Friday, 1 July 2016
A Useful Bit of Nostalgia
A couple of weeks ago I bought this on eBay. It was just a whimsical rush of blood to the nostalgia gland, I guess, but I used to have one of these when I was a lad.
I hasten to add that the item was already pretty old when I had it. A great many of my boyhood outings to football matches and motor races, cycling trips and journeys to Preston with Cousin Dave to spot Ribble buses involved one of these - ideal for carrying a plastic mac, a package of pilchard sandwiches (in red, gingham greaseproof paper, borrowed from a sliced loaf), and a map in the front pocket.
It is, of course, a Mark VII gas-mask bag, dating from 1942, as issued to civilians (and the Home Guard, I think). The ones for sale on eBay are original, but new (if that makes sense), stored since the war, just in case. Oh no - it didn't come with a gas-mask - that would be silly.
If it's a fake, please don't bother to tell me - I'm quite happy with it. Apart from a pleasing nostalgia value and a kind of lowbrow utilitarian appeal, it will be a useful conversation piece if we now get endless re-runs of Dad's Army on British TV.
Anyway - there you go - it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. I'll have to see if I can get pilchards online.
Completely Separate Topic
I was intrigued by this picture from the 1920s of a social day out for a local branch of the Klu Klux Klan. It may be a fake - I have no idea, but it is an image which will stay with me for a while...