A Short Guide to Great Britain (11)…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s old wrinkled black and white snapshot is the one of me eating fish and chips in the street with John Lee Hooker in Neasden in 1978.

Today, I think we might again dip into that fascinating little junk shop book A Short Guide to Great Britain and sample some history. The book was distributed to all the US service personnel who came over here in 1942 to encourage them to ‘get on’ with us limeys, and get a feel for the British way of life.

DSCN3749Let’s have a look at some items from the chapter called The British Came Through:

You are coming from a country where your home is still safe, food is still plentiful, and lights are still burning. So it is doubly important for you to remember that the British soldiers and civilians have been living under a tremendous strain. It is always impolite to criticize your hosts. It is militarily stupid to insult your allies. So stop and think before you sound off about luke-warm beer, or cold boiled potatoes, or the way English cigarettes taste.
If British civilians look dowdy and badly dressed, it is not because they do not like good clothes or know how to wear them. All clothing is rationed and the British know that they help war production by wearing an old suit or dress until it cannot be patched any longer. Old clothes are “good form”.
One thing to be careful about – if you are invited into a British home and the host exhorts you to “eat up – there’s plenty on the table” go easy. It may be the family’s rations for a week spread out to show their hospitality.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, books, food, history, information, learning, people, reading, style, surrealism, war, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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