered late night table service at affordable
prices and a menu adapted to British palates.
Do you not think it's weird they've got omelettes
-and bread-and-butter and stuff?
-It is pretty weird.
To customers raised on mutton and mash,
-Chinese cuisine was an exotic luxury.
-Special fried rice.
-This looks so good.
-It does, doesn't it?
-Caitlin, tuck in.
-This is amazing. I actually can't wait to eat this.
-I'm so happy. You don't understand.
-That's really nice.
That is good.
While the girls enjoy some new flavours...
..Leslie is putting a '60s twist on a British classic.
# They told me love was not what I dreamed it would be
# And one day if I fell in love then I would see. #
I wonder if the girls are enjoying their Chinese.
-Chow mein is looking very appetising right now.
-Come on, Leslie.
All right, I will be through in a minute. What are you watching?
The Good Old Days. Look at this.
-That's good, isn't it?
I'm feeling a bit fed up in the 1960s because Harvey is out
with his friends, the girls are out having a Chinese, you have
been out watching football today and I have just basically hung around
the house baking, cleaning, cooking, washing up over and over again.
And I'm fed up.
I think the swinging '60s have completely passed me by
because there is no swinging going on around here.
Over the coming years, northern parents would look on as their
children continued to pursue a very different life to their own.
1966 was to be the peak of employment in British manufacturing.
From this year onwards, jobs in heavy industries started to decline.
And younger generations were tempted by a life beyond the North.
There must be a good future somewhere even if you have
got to go way down south.
I'm going to miss him terribly.
# I am just mad about Saffron
# Saffron is mad about me... #
Having had enough of the kitchen,
Lesley is popping out leaving the kids to make their own tea.
# They call me mellow yellow... #
This looks nice. Angel delight.
-Steak and kidney pie, I'm all for that.
-As if we get a whole one of them each.
I am buzzing.
By the 1960s, inventions like pie in a tin offered quick
alternatives to home cooking.
Is this genuine, is this, like, real?
It might need cooking, it might be because it's raw.
Angel Delight was launched in 1967 marketed to time poor parents,
it meant a tasty dessert in an instant.
-Oh, that one is burnt.
Towards the end of the 1960s,
convenience food accounted for 15% of the weekly shopping bill.
-This looks really nice.
-It does, doesn't it?
It tastes nice.
-It is not as good as the pies grandma makes us.
-The kids are so cute.
-What a lad. Look at his glasses.
The Milky Bar advert were really good, I loved it.
Over and out from 1967.
It is 1968.
-We have a fridge, I told you!
-This is your birth year present, Dad.
-Happy birthday, Johnny.
We have got a fridge. We can have ice.
It took until 1968 for 50% of British families to own a fridge.
Now Polly is popping round with another surprise for Lesley.
-Yeah, it looks familiar.
-Used to put ice pops in the top.
-I see you have your new fridge.
-Yes, at last.
Yeah, I bet you are more pleased to see that and see me.
-Much more excited about the fridge.
Right, Lesley, get your lippy and your handbag,
because we are going out tonight.
Polly is taking Lesley to the local working men's club, which
increasingly relied on live entertainment to tempt
people from comfortable living rooms and TV sets.
# My, my, my, Delilah... #
Oh, my word!
She might be surprised to see her friends...
So nice to see you.
But she will be even more surprised when she sees the entertainment.
Welcome to Mr Bradford, 1968. Number one.
Nigel, 50, from Dewsbury.
Since the launch of Miss World in the 1950s,
female beauty pageants were all the rage.
Across the North there was a queen for every region,
holiday camp and colliery.
In 1965, the first Mr Olympia contest popularised male muscle competitions.
For 1960s blokes working manual jobs,
you didn't need to hit the gym to put on a good show.
OK, so it is my great honour
to award this to Mr Bradford 1968
and there can be no other winner than Jonathan Ellis.
That must have been a fix, that!
Well done all of you.
Look what you could have had!
It is 1969 and the Ellises have invited me,
Polly and some friends around for a Eurovision party.
Between 1955 and 1969, incomes had risen by almost 70%.
With each year bringing new technology, sounds and flavours.
How has the 1960s, the swinging '60s, been for you two?
-The funniest thing I've done was going for Chinese.
-I loved it.
Because it was all new flavours and we just got to be ourselves and sit
at a table and I felt like, I don't know, I felt liberated in a sense.
I don't know how Chinese food can make you feel that way but it did.
It is great to be a teenager in the 1960s,
but what was it like to be a teenager from the North?
They can see different career paths because they're watching
TV that is set in the North and watching bands playing all over
the world from the North so people are watching that and might think,
I want to become musician, I want to become an actress or actor instead
of following their parents' footsteps and working in mines and things.
This is a splendid Eurovision party.
The show is starting so I just need to know how has it gone for you?
Have the '60s been swinging enough?
I thought that the '60s would be freer
but because I was no longer working it felt to me like everyone
else was getting on with their lives and carrying on doing
all of those things and I was just stuck doing the same old, same old.
Come on, Lulu!
# Come closer, come closer and listen... #
Glaswegian singer Lulu was born and raised in a two-room tenement flat.
She was only 15 when she signed to Decca records in 1964.
By the end of the decade, the Scottish starlet was
representing Britain on the world stage.
Like many of her generation,
her future had been transformed by the opportunities of the 1960s.
Come on, Lulu.
And the winner is... Lulu! Yay!
-Well done, Lulu.
-Cheers to the '60s.
Here's to the '70s.
Coming up, bring it on.
The family have been having a right rollicking time,
especially the girls.
This has been the decade of pop glory and good times for the North.
Working families have never felt so confident.
The question is, how long will it last?
We all think of the '60s as a time of freedom and liberation from
all the old-fashioned values and genuinely that did not happen for me.
We got to feel like adults and we have got to, like, pave our own
way and in the modern day 16 and 18-year-olds don't
feel like that. In modern day I still feel like a child, I'm still
treated as though I am a child, whereas in the '60s I don't feel that.
It is just different, the dynamic is different.
The Ellises indulge in the golden era of the '70s.
I don't like it.
Hey, guys, there is going to be power cuts.
This is the weirdest thing you've ever cooked.
# I watch the ripples change their size
# But never leave the stream
# Of warm impermanence and
# So the days float through my eyes... #
The Ellis family from Bradford embark on an extraordinary time-travelling adventure to discover how a transformation in the food eaten in the north of England can reveal how life has changed for northern working-class families over the past 100 years. The family's own home is their time machine, transporting them through a different era each week - from the sparse furnishings and meagre provisions of 1918 to the modern home comforts and bulging freezer of 1999. Guided through their time travel by Bolton-born presenter Sara Cox and social historian Polly Russell, everything the family of five experience, from the jobs they do to the food they eat, is based on historical data and spending surveys of the era. The family live through a time of dramatic change in the industrial north - experiencing everything from the mill to the mine, The Beatles to Thatcher and bland potato pie to the spicy delights of the curry capital of the UK.
For the Ellis family, 1960 marks the start of a new era of prosperity and confidence in the north. We follow dad Jon as he puts in a shift down the local pit. The work is hard but full employment and a strong union means he is bringing home a decent pay packet, so gone are the days of offal and dripping. By 1964 they are tucking into steak and home-cooked chips with Lancashire chef Nigel Haworth. They can even afford a summer holiday in Filey - enjoying a full fry-up in their authentic 60s caravan.
The teen girls embrace new-found freedoms. At a 60s coffee bar they meet Bobby Elliot from chart-topping Manchester band the Hollies and find out about a generation of northern stars that changed pop music forever. They are delighted to try some new exotic flavours, heading out for a Chinese whilst Mum and Dad stop at home with sausage and mash.