Social & Industrial History
'You've Never Had It So Good!'
Recollections of Life in the 1950s
With full employment, a boom in car sales, and washing machines making housework less of a chore, life in the 1950s certainly seemed better than ever before. Following a theme, such as family life, childhood or the rise of television, each chapter in this compendium brings together recollections of those who lived through the decade, remembering everything from sweet rationing to the meagre contents of a Christmas stocking, and how to find Indian spices.
Horse-Drawn Transport in Leeds
William Turton, Corn Merchant and Tramway Entrepreneur
Although steam power was transforming the nation's transport in the 19th century, the horse-drawn tram survived in cities long enough to be replaced in most areas by electric traction, rather than by steam. This history examines the introduction of these early urban transport systems from the 1870s through the career of Yorkshire entrepreneur William Turton, who founded the Leeds Tramways Company and ran horse tramway services in major cities across the north of England.
An Alternative History of Every House
Why does your house look the way it does? What is the point of a dado rail? And what's that thingumajig for? From noggins and newel posts to power showers and fitted kitchens, every household fixture has a story to tell. Illustrated with photographs, antique prints and vintage advertisements, this light-hearted history of the domestic environment uncovers the often bizarre stories behind the inventions that have shaped our homes.
Through the Keyhole
Sex, Scandal and the Secret Life of the Country House
From around 1760 to the 1830s, stories about the sex lives of the rich and powerful were guaranteed to increase the readership of popular printed literature. Papers were so packed with salacious tales of secret sex that there seemed to be an epidemic of adultery among the aristocracy. This study explores the personal stories of men and women involved in adulterous affairs and compares their accounts of infidelity and its sometimes tragic consequences with the stereotypes of dissolute aristocrats in the popular press.
Women's Factory Work in World War One
The appointment of two influential women from the Women's Factory Inspectorate to the Women's War Work Subcommittee during the First World War led to a commission to create a photographic documentary archive of women working in factories across Britain. GR Griffiths examines that project and presents a selection from the thousands of images that covered 19 industries and recorded the working conditions of the women and the industrial processes in which they were engaged.
A 1960s East End Childhood
To anyone who remembers playing in traffic-free streets or watching the moon landing on TV, Webb's memoir will be a nostalgic trip back to childhood in the 1960s in London's East End. To anyone younger, it is a picture of life in a different world, where bombsites and die-cast cars were the height of kids' entertainment and 'summer holiday' often meant staying with granny in Basildon.
The Perilous Catch
A History of Commercial Fishing
After an introduction describing some of the worst fishing disasters around the coasts of Britain during the last two centuries, the maritime historian Mike Smylie traces the history of commercial fishing from prehistoric and medieval weirs to today’s super-trawlers. Meticulously detailed, the book covers every aspect of fishing from mud-horse fishing on the Somerset mudflats to open-sea trawling, changes in boat design and safety, women in the industry, and the lives of fishermen and their families.
The Iron Men
The Workers Who Created the New Iron Age
By the early 19th century a second Iron Age had begun, with ships, bridges, trains and industrial machinery being constructed from the newly popular metal. Burton explains the innovations in manufacturing processes that enabled so many advances in technologies using iron and steel, but also focuses on the human cost of this progress, which brought new risks of deadly accident for the workers and ruined the lungs of Sheffield’s knife grinders.
Take a Cold Tub, Sir!
The Story of the Boy's Own Paper
The Boy's Own Paper was first issued in January 1879, a reputable, informative and entertaining publication to counteract the lurid 'penny dreadfuls' of the day. Publication continued until 1966, and its last Editor is the author of this history. In a narrative full of illustrations from almost 100 years of issues, he traces its evolution from the bracing advice-giver of the Victorian era to the promoter of practical and technical know-how in its final decades. Bears old cover price.
A 1950s Holiday in Bognor Regis
Tubby Isaacs’s jellied-eels stand in the coach park, shrimping, Punch and Judy on the beach, The Importance of Being Earnest at the Roof Garden Theatre, the Aldwick Hundred Motor Cycle Club ... Drawing on the memories and snapshots of visitors and residents of Bognor, this book looks back to the 1950s and describes the holidays, including getting there, accommodation and entertainments, in Britain’s sunniest southern seaside resort.
After a brief history of Portobello Market, from the capture of Porto Bello during the War of Jenkins' Ear to the problems facing market traders today, Blanche Girouard presents informal interviews with more than 30 local residents, costermongers and stall-holders selling vintage clothing and antiques. The traders' stories – and the interruptions to serve customers – are full of humour and anecdote that convey the lively traditions of London's last antique street market.
Brewing for Victory
Brewers, Beer and Pubs in World War II
During the Second World War beer was seen as vital for maintaining morale among both civilians and the armed forces. This history reveals how this came about, charting the rise of the pub as the bastion of the nation's morale and embodiment of its fighting spirit. Glover also describes the epic struggle of the breweries to maintain production, despite shortages of men, materials and ingredients. Archive photographs complement this highly readable study of an industry in wartime.
Nanny Knows Best
The History of the British Nanny
This cultural history of the British nanny explores the difficult role they have always had in family life, as more than an employee but not quite part of the family. It reveals the origins of the British tradition of employing nannies, and the changes over time in our taste for this method of childcare. The scholarly text is informed by many personal stories of nannies, mothers and children, and a final chapter examines the portrayal of nannies in fiction and film.
Seadogs Aboard an English Galleon
English ships of the 1520s were built principally for coastal sailing but over the following century designs, and the life of the men aboard, changed rapidly as Elizabethan mariners ventured far beyond home waters. Drawn from accounts of hundreds of 16th century and early 17th century ocean voyages, including the words of Drake and Ralegh, this book explores how these intrepid seamen coped with tropical heat, violent storms, bad water, rotten food, disease, navigational problems and enemy fire.
Voices from the Dark Years
The Truth About Occupied France 1940–1945
Active collaborators and resisters were equally small minorities of the French population during les années sombres – the dark years of the Second World War; most people simply did what they needed to to survive. Based on interviews and previously unpublished accounts, this book looks beyond the traditional narrative of a defiant nation to reveal stories of compliance and partnership with the new regime as well as resilience in the face of extreme hardship.
As well as the 'golden age' of piracy in the West, with its sea rovers, privateers, buccaneers and notorious characters such as Blackbeard, Black Barty and William Kidd, this history covers piracy from ancient times to the present day; from the bloodthirsty Viking raiders who terrorized northern Europe to Lai Choi San, the legendary female Chinese pirate who commanded a fleet of eleven junks in the 1920s, and recent piracy off the coast of Somalia.
School Songs and Gymslips
Grammar Schools in the 1950s and 1960s
With tales from the days of indoor sandals and navy knickers, Latin verbs and transistor radios, semolina pudding and O Levels, this light-hearted social history is based on the experiences of pupils from 18 schools around the country and describes how things were for grammar school girls – at school and at home – between about 1955 and 1965.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.
The Carriage and Wagon Works of the GWR at Swindon
The GWR Swindon Works produced some of the iconic locomotives of the steam era, but its rolling stock - the all-important freight wagons and passenger cars - have received less attention from steam enthusiasts and historians. This study tells the story of the other half of the GWR Works, traces the development of carriage and wagon design and, with the help of archive photographs, explains how carriages and wagons were built at Swindon in its heyday.
Masters and Servants in Tudor England
Life in Tudor England was ordered in a very strict social hierarchy, and the divisions between the classes were firmly maintained: it was understood that everyone, apart from the monarch, served someone, and service was valued rather than denigrated. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Tudor expert Alison Sim investigates the role of service at every level of society, and provides an informative and entertaining account of the lives of the people who kept the wheels of daily life turning.
Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The extravagant whiskers of prominent Victorians such as Charles Darwin and WG Grace seemed impossibly archaic until the recent 'hipster' fashion reinvented the wearing of long beards for young men for the first time since the hippies of the 1960s. This book traces the history of fashions in facial hair from the ancients to the present day.
The Thames Ironworks
A History of East London Industrial and Sporting Heritage
Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the Thames Iron Works pioneered metal-hulled ships in the mid 19th century, providing employment for much of the East End. Though it closed in 1912, its spirit lives on through the company's football team, which became West Ham United.