Express & Star

Step back in time to swinging 1960s Black Country with 30 of our archive photos

Step back in time to the swingin' sixties in the Black Country.


It was a decade of football success as Wolves brought home the FA Cup in 1960, and West Brom followed suit in '68.

The country celebrated winning the World Cup for the first and only time in 1966.

New bands were on the rise, and old ones were signing albums for their adoring local fans.

Wolverhampton was the spot for some tough chess competition, with a visit from an International Grand Master.

Community groups worked hard to provide free Christmas meals for the elderly and vulnerable, a tradition that has been held dear to this day.

Here are 30 photos from the Express & Star archives taken in the Black Country in the 1960s.

Fans in their thousands

A police officer carrying a fainted girl from the crowds.

This picture of a police officer carrying a fainting girl was used on an inside page of the Wolverhampton Chronicle of May 13, 1960, with a report telling how crowds welcomed home Wolves after their win in the FA Cup Final at Wembley when they beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0. The published caption was: 'A policeman snatches a fainting girl from the trampling feet of the crowd surging in their thousands in North Street.'

Wolves V Blackburn

A scene from the 1960 FA Cup final at Wembley, Wolves v Blackburn Rovers.

The match was played on May 7, 1960, and a caption pasted to the back of the photo reads: 'So near... Heartstopping moment for Blackburn supporters as Wolverhampton's South African outside left Horne just fails to connect with the ball, which flies across the goalmouth out of reach of keeper Leyland in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, London, today, Saturday. Watching in dismay at extreme left is Wolves' inside right Stobbart. Watching in relief are Blackburn's left half McGrath (standing, centre) and left back Whelan, who later broke his leg and was carried off the field. Wolves won 3-0. May 7th, 1960."

A triumphant homecoming

A triumphant homecoming for Wolverhampton Wanderers on their FA Cup final victory in 1960.

'Sunday, May 8, 1960: A Don Everall coach carried a triumphant Wolves team through the cheering thousands who greeted them after their FA Cup final victory over Blackburn Rovers at Wembley in 1960. Two coaches in the Everall fleet are set aside for the almost exclusive use of Wolves and West Bromwich Albion teams. They are specially equipped for a relaxed journey and they incorporate the colours of the two clubs. Deployed from three bases, at Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Stourbridge, the firm's fleet averages 80 vehicles.'

Out of tune

Piano smashing at a spring fair at Cradley Heath secondary school in April 1968.

April 8, 1968: 'They had a smashing time down at Cradley Heath secondary school on Saturday. Two upright pianos, assembled 60-odd years ago with loving care, were wrecked in eight minutes by six present pupils and six old boys wielding 7lb sledgehammers and 12 carpenter's hammers. The pianos were donated and taken to the school in a borrowed hearse. A third turned out to be in good condition so that will be kept. The contest was over when each piano was broken into pieces small enough to pass through a hole 18in by six inches. It was declared a draw and a slight case of cheating by one team who removed a couple of vital screws before the start was overlooked. It was the grand finale to the school's first Spring Fair which raised an estimated £400.'

A sea of faces

An FA Cup semi final queue in Wolverhampton on Sunday, March 20, 1960

A queue for the match between Aston Villa and Wolves on March 20, 1960, which was being played at the Hawthorns the following Saturday. This was the scene at Molineux - tickets were also sold at Villa Park and the Hawthorns. Scenes were 'amounting almost to hysteria at Villa Park, a no smaller but more orderly scene at Molineux Ground, and a situation at the Hawthorns in which it was stated all who applied were satisfied, soccer crazy Midlanders in their thousands joined the three-point sale of tickets yesterday for Saturday's FA Cup semi final between Wolves and Aston Villa at the Hawthorns... Women wept, men swore, and several people were injured in the desperate rush at Villa Park...'

Train derails

A train derailed in Aldridge in August 1960

The accident was caused by 'hooligans putting obstacles on the line,' according to a note on the back of this print from August 30, 1960. The published caption pasted to the back reads: 'The fireman and driver of this shunting engine jumped clear when it was derailed and toppled down the embankment on the Walsall Wood to Aldridge line yesterday.'

Diving in

Walsall Arboretum

May 24, 1961: 'The underwater exploration section of Walsall police gave a demonstration at the annual inspection of Walsall police in the Arboretum lake today'

RAF Cosford