Sunday, 27 May 2012

Birth of Prince Charles

Daily Mirror dated Monday November 15th 1948

These were the days of Post-war austerity with rationing, luxury goods for the overseas markets only and the Daily Mirror reduced to 8 pages, but at least the War was over, Hitler was dead and the Queen had given birth to an heir. Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor was born on November 14th at Buckingham Palace and the poor little mite still hasn't got to be King.
This half of the front page is the only reference to the birth in this edition. Reading through I was surprised to find Prince Philip portrayed as a man who blushes easily. Given his talent for blunt opinion I find this hard to believe.

I include this piece on Malaya because I lived in Singapore from 1948 to 1950, though I don’t remember any of this going on because I was only 2 to 4 years old.
The Malayan Emergency, as it was called, lasted from June 1948 to 1960 and was a deliberately low-key conflict pitting the British Army, The Malay Army and Malay Police against mostly Chinese Communist insurgents. The Communists never really had a chance of taking over the country because the indigenous Malay population and many of the resident Chinese did not support them.

Diana Dors, who not surprisingly changed her surname from Fluck to Dors, had made her film debut the year before in 1947. In 1948 she released 6 films including the David Lean directed ‘Oliver Twist’ and went on to be the most recognisable sex symbol of the 1950’s. She switched to mainly TV work in the 1960’s and 70’s and died at the comparatively young age of 52 in 1984.
This is probably one of her least flattering photos. 

A story of its time. As mentioned above many luxury goods such as cars and, it seems, pottery, were ear-marked for export only as the British economy struggled to get out of the massive debt left by World War II, so a crime like this was seen as an unpatriotic act and dealt with harshly. That £5350 fine is equivalent to about £120,000 today.

‘Walter Whaley, 42’ – he looks about 72! It must be all that dying that has aged him.

Another sign of the times. A left over of the Wartime ‘make do and mend’ mentality.  It isn’t advertising B&Q or Homebase but just telling Joe Public how to do it – cheaply. Presumably one of a series. I want to see the one where Patsy bricks know-it-all Dad up in the basement wall, alive.

Reads like the start of an episode of ‘CSI’, ‘Bones’ or a Blue Peter tin collecting project gone wrong..

Even Hitchcock’s famous film ‘Rope’ gets the austerity advertising treatment. Not the best likeness of James Stewart I’ve seen.

I think that headline is what you call ‘emotional blackmail’ – drink that glass of water and the baby dies.

Football hooligan tries to tie a straw-hat to a goal post! 
‘Afterwards he was treated in hospital’ – “Yers My Lud. I was proceeding in a Northerly direction towards the goalmouth when the defendant threw himself against my truncheon thereby sustaining a severe confusion to the front of the forehead, and a bruised scrotum, your Lud-ship.”

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