1975 referendum, Anastasia Romanov, Brands Museum, Brownie camera, Fairy liquid, Gales honey, Guinness, Harold Macmillan, Harpic, Johnnie Walker, Juke Box Jury, Lighthouse Memorial Garden, Lockdown, Museum of Brands, Persil, Ritz biscuits, Rowntrees Fruit Gums, Six-Five Special, Stergene, Teletubbies, Tommy Steele, Zwarte Piet
Yesterday’s blog about my visit to the Museum of Brands ended at the late 1940s. There was much more to come, though I took few pictures towards the end of the Time Tunnel. Nostalgia was giving way to distaste at consumerism!
The 1950s. A symbolic grocer’s shop of the time. How I recall those endless queues, as my mother and I waited to be served, while tins were fetched, goods were weighed out and advice given. No supermarkets yet, but they were coming.
Anastasia: was the woman genuine who was claiming to be the escaped youngest daughter of Russian Tsar, so a survivor of the Romanov assassination, carried out by the Bolsheviks in 1918? Conclusively proved in 2007 that no member of the family escaped.
Ah, that ‘contemporary’ style!
More than once towards the end of the 50s my friends and I were allowed to ‘go up’ to London to be in the audience at the BBC Riverside Studios as ‘Six-Five Special’ went out live on Saturdays, at the time specified, and to ‘Juke Box Jury’. I remember being disappointed at how short Adam Faith (‘What do you want if…’) was as we crowded around afterwards to get autographs.
But Tommy Steele (‘Singing the Blues’) was my real idol. (By the time The Beatles came along I had lost interest in pop music, but meanwhile had had a bit of a pash on Cliff Richard.)
1990s. I didn’t take many photos from now on.
This window was the last, to represent the 2010s.
By now, I was in real need of a sit-down, while there remained much to see. So I was pleased to find myself in the cafe. My intention after refreshment was to explore the Memorial Garden, but it started to rain at that very point, so after a quick photo I immediately turned back inside.
There was one more room, with a roomlet off, yet to explore, covering a variety of themes. Immediately to my right there were three tapestries, each about two metres high, dedicated to London, Rome and Amsterdam. They were true tapestries, that is, the pattern being woven into the fabric, not applied later. Each tapestry had taken about a year to complete, and contained 100 motifs.
This next display gave interesting details on how various products had fared in the light of lockdown and the pandemic.
Some well, some less so.
So far in this room, it seemed that the exhibits had been temporary, but I think the next series of displays were probably permanent ones They showed how packaging of various products had changed over the years, sometimes centuries. I’m disappointed that the images are sometimes not sharp.
The ‘roomlet’ was dedicated to several windows about Johnnie Walker, advertising packaging, promotion, sponsorships, which presumably also sponsors this display, and to those shopping lists which had originally drawn my attention to the Brands Museum.
I am particularly disappointed that the lighting (and perhaps my lack of savvy) has made the photos of these, at times amusing, shopping lists, gathered by one woman and then her friends since 2016. One I especially liked, but which is too blurred to show here, had clearly been written by one person to ensure that the person actually doing the shopping bought the precise things.
I spent a happy evening with Mary, including a meal out with her sister, Susan, who herself did a blog on this museum in 2019.
The third and final post in this series will cover the next day’s visit to the Cézanne exhibition and the area surrounding the Tate Modern.