£12 – £15

Archives at Night: Sixties

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The National Archives

Bessant Dr



United Kingdom

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Event description


Culture. Revolution. Scandal.

Take a trip back to the 1960s as part of Museums at Night!

A decade that defined a generation, the sixties in Britain brought us everything from Beatlemania to miniskirts. Yet it was also a time of acute political unrest that saw the destruction of traditional structures and constraints. Using original material from our records, come on a journey to discover some of the most fascinating aspects of the era - from the Profumo affair, to mods and rockers, and the cultural, sexual and social revolutions.

Records on display

Don’t miss the chance to explore a whole range of iconic sixties records from our collection, including:

  • Documents charting the rise of the Beatles

  • The famous trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover under the Obscene Publications Act

  • The strike of the women workers of Ford Dagenham

  • The arrest and trial of the Kray Twins

This full evening of entertainment will include:

  • Expert talks

  • Iconic moments from the decade featured in short performances throughout the night

  • Sixties music all night – with dancing!

  • Vintage badge making

  • Themed photo booth

  • Prizes and giveaways

  • Cocktail bar with mixologist

  • Food to purchase

  • Ticket price includes one cocktail on arrival

Expert talks

Sex, Spies and Scandal: the Profumo Affair – Dr Richard Dunley

The Profumo affair was one of the greatest political scandals in twentieth century Britain. It had everything: politics, sex, spies and gangsters. The fallout marked a watershed in the publics' attitude towards politicians, and played into divides created by the momentous social changes which wracked Britain in the early 1960s.

Culture clash? Pop in a Royal Park – Mark Dunton

The Rolling Stones 1969 concert in Hyde Park is a legendary moment in British music. But back in 1968, when Peter Jenner, Manager of Pink Floyd, wrote to the authorities asking for permission to hold a concert in Hyde Park, he received a negative reply which he described as “crusty”. So how did it come to pass that a whole series of pop concerts was held in this Royal Park in 1968-69?

Money, Mods and Modernisation - Mark Donnelly

‘Modernisation’ was a fashionable term in sixties Britain. Pop culture, media, design, urban planning and politics embraced ‘new’ times. Permissiveness and social tolerance increased. But state-directed oppression and social exclusion persisted. Despite attempts to dismiss resistance to political authority as a side-effect of youth-centred cultural hedonism, various rebellions of the sixties did challenge the status quo. Mod culture, it seems, heralded the ‘new politics’ of 1968.

Sixties-inspired clothing is optional but encouraged.

Activities are subject to change. Keep an eye on our events page for more information.

These evening events are very popular so book now to guarantee your place. Please note, this event is suitable for adults only (18+).

This event is part of the nationwide Museums at Night campaign.


Tube: Kew Gardens station - District Line and London Overground

Train: Kew Bridge station - South West Trains

Buses: R68 to Kew Retail Park

Further travel information is available on our How to find us page.

We run an exciting range of events and exhibitions on a wide variety of topics. For more details, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/whatson.

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The National Archives

Bessant Dr



United Kingdom

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