Diaries Magazine

Buttoned-Up Britain

By Jackscott

Buttoned-Up BritainBy common consent, Fifties Britain was a grim, buttoned-up time of austerity, grinding poverty, back-street abortions, bomb craters, back-to-back slums and hard labour for the love that dares not speak its name. People left their doors unlocked because they had nothing worth nicking. Suffocating social conformity and knowing your place ruled the barren and humourless post-war roost. Woe betide the unmarried girl who found herself in the family way or the boy caught with his willy in the wrong hands. Moral outrage came with razor-sharp teeth – rebel at your peril. It took the Swinging Sixties to loosen the corsets and un-stuff the shirts. Or did it? Take a look at this hilarious piece of 1951 social history from British Pathé News. Presumably shown in picture houses up and down the realm, it’s the campest thing I’ve seen all year. I wonder if any of these boys were caught with their willies in the wrong hands?

Thank you to I Should Be Living in Bora Bora for finding this little gem.

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