Vintage images show life in the British Isles in the 50s and 60s

From Bristol to the Isle of Barra via restoration work at Stonehenge: Incredible vintage images show life in the British Isles in the 50s and 60s

  • The fascinating photos were snapped between 1954 and 1966 across the British Isles by Allan Hailstone 
  • He travelled extensively while a student at Imperial College, meticulously documenting all of his trips  
  • The images give an amazing insight into postwar life in the home nations, from the fashion to transport  

No mobile phones – and yet life went on.

These images show towns and cities in the UK and Ireland between 1954 and 1966 – and they are truly fascinating.

The pictures were snapped by photographer Allan Hailstone, originally from Coventry, who travelled extensively across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, meticulously documenting his trips. His photos give an amazing insight into postwar life, from the fashion (people back then liked to look dapper) to transport (slower, but oh-so-romantic) and from beach life (deckchair design hasn’t changed much) to heritage sites (there’s a rare picture of Stonehenge being restored).

Many of the mesmerising images were taken while Mr Hailstone was a student at Imperial College from 1957 to 1960. While there he would just look at a map of the British Isles and decide where to visit each weekend with his camera.

He has posted all of these images – which show the likes of Newcastle, Lincoln, Margate, Dublin and Liverpool – on Flickr and told MailOnline Travel: ‘Travelling around Britain then was a bit slower and cheaper than today. Trains rarely ran on time and steam trains took five minutes to get the speed up to a bit more than walking pace.

‘The biggest change? Back then people in the street weren’t clutching mobile phones or drinking coffee out of awful paper cups!’ Scroll down to be transported back in time to a simpler age…

Mr Hailstone snapped the photo on the left of the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, looking towards Gateshead, on August 28, 1960. Pictured on the right is the present-day scene 

Inside Newcastle station on August 28, 1960. Mr Hailstone said: ‘The pre-decimal price of 52/6 for the ticket to London translates as £2.62 plus a halfpenny’ 

This vintage image shows crowds gathering around the seafront in Margate on August 4, 1958. Mr Hailstone explained: ‘Travelling around then [the 50s and 60s] was a bit slower and cheaper than today’

This delightful scene is a packed Margate beach on August 4, 1958. The snap was actually taken by Mr Hailstone’s father on a trip to the Kent town they took together 

The fascinating shot on the left shows High Street and Westgate in Canterbury, Kent. Mr Hailstone snapped the image on August 4, 1958. He says at that time, Canterbury was one of his favourite places to visit. Pictured right is how the same street looks today 

Slough High Street pictured on October 23, 1958. Mr Hailstone said: ‘The biggest change? Back then people in the street weren’t clutching mobile phones or drinking coffee out of awful paper cups!’

Share this article

A shot of Liverpool taken on May 6, 1960. The entrance to the Mersey Tunnel (also called the Queensway Tunnel), which links Liverpool and Birkenhead, can be seen in the background 

This amazing aerial shot shows Liverpool, the Mersey and Birkenhead. It was taken on a flight from Liverpool to the Isle of Man on June 18, 1959 

A locomotive stands at one of the platforms at London Marylebone station on October 25, 1958

Groups of women stand chatting in The Rows in Chester on May 7, 1960. According to Visit Chester, The Rows are ‘a unique series of two-tiered and mostly black-and-white half-timbered buildings joined with long galleries used as shopping arcades’ 

This amazing shot of Stonehenge was taken by Mr Hailstone on May 28, 1958, during rare restoration works that saw three of the standing stones re-erected and set in concrete bases. He said: ‘It is certainly a somewhat unusual shot of Stonehenge, and I was lucky to be there that day’ 

The New Docks at the Port of Southampton pictured on August 16, 1959. According to one Flickr user, the vessel in the front of the picture is the SS Nevasa, which was operated at the time by the British India Steam Navigation Company

A British European Airways Vickers Viscount aircraft stands on the tarmac at Birmingham Airport – which was called Elmdon Airport when it opened in 1939 – on August 25, 1955. The plane was about to embark on a journey from Birmingham to Paris

This snap shows Liverpool John Lennon Airport on May 5, 1960 – though at the time it was known as Speke Airport. Mr Hailstone took the picture from his seat on an inbound flight from London Heathrow 

The photo on the left shows O’Connell Street in Dublin on January 31, 1959. In the background is Nelson’s Pillar, a 41-metre (134ft) column with a statue of Admiral Nelson on the top. It was partially destroyed in a bomb attack by an Irish Republican on March 8, 1966, and then demolished completely a week later by the army. Pictured right is the same stretch of O’Connell Street today 

This charming image, captured on March 14, 1964, shows a British European Airways aircraft on the beach runway on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides

The view from Castlebay on the Isle of Barra in March 1964. Castlebay is the main village on the island and where the ferry terminal is located 

Above are then-and-now snaps of bustling Lincoln and the arch in the council building called the Stonebow. The picture on the left was taken on July 27, 1959

This fascinating shot shows Blackpool’s South Shore on April 22, 1957. The Blackpool Tower can just be made out in the distance

Two young girls walk in front of the Big Dipper roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in April 1957.  The Big Dipper opened in 1923 and is still in operation today 

A group of thrillseekers enjoy one of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in April 1957. The amusement park was founded in 1896

This charming shot shows Rye Railway Station in East Sussex on August 5, 1958. Mr Hailstone points out: ‘Note the windmill to the right of the signal in the distance’  

Mr Hailstone would pick a different city in the UK to travel to each weekend to take pictures. This one shows Bristol on July 30, 1958  

The High Street in Maidstone, Kent, on August 3, 1958. Mr Hailstone said: ‘This view is looking east, with the Medway behind the camera’ 

Mr Hailstone took this stunning colour image of Hastings in Sussex on May 27, 1958. One Flickr user remarked: ‘Very Mediterranean feel to this’ 

Source: Read Full Article