Remembering the Nuffield Maths Project #1960s

British primary school teachers of a certain age will probably recognise the image that heads up this post.

I have very fond memories of this and the other teachers’ guides in the series.

But I’d forgotten the books completely until I read Mathematics: Set theory for six-year-olds in “Nature: the International Journal of Science”. Not that I read that august journal on a regular basis. A friend in USA had posted a link on Facebook to an article in the journal and set theory for six year olds was in the “you might also like column” in the sidebar of the website.

The article made for fascinating reading and provided an interesting context to a project which I’d always thought was peculiarly British. Now I know different!

Starting in the mid-sixties, the Nuffield Mathematics Project presented a new approach to learning mathematics for children aged 5–13. The project built on children’s own experience and encouraged them to think for themselves. Stop and read that sentence again!

Think for themselves. What a novel idea!

The project focussed on how children learn rather than what to teach. The key concept was understanding not rote learning.  One of the introductory guides was actually entitled “I do and I understand”.

Attributed to Confucius:

I hear and I forget 

I see and I remember 

I do and I understand

was the teaching mantra of the Swinging Sixties. Not everyone is convinced though.

There’s more information about the maths project on this page of the Nuffield website. But the books seem to have become very rare. There’s a second-hand copy of “Shape and Size” available on Amazon for 70p and “Beginnings” is on Ebay for £7.49.

2Nuffield Maths

You can also get “Shape and Size” on Ebay for £7.49 but that seems to be it. So if your old college copies are in the loft or garage they might be good for topping up the pension!

3Nuffield Maths

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Learning Handwriting in the 1950s

Do you remember learning to read?

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C&S pink
Only 99p

Swinging Sixties Icons

Mary Quant

If you enjoyed

Swinging 60s Models


Swinging Sixties fashion shows

you’ll probably like these films of Swinging Sixties icons too.

Mary Quant

Some rather odd footwear included in this collection along with the iconic flower logo.


Lots of big smiles from Twiggy and even more from Justin.

Julie Christie

The Oscar nominations are announced by Rex Harrison and Julie makes a tearful acceptance when she wins.

Jean Shrimpton

Jean talks to a tongue-tied TV interviewer who asks her what she thinks of Twiggy and if she’s too old at twenty three to be a fashion model.

Jean scandalises the matrons of Melbourne by appearing at the Races without a hat and wearing an above the knee skirt.

Marianne Faithfull

Marianne sings “As Tears Go By” and explains that she was asked to make the record because she had a face that would sell. She’s introduced by a very uptight Brian Epstein who had little talent as a TV presenter.

Lots more 60s Icons

Brigitte Bardot
Farrah Fawcett
Jane Asher
Goldie Hawn
Anita Pallenberg
Pattie Boyd
Jean Shrimpton
Maurren Cox
Ewa Aulin
Cynthia Powell
Marylin Monroe
Audrey Hepburn
Monica Vitti
Sophia Loren
Colleen Corby
Marianne Faithfull
Cilla Black
Linda McCartney
Mandy Weet
Sharon Tate

Thanks for checking out my blog today.

You might also like If you miss Woolies, you’ll love this website

and Interesting 1966 film of 10 Mathew Street


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How shall we find the concord of this discord?


by Michael Murray

If you miss Woolies, you’ll love this website


F.W Woolworth & Co opened its first store in the UK in 1909 on Church Street in Liverpool. The store sold children’s clothing, stationery and toys. Woolworths expanded rapidly in the mid-1920s with stores opening every couple of weeks. In 2008 when the company went into administration there were 807 Woolworths stores in the UK.

In the late 1960s I was desperate to get a Saturday job at Woolworths but they didn’t have anything to offer. According to The Woolworths Museum, over 50,000 people worked for Woolworths during the 1960s with an army of Saturday boys and girls helping out at the weekend.

If you were one of those Saturday shop assistants or just enjoy your memories of Woolworths, you’ll love The Woolworths Museum. 

The website has a wealth of information about every conceivable aspect of the Woolworths story.

Embassy records



are a small sample of the pages on offer. The Woolworths Museum is an easy website to explore and I’ve spent a couple of very interesting hours there. Well worth a visit.

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The first pop record I ever owned was ……

Book Promotion

How shall we find the concord of this discord? Introducing Leefdale by Michael Murray

Leefdale by Michael Murray


Swinging Sixties fashion shows


This clip is great for a walk down Memory Lane as it features the mini-kilt, my favourite in 1966.

I bought mine from C&A (Coats and ‘Ats as it was known in my family).

My dad went ballistic about the length saying the mini-kilt was too short to wear outside the house. Funny really as they don’t seem all that short. Maybe the C&A version was shorter!

The next clip features Cathy McGowan from Ready, Steady Go as she presents her own fashion collection.

Actually the dresses seem quite staid and frumpy looking rather like an overall. I don’t re-call yearning for any of these fashions. The second half of the clip features fashions for boys, They look quite middle-aged now!

At this fashion show in Manchester, the models are dancing in a group.

But where are the handbags in the middle?

The op-art outfit has reminded me of my prized possession: op-art, clip on earrings. About 3 cm in diameter with  five black and white concentric circles. I wonder what happened to them?

The sculpture in the photo at the start of this post is:

Three Figures (2012) by Neal French, Bourdon Place, London W1.

A passing shopper stumbles upon Terence Donovan photographing the model Twiggy near to his studio in 1960s Mayfair.

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and Moped fashion!

Coming Soon: Leefdale by Michael Murray

Interesting 1966 film of 10 Mathew Street

Mathew Street

Prime Minister Harold Wilson was the guest of honour when the Cavern Club at 10, Mathew Street in Liverpool was re-opened. Local MP Bessie Braddock was there too along with comedian Ken Dodd and that well known DJ, Jimmy Savile.

No Beatles playing on this occasion.

Local band The Hideaways provided the music.

From Wikipedia: The Hideaways formed in 1963. Ozzie Yue was guitar and vocals, John Shell bass guitar, and John Donaldson drums. Judd Lander on harmonica joined the band a few months later.

In 1969, under the name of “Confucius”, the band released their only single ‘The Brandenburg Concerto’.

Shell, American by birth, would later die in the Vietnam War aged twenty. Lander would play with Paul McCartney’s Wings, provide harmonica for Culture Club’s number 1 hit “Karma Chameleon” and become head of music for Warner Brothers UK.

The Hideaways now hold the official world record for over 300 Cavern performances in both old and new venues, and still perform annually at the Cavern Club.

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You might also enjoy Moped fashion!

and Born #OnThisDay in 1904 – photographer Cecil Beaton

Coming Soon: Leefdale by Michael Murray

Swinging 60s Models


When I was exploring Moped fashion! a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled on this great Youtube film.

If you love all things Sixties, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this fantastic compilation.

Hope you’re having a good day.

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and The celebrity cook Fanny Cradock was born On This Day in 1909

Coming Soon: Leefdale by Michael Murray

The first pop record I ever owned was ……

Helen Shapiro

Helen Shapiro singing “Walking Back to Happiness” in 1961.

My trawls around YouTube have turned up this fab video clip. I don’t recognise the programme but the song is just as good as I remember it.

Our dad had to go away for a few days and he said he’d bring back a new record.

On his return, after he’d shared out the sticks of seaside rock, he produced a small 45rpm disc in a bright, multi-coloured sleeve. He put it onto our gramophone turntable and we were amazed to hear Helen Shapiro belting out “Walking Back to Happiness”.

This was our first pop record (definitely not the last) and my sister and I played the record so many times we were word perfect within a day.

A couple of years later, Helen released “Look Who It Is”

which I wasn’t particularly keen on at the time. But I love this clip of Helen performing the song on “Ready, Steady, Go!” with the Beatles providing visual support. Except, where’s Paul?

The B-side of “Walking Back to Happiness” was “Tell Me What He Said” and I think it’s Helen Shapiro’s best song.

Well, that’s been a lovely walk down Memory Lane today!

You might also enjoy the second pop record I ever owned: #OnThisDay in 1936 Thomas William Hicks was born #TommySteele

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Pleas take a minute to check out my Book of the Day.

Henry Wood was born #OnThisDay in 1869

Henry Wood

Sir Henry Joseph Wood

was an English conductor best known for his association with London’s annual series of promenade concerts known as The Proms.

Henry Wood conducted The Proms for nearly half a century, introducing hundreds of new works to British audiences.

After his death in 1944, the concerts were officially renamed in his honour as The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, although they continued to be generally referred to as The Proms.

In the summer of 1965 (when I was about fourteen) my dad decided we should go to The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

We had a day ticket and caught the train from Peterborough railway station on August 19th and were in the capital a couple of hours later. We did some tourist stuff and then after a Lyons Corner House for something to eat we headed to South Kensington for the concert.

We were overawed by the vastness of the Albert Hall and by the size of the audience, which was far greater than anything we’d experienced before.

The programme started with Neville Marriner directing the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in a Handel concerto while he played the violin. Impressive!

This was followed by the premiere of Michael Tippett’s piano concerto conducted by the composer himself. The soloist was John Ogden and the music was execrable.

After the interval Malcolm Sargent conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers in a performance of “The Planets”.

We’d been listening to this on a gramophone record for weeks and loved every minute.

Thanks very much, Sir Henry Wood, for a wonderful experience and a very Happy 149th Birthday.

This is the only clip I can find of Sir Henry actually conducting. It’s the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music in 1938.

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and Book of the Day at




The celebrity cook Fanny Cradock was born On This Day in 1909

Fanny Cradock

Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey, better known as Fanny Cradock, was born on 26th February 1909.

Fanny Cradock found fame as an English restaurant critic, television celebrity cook and cookery writer. She made frequent appearances on television, at cookery demonstrations and in print with Major Johnnie Cradock who played the part of a slightly bumbling hen-pecked husband.

This video of a 1960 ‘Cockney’ themed party filmed in Fanny and Johnny’s home to promote a new book is a jaw-dropping insight into the bizarre habits of the entertaining class of the time!

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Book of the Day at