3 May 1968 – Hove

media_file_2603At the beginning of the first week of May 1968, French universities closed their admin. departments.  On 3 May, the students made their objections very clear.  By the end of the week, 20 000 of them were rioting in central Paris.  A few days later, the barricades were up.  By the end of the following week, 2 million workers were on strike.  France was paralysed and stayed so until the beginning of June.  What were Brighton and Hove doing at the time?

May 68 5The Mods and Rockers of 1964 had been largely forgotten.  The Brighton Festival was hosting Ed B’s experimental play ‘Sagittarius” and a long-forgotten children’s television producer, Marjory Sigley was teaching children how to stage their own plays … in the Palace Pier Theatre.  Slightly more controversially, John Osbourne’s play “Time Present” was on at the Theatre Royal.

Sport, however, loomed even larger.  On 25 May, Prime Minister Jim Callaghan jumped on his bike on Madeira Drive to mark the start of the 1968 Tour of Britain (the Milk Race).  More importantly, Football League 3rd Division Albion were busy. At the end of the 1967/8 season, in May, they had two secure wins, first over Stockport at home (3-0) and then way to Walsall (1-2), their only losing match being away against Oxford United. In Hove, on 3rd May, Sussex were calmly playing Hampshire to a thrilling draw on the following day.

Over the weekend, residents and tourists in Hove promenaded along the seafront and along the lawns.  It took the 50th anniversary of les évenements de soixante-huit [literally: the events of ‘68] in France to manifest themselves in Hove.

May 68 2 - Copy

(c) Suzanne Hinton

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