"[...] there wasn't the professional 'I'm offended' clique that we have today."
Oh but there were. Usually expressed as the stereotypes of Captain Mannering or the middle-class ladies at the heart of the local church. Mary Whitehouse was the icon who took offence at anything she perceived as blasphemous, permissive, or anti-establishment.
Things lightened up in the 1960/70s. Then there was a backsliding through the Thatcher years into the Political Correctness years of Blair. We are now back to the lip-service self-censorship that was the staple of the 1950s.
I doubt I'll live long enough to see the balance restored.