October 22nd, 2016

Rocking and rolling 1950s teenagers are focus of exhibition

Updated: 11:14 am, Sep 04, 2015

TEENAGERS are the focus of a new exhibition in Warwickshire.

Rocking and Rolling for 60 Years which turns the spotlight on the rise of the teenager in the 1950s will be touring the county’s libraries until January.

The exhibition, curated by Heritage and Culture Warwickshire (HCW) and Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs, looks at a time when young people found their own brand of music and fashion, and when for the first time they started to have a disposable income of their own.

HCW collections assistant Becki Morris said: “Our collections give fascinating insights into what it was like to be young in the 1950s. Some of my favourite finds come from our post war magazine and costume collection.”

Before the Second World War, the teenager of today would, if a man, have been forced to do National Service, and then get a job straight away to support the family, while women were expected to learn how to take care of the home and be a dutiful wife.

But all changed afterwards as the youth of Britain followed their American counterparts in rejecting the lives followed by their parents, inspired by the likes of Elvis and film stars such as James Dean.

The exhibition can be seen at Leamington from Monday (September 7) to September 18; Kenilworth from September 21 to October 2; and Stratford from October 19 to 30.

There will also be talks to accompany the exhibition – at Leamington on September 12 at 2.30pm.

Collections assistant Becki Morris with the 1958 Sally Slade dress from Regent Street in London and a pair of 1950 handmade suede court shoes. 34.015.001.leam.jm1

A 24 hour jive marathon at Riverside Youth Club in Leamington in 1960 – left to right – Glynn Lloyd, Linda Jones, Tony Kaye and Josie Jenkins. (s)

Teen idol – Elvis Presley with adoring fans. (s)