Catherine Serafinowicz and Vinnie McKean tell Alex Bridge about the music, fashion and football culture of their youth.
Thelma Donaghue was born in Liverpool in 1947. Her friend Cathy Serafinowicz was born in 1951. Vinnie McKean was born in 1955. They describe growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s, when the city was a focus of attention because of the Beatles. The women talk about fashion and music, while Vinnie talks mostly about football and his passion for Everton Football Club.
Thelma said that the 1960s were a time of excitement and innocence. The Beatles drew attention to the city, but there was much more to its musical life, with live music at the Cavern, the New Brighton Tower and other venues on most nights. At the Cavern there would be six or seven live bands on in one evening. Sometimes there would be an all-night session at the Cavern, and Thelma and Cathy would have to sneak out.
The Cavern was usually packed with young people. The ceilings were low (it was situated in an old cellar) and the walls were wet.
There was no two people dressed the same in the Sixties. Fashion was very individual. Thelma wore a bright orange mini-skirt with a green crocheted top to a concert at the New Brighton Tower; she sat on wet paint while on the ferry and had to hide the black stripes for the rest of the evening. The lads wore ‘kipper’ ties (narrow at the top and very wide at the bottom) and Beatles suits. The girls would wear mini-skirts, or sometimes ‘maxis’ (full-length skirts, which would drag on the floor).
Vinnie is still a keen Everton supporter. The main change to the ground in recent years has been the replacement of terracing with seats all around the ground. In the old days the crowds were much bigger. Vinnie went to his first game when he was 8 or 9 years old. He remembers that it cost 2/6 (12.5 pence) a game, so he had to save up pocket money to be able to go once a fortnight. In the early 1970s, when Everton were forced to play a midweek game in the afternoon because of the miners’ strike, Vinnie truanted from school to see the game. He estimates that half the crowd were wearing school uniform.
Players at that time were locally very famous. However, they did not earn the massive wages which are now common for professional footballers. Vinnie reckoned that they earned about £14 to £16 per week, which was less than some factory workers.