|Get Back In Time For The Weekend
||[Feb. 3rd, 2016|01:54 pm]
A modern family is taken back in time to live in a 1950s bubble. It's been done before with food; this time the focus was leisure. They got the look of it right, but otherwise...|
I don't remember my father spending his time in the shed doing DIY. He kept a lot of tools but he hardly ever used them. Plus he didn't have a shed.
Doing the washing may have been a chore, but it was a once weekly chore. I remember a clothes rack hanging in the kitchen. We ate out meals in its shadow. The TV family didn't have one of those.
Middle class families (and this was a middle-class family we were following) hired working class women to do the bulk of the housework. The mother in the TV show complained of being tied to the kitchen sink, but my mother got out of the house a lot; she went to the shops - which usually involved a cuppa and a cake in a Lyons Corner House- visited her mother at least once a week, took tea with friends and neighbours, walked the dog, paid regular visits to the library. Everyone walked more than they do now, but we had a car (my mother drove- as did my two grandmothers) and if we hadn't have had a car the buses were reliable.
Something the people who talk about the 50s tend to forget is that this was a generation of young adults who had lived through the war. They were toughies. Both my parents had been in uniform.
And where was the radio? We listened to the radio all the time. Music, soaps (the Archers and Mrs Dale's Diary) comedy shows like The Navy Lark, quiz shows, current affairs. Radio was the river we swam in.
I don't remember being under that much pressure to go to church. My mother and father weren't regular attenders. Lots of curtain twitching? Not on our street.
I was free to wander the streets and the surrounding countryside- as middle-class kids mainly aren't these days- but I hated being in the Cubs and avoided uniforms and tents and camp fires and all that shit as much as I possibly could. Mine was a Just William existence, mooching about, playing games that generally involved replica firearms and so on and so forth. Where was the TV kid's cap gun? I had an arsenal of the things. And where were all his other toys? I had an army of plastic soldiers; one of the cheaper figures cost sixpence- and that's what my pocket money mostly went on. Then what about hobbies? I collected stamps, tea-cards, made model aircraft. Also I read a lot. All the TV kid had to amuse himself with was one sodding jig-saw.
This was the 1950s as re-imagined by people who grew up in the 70s. It comprehensively illustrated the difficulty of getting into the mindset of a past era- even a very recent one. It showed why historical novels and movies have to be taken with a very big pinch of salt. If you weren't actually there you'll never know what it was like.