They say if you can remember the Sixties you could not have been there. Well post war baby boomer Trevor Cherrett was there and he can remember them. But his memories are more about what it was really like to grow up in one of the most rapidly changing periods in Britain`s history, as the country emerged from the destruction of the Second World War to a new world of peace, prosperity and the Welfare State.
Born almost in sight of the red funnelled Cunarders in the port of Southampton – and on the edge of the Luftwaffe`s bombing run just a few years before – the author evokes his early years of national health orange juice, cod-liver oil, and school milk; discovering the joys of exploring the (then) sleepy country town of Ringwood where you could get away with tri-cycling halfway to Bournemouth; and growing up by the harbours and beaches of Mudeford and the South Coast .
In frank detail he explores how he experienced the trials and tribulations of family life and girlfriends in a period which invented `the teenager` and witnessed the passing of much of the `old order`; how school shaped his life in the days of the 11 Plus and the great divide between Grammar schools and Secondary Moderns, and the new opportunities to go to University; and how growing up on the South Coast and the New Forest opened the door to his passions for fishing, boating and football.
Like many baby boomers, Trevor acknowledges that they were, and are, a fortunate generation. But, he argues, it wasn`t just good luck or - worse – some kind of inter- generational conspiracy. Much of their good fortune was the result of far-sighted post-war policies aimed at creating a fairer as well as a more prosperous society. And he believes those policies have lessons for us today.
This is not the autobiography of a Celebrity. Rather it is the story of an Everyman living through an extraordinary period of history, and making the links between his personal endeavours and the social, economic and cultural changes that affected his life, and the different places in which they were played out.