The Sixties

The Sixties aims to recreate the spirit of this exciting decade which saw momentous change in so many areas of public and private life.

The gallery uses fascinating and iconic objects from our social history, art, fashion, military and astronomy collections to bring back the atmosphere of change which swept over the country during the 1960s. Highlights include a Lambretta scooter, a Dansette record player, Beatles singles and fashion by Mary Quant.

Using visual design and colour schemes influenced by the trends of the decade, it explores key themes such as fashion, music, the home, sport, childhood, the Space Race, free love, counterculture and women's liberation.

As well as looking at big themes and extraordinary events, it examines the everyday experiences of people in the city and the country and the extent to which their lives were affected by them.

Household exhibits include food packaging, clothes, electrical items, toys, records and more. Visitors can listen to memories of the decade via special telephones, listen to music on a Jukebox and watch television and film footage from the time.

We also have a cut-out of the famous picture of Sir Bobby Moore, with his face removed, so visitors can be photographed lifting the World Cup, plus a replica of the Mercury space capsule to climb inside!

The creation of this new gallery has been generously supported by the Wolfson Foundation and City of York Council. We are also grateful to BBC Radio York for their work on our oral history section.

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Exhibitions and events

Seeing it Through

Permanent exhibition

This exhibition shows how the Second World War affected the everyday lives of people in Britain by using the experiences, artefacts, costumes, photographs and ephemera of the people of York....

From Cradle to Grave

Permanent exhibition

This exhibition focuses on the history of three rites of passage birth, marriage and death. Visitors can also see examples of many of the nursery and childcare items used during the last three...

Toy Stories

Permanent exhibition

Take a trip back to your childhood and rediscover some of your favourite toys in this new exhibition. Bikes, bath toys, computer games, Lego and beautiful handmade dolls are among the toys on show...

York Castle Prison

Permanent exhibition

Come and see York Castle Prison's infamous residents and fascinating history brought to life in our special exhibition. Experience a brutal and crooked prison system and meet our most notorious...

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