Woman spends an eye-watering £40,000 to be stuck in 1960s

A British woman has spent £40,000 to live a 1960s lifestyle  – with three Vespas, a convertible and a home filled with fitting memorabilia from the decade. 

Gina Guarnieri, from Worthing, West Sussex, lives in a tiny bungalow full of ’60s appliances and mementos, including crockery, furniture, a Dansette record player, and clothing.

The 57-year-old woman also has four scooters – three Vespas and a Lambretta – a 1966 Triumph Herald Convertible and a 1959 Bedford CA Porthole Campervan.

Gina, who calls herself a ‘mid-century magpie’ and lives with her long-term partner, became obsessed with the decade as a teenager in the early 80s after buying a classic scooter and becoming a backing singer in an R&B band – and now she’s still ’60s mad.

Gina Guarnieri (pictured) has spent £40,000 to live a 1960s lifestyle - with three Vespas, a convertible and a home filled with fitting memorabilia from the decade

Gina Guarnieri (pictured) has spent £40,000 to live a 1960s lifestyle – with three Vespas, a convertible and a home filled with fitting memorabilia from the decade

Gina, from Worthing, West Sussex, lives in a tiny bungalow full of '60s appliances and mementos (pictured), including crockery, furniture, a Dansette record player, and clothing

Gina, from Worthing, West Sussex, lives in a tiny bungalow full of ’60s appliances and mementos (pictured), including crockery, furniture, a Dansette record player, and clothing

The 57-year-old woman also has four scooters - three Vespas and a Lambretta - a 1966 Triumph Herald Convertible (pictured above) and a 1959 Bedford CA Porthole Campervan

The 57-year-old woman also has four scooters – three Vespas and a Lambretta – a 1966 Triumph Herald Convertible (pictured above) and a 1959 Bedford CA Porthole Campervan

Gina said: ‘Living in the ’60s gives me so much more than a hobby. I won’t use a modern high-fi, for instance. I think my favourite ’60s item would have to be my Dansette record player.

‘I really can’t imagine my life without being immersed in the sixties. I love live music and often travel around the country and abroad to gigs.

‘Being able to have a weekend away for a gig and spend the daytime scouring the flea markets looking for more 60s jewels, while being able to wear my favourite cape and vintage boots, gives me the greatest pleasure.’

Gina, who is a publications editor for RSPCA, explained that guests visiting her home often commented that it appeared like a museum – and that most of her pieces have a history and ‘occasionally carry battle scars’. 

Gina, who calls herself a 'mid-century magpie', became obsessed with the decade as a teenager in the early 80s after buying a classic scooter and becoming a backing singer in an R&B band - and now she's still '60s mad. Pictured, the kitchen in her home

Gina's study, filled with items from the 1960s

Gina, who calls herself a ‘mid-century magpie’, became obsessed with the decade as a teenager in the early 80s after buying a classic scooter and becoming a backing singer in an R&B band – and now she’s still ’60s mad. Pictured, the study and kitchen in her home

Gina said: 'Living in the '60s gives me so much more than a hobby. I won't use a modern high-fi, for instance. I think my favourite '60s item would have to be my Dansette record player.' Pictured, Gina's kitchen

Gina said: ‘Living in the ’60s gives me so much more than a hobby. I won’t use a modern high-fi, for instance. I think my favourite ’60s item would have to be my Dansette record player.’ Pictured, Gina’s kitchen

Gina (pictured) said: 'I really can't imagine my life without being immersed in the sixties. I love live music and often travel around the country and abroad to gigs'

Gina (pictured) said: ‘I really can’t imagine my life without being immersed in the sixties. I love live music and often travel around the country and abroad to gigs’

Gina, who is a publications editor for RSPCA, explained that guests visiting her home (pictured) often commented that it appeared like a museum

Gina's bar in her home

Gina, who is a publications editor for RSPCA, explained that guests visiting her home (pictured) often commented that it appeared like a museum

Recalling how her obsession started, Gina said: ‘As a 16-year-old, I became fully submerged in London’s revival Mod culture and bought my first scooter in 1981 with birthday money from my mother.

Rockers Vs Mods! The two major subcultures of the 1960s 

After years of rationing the generation growing up in the 1960s had money to spend and wanted to enjoy their lives as much as possible.

And rebelling against the expectations of their elders was a large reason for the development of the two major subcultures – the Rockers and the Mods.

The Rockers wore leather and travelled around the country, or their areas of the country, on motorcycles. They hung out in cafés, drank beer and smoked cigarettes. Their hair was usually slicked back with gel.

The Mods were almost the opposite. They wore continental clothes, rode Italian Vespa and Lambretta scooters and enjoyed listening to the music of soul and jazz musicians.

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‘Over the subsequent years, I always had a scooter or classic car, and favoured ’60s styling over any other.’

Gina never liked the late ’70s and early ’80s fashion in her teenage years and instead, after watching Franc Roddam’s hit film Quadrophenia (which looks at a member of the Mods), fell in love with the ’60s.

Gina said: ‘[Quadrophenia] showed me a way of life that I wanted to be “me”. During the ’70s, I didn’t like the clothes and homewares that were in vogue then.

‘I joined a ’60s R’n’B band. I was out six nights a week, often only going home to get changed and then go back out again. Although it was the early 1980s, it felt to us like we were living in the ’60s – we had the times of our lives.

She added: ‘For me, the early to mid-sixties, was the most stylish and timeless period in terms of fashion, transport, music and homewares. The mid-century influence is everywhere in modern-day life and that’s because it’s so highly regarded and rarely goes out of favour.’

The graduate, who was brought up by a fashionable English mother and Italian father in south London, particularly cherishes her 1965 record player.

‘I bought it about 10 years ago from a lady who was given it as a surprise for her 21st birthday in 1965,’ Gina added. ‘It was played at her 21st birthday party and she cherished it and kept all the paperwork that came with it. 

‘When I went to collect it from her she was in tears because it had been in her life for 45 years and had given her nothing but happy memories. I promised to cherish it and use it, which I have done.’

Gina added that most of her beloved pieces (pictured) have a history and 'occasionally carry battle scars'

Gina's many products from the 1960s in her home

Gina added that most of her beloved pieces (pictured) have a history and ‘occasionally carry battle scars’

Recalling how her obsession started, Gina said: 'As a 16-year-old, I became fully submerged in London's revival Mod culture and bought my first scooter in 1981 with birthday money from my mother.' Pictured, various items from the 1960s in Gina's home

Recalling how her obsession started, Gina said: ‘As a 16-year-old, I became fully submerged in London’s revival Mod culture and bought my first scooter in 1981 with birthday money from my mother.’ Pictured, various items from the 1960s in Gina’s home

When including her campervan, Triumph Herald and vintage scooters, Gina (pictured) will have spent somewhere close to £40,000

The red 1966 Triumph Herald Convertible in front of Gina's bungalow

When including her campervan, Triumph Herald (pictured right) and vintage scooters, Gina (pictured left) will have spent somewhere close to £40,000

When including her campervan, Triumph Herald and vintage scooters, Gina will have spent somewhere close to £40,000. 

‘I’d describe myself as a mid-century magpie, with lots of little collections that I love to spend time building on,’ Gina explained. ‘My collection of 1960s items includes commonplace bits such as crockery. But also more niche items such as capes, Oxo tins, crash helmets and door handles. 

‘Sourcing items gives me the greatest pleasure, and I try to avoid using online selling sites, because I prefer to wander around vintage markets, bootsales and charity shops. 

‘I never set out with a shopping list, that’s the beauty of vintage shopping, you never know what you’re going to find. I start new collections almost weekly.

‘The main thing I love about the ’60s is the whole “Mod” thing; so that look and feel. “Mod” is short for Modernism so it is about the idea of always changing and evolving. So even though I love the music, feel and fashion of the 1960s, I feel like you need to evolve.’

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