Sunday, 18 September 2011

More Family Miscellany

Another dip into the Millington family archive, otherwise known as Granny's Family Circle biscuit tin, revealed yet more fascinating gems, starting with my dad's swimming certificate from January 1952, stating that he plunged in and swam one mile.

He would have been aged 15 in 1952 and was attending St Peter's R.C. School in Ladywood, Birmingham. The certificate was signed by the head teacher E.M.Clements.

In 1952 my dad was also awarded a senior Certificate of Merit in Prudence by the Birmingham Accident Prevention Council (image above). I have a feeling these days we might use the term 'road safety' and prudence might mean something slightly different.

What I love most is the more evocative language used in the 1950s, specifically the use of the terms 'plunge' on the swimming certificate and 'prudence' above'. There is almost something Enid Blytonesque in the use of language, these days the child would simply swim the mile, in 1952 it was preceded by this great enthusiastic plunge into the pool. Similarly children didn't simply observe their highway code (though I may be showing my own age with that term) back in 1952, they displayed a whole set of personal character traits described as 'prudence'.

Was the language richer and more descriptive back in 1952 or are these clues to the dominating and increasingly archaic middle class value system of the era? I have to admit I quite like the idea of plunging into pools and venturing over the zebra crossing with a display of cautious prudence.           

The three items above are pages from a Motor Fuel Ration Book. I'm hoping that someone can help with this one as there is no issue date on it or registration of vehicle or owner. An internet search for fuel rationing in the UK seems to indicate that there have been at least three different periods where fuel rationing was introduced, the first period seems fairly obviously during World War 2 when books like this were distributed from 1941. There was another period of fuel rationing in force for five months in Britain following the Suez Crisis of 1956 and another period in 1973. Perhaps there were others?

I don't know at the moment if this was my dad's ration book from the 1970s or perhaps my Uncle Harry's from an earlier period.

The book contains coupons to the value of 42 'N' units and 21 'L' units for a six months period.

And finally, here is a pair of images with a very romantic connection, the first one is the invoice for my mom's wedding flowers including the brides roses costing £1-15-0, 2 posies at £1-10-0, 2 sprays at 6-0 shillings and 11 white carnations and 3 pink carnations at 17-6 shillings.

Total owed £4-8-6 !

The invioce is dated May 9th 1958 and the happy couple married the following day on Saturday 10th May 1958 at midday at St Peter's R.C. church with a reception afterwards at The Golden Eagle, Hill Street.

And there on the photograph my mom Joan is clutching her beautiful £1-15 bouquet whilst Geoff looks very smart with his 17 shilling buttonhole.   

1 comment:

  1. I love these certificates. I was also surprised to see that you rationed gasoline in the '70's. It was hard here, but no rationing that I recall.