THIS is a momentous day in News Shopper’s history as we publish our 2,500th edition.

As London’s oldest free newspaper we printed our first edition and delivered it through your letterbox way back in 1965. Some of you may be able to remember that day, but others will not have been born.

To help celebrate this remarkable milestone we are recalling the middle year of the swinging sixties.

So whether you were born or not, sit back and enjoy a stroll down memory lane to the day News Shopper was born.

Andrew Parkes, editor, News Shopper

Back to 1965

Historian BOB OGLEY looks back at the events of 1965, the year NEWS SHOPPER was born.

News Shopper was born in 1965 in the middle of a ‘youth revolution’, an economic boom and the start of what most people hoped would become a classless society.

The slums of south London were giving way to high rise, affordable homes and a new authority was about to bully its way onto the administrative stage.

The year began with a knighthood for Stanley Matthews, the first footballer to be so honoured, and the death of Sir Winston Churchill, whose lying in state in Westminster Hall prompted British Rail to lay on hundreds of extra trains as people flocked to pay their respects.

Stan Laurel also died in January.

Known among his friends in south London as Stanley Jefferson and by the rest of the world as the comic partner of Oliver Hardy, he had earned thousands from his many films.

But not as much as actor Roger Moore, who lived for many years at The Mount, Bexleyheath, with his wife, Dorothy Squires.

In 1965 he was reported to be earning an astronomical £2,000 a week.

On April 1, the newly-formed and controversial Greater London Council came officially into being.

Not only had it taken over such historic towns as Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley but it had also extended its greedy fingers into the real countryside to gather in the idyllic villages of Knockholt, Downe and Farnborough.

Readers of the newly-published News Shopper had much to say about this and, in particular, how ‘Little Bromley’ had merged with Beckenham, Orpington, Chislehurst, Sidcup and Penge to become ‘Big Bromley’ with 39,266 acres — the largest of the 32 boroughs in the new authority.

A jury at the Old Bailey cleared Ronnie and Reggie Kray of running a protection racket in the East End to the great surprise of the criminal fraternity of south London.

But for them there was better news coming from Westminster, where the House of Lords approved the bill to abolish hanging.

In the summer of 1965, the many publicans in our London boroughs had a great deal to say (much of it unprintable) about a new law for motorists who enjoyed a drink, as the government introduced a legal blood alcohol limit for motorists.

However, there was good news for Bexley, with the appointment of their shoulder-shaking MP as leader of the Conservative party.

Ted Heath, 49, and the youngest leader for 100 years, beat Reginald Maudling and Enoch Powell in a poll and said his first task was to restore party morale.

Figures released that year showed Coronation Street was still the most popular TV series, while fellow ITV programme Ready Steady Go was the most influential live music show.

The Beatles were as popular as ever and so was a rock group called the Rolling Stones, formed three years earlier by Dartford-born Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, along with Brian Jones.

Other groups topping the hit parade in 1965 included the Moody Blues, Righteous Brothers and The Kinks.

Other successful films on the south London Odeon circuit were The Carpetbaggers and How The West Was Won.

It was a busy year for estate agents with homes changing hands frequently.

An imposing four-bedroom detached family residence in Chislehurst, complete with central heating, a tennis court and one acre of garden, sold for £12,250.

Detached bungalows with four bedrooms were on sale for £7,975 and a semi-detached close to the shops in Bromley was on the market for £3,750.

Chiesmans of Lewisham was advertising Caprice three-piece suites for 78 guineas and a Harris Tweed sports jacket for 29s 11d.

Those who could afford such luxury items could possibly also manage to buy a 1962 Jaguar 3.5 automatic with radio and safety belts for a mere £875, while a new Morris 1100 was on sale for just £585.

l If you have a story, photograph, letter or an anecdote to pass on, write to me at Bob Ogley, News Shopper, Mega House. Crest View Drive, Petts Wood, Kent BR5 1BT or email

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