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  Too Many Times by Wake Ooloo

A Decade of Glamour: 1950’s Fashion

The best constituent of the ‘Over to You’ show is the variety of community features it covers. On Wednesday 31st January, Bobby Jones interviewed Alison Taylor, who is the Community Officer for the Norris Museum in St Ives, about the museum and the current exhibition on display. This 4 month exhibition is entitled “A Decade of Glamour: 1950’s Fashion” and is tucked at the end of the long gallery.

If you have memories of the 50’s then this exhibition is for you and even if you haven’t, go and see what it was like for your grandparents who lived through that era. The museum has a mannequin with a ‘Teddy Boy suit’ and a stylish “evening dress” from the period. A staggering fact was that a Teddy Boy suit cost (in those days) around £50! This is an amazing amount of money and equivalent to around £1,125 today! Would any youngster pay this kind of money today for an ‘outfit’ when they can pick up a T-shirt and a pair of jeans for around a tenner in a modern department store?

What was fascinating was the array of ‘Woman’s Weekly’s from the period which brought back memories of seeing my mum sitting next to a roaring coal fire in our living room reading her magazine avidly. Leafing through the publication reminded me of her reading me the “Adventures of the Robin family” as a young child and being shown the sketches of their exploits as drawn on the pages. Mum used to love reading the Mills & Boon style short stories which characterised the publication and bringing to life some of the many knitting patterns which were carefully written out for all the readers to follow the detailed instructions.

Some of the adverts were just fascinating. One advertising a corset caught my attention, with a legend which read “Try this most comfortable foundation garment which slims your figure into flattering lines of beauty” and included a sketch of the “flattering” underwear!  Can you imagine that kind of advertising working these days?

I urge you to go along to the Norris Museum and see for yourself, the exhibition is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm from now through to 28th April 2018. No entry fee – that’s got to be a bargain.