tempus fugit

By ceridwen


Somebody has lent a bundle of old local newspapers to our heritage centre and during my stint there today I  picked out a few items from a 1941 edition.

On the left the local magistrates deal with a typical wartime peccadillo such as my parents would  reminisce about (they were living in another part of Wales at the time): a local farmer caught salting joints from a pig that had been slaughtered without a permit when an inspector from the Ministry of Food paid a surprise visit. (There's a hilarious British film on the subject called A Private Function.)

On the right, a school governor fulminates about the bare-faced legged cheek of female teachers who turn up for work without stockings. "I am shocked and disgusted" he splutters, "We cannot complain about discipline at school if that sort of thing is allowed. Teachers should dress with decorum and respect". A female governor protests "I think they dress very nicely, especially in view of the coupon restrictions." (Exactly! This was the age when women were forced to draw fake seam lines down the backs of their calves.) The matter is left unresolved until the next meeting.

In the centre a wartime recipe aimed at keeping the public well-nourished in the face of food rationing. Shropshire Salad (was the pun deliberate?) involves lining a bowl with lettuce leaves, spinach or chopped cabbage,  filling the centre with diced cooked potato  and another root vegetable and topping it off with a dressing made from dried milk powder, mustard and malt vinegar. Certainly healthy but a world away from the baby salad leaves offered by supermarkets today.

Such was life on the home front. Elsewhere the paper lists the names of local men and boys wounded, captured, killed, lost at sea or home on leave, perhaps for the last time.

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