The 1950’s was a crucial period that changed and characterised London as we know it today. During those vintage years, major parts of London had to be rebuilt after it was heavily damaged during the Second World War. The 50’s was a booming decade for London and it was a period of optimism as well. The population of the city in 1951 was estimated to be around 8.2 million in Greater London and 3.3 million in Inner London.
In the early 1950’s, the first groups of Caribbean immigrants settled down in London during the “open door period”. They were largely required as there was a shortage of workers in sectors such as public transportation, hospitals, construction and many other. People from the Commonwealth states and people from the British Empire could easily immigrate because they had British Passport. These immigrants were of great significance to the rebuilt of the city. Although the number of immigrants has increased rapidly during the 50’s and 60’s, it dropped by nearly 1 million in 1970. From the 50’s to the 70’s, London became one of the most diverse cities in the world.
There was also a significant growth of youth culture during the 50’s and 60’s, and this made the city to be known as the youth culture centre during those decades. These years saw the immergence of successful bands such as the “Rolling Stones” and “the Beatles”, and it attracted a large number of tourist to the capital of England, who come to the capital to watch their concerts. During this period, the income of people rose sharply, thus leading to people having more money and this in turn brought a rise in the living quality of Londoners.
Many subcultures saw the day in London during the 1950’s and they were easily identified by their lifestyle, fashion and music. Young Londoners were looking to America for models of behaviour and music. Three of the most important subcultures during that decade were the “Rastas”, the “Mods” and the “Teddy Boys and Girls”. The Rastas characterised themselves by wearing dreadlocks, and their favourite music was dub reggae. The mods is an abbreviation for modernist, who were fashionable and enjoyed music such as Pop, R&B, and soul. The Teddy Boys and Girls spread very quickly during the 50’s in the capital and they could be identified as people wearing elegant clothes such as drape jackets and slim fit pants, and they were associated with American rock and roll.
Manufacturing firms were flourishing during those years, particularly for firms making consumer goods such as radios, televisions, and washing machines. It also brought along an office boom, where over 50,000 white collar jobs were created, and this highly boosted London’s overall economy. Women were the main benefactors of these office jobs in the 50’s, and it was for the first time ever that women outnumbered men in London’s office. It can be said that the 1950’s was one of the most prosperous decade of London, with the construction of most of the hospitals, houses and schools that make up London today.