A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Thursday, 19 November 2015


Back when I lived in Manchester, I used to take coffee with a retired bishop. Once, when describing what it had been like to be a student - some sixty years earlier - he mentioned having owned only two sets of clothing. That is, two pairs of socks, two underwear, and so on. It struck me as incredible that in the mid-20th Century people in Britian might have struggled to afford clothing.

More recently, the thought occurs to me: what if the issue was less one of money, and more one of the time required to wash extra clothes? Washing machines would have been starting to become commonplace at that time, but for many people - especially students in temporary accommodation - they would still have been an unaffordable luxury. Perhaps people simply did not think it worth spending an extra hour or so each work cleaning socks and underwear in order to have a new set of underclothes each day.

No comments:

Post a Comment