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The National Association of educational broadcasters and cooperation with the British Information Services presents window on the world a tape recorded series of talks by eminent British citizens. This week our speaker is Miss Elsa Garland women's editor of The London Daily Mirror. Her subject the women's page. Here now is Miss Elsa Garland. I'm speaking to you from my office in feet street many distinguished men and women have spoken to you about politics economics and world affairs. But I'm just going to talk about the ordinary everyday things to try and tell you something of the life of women in Britain today how it resembles and how it differs from your own and most of all I'm going to try and show you the great improvements that have been made in the past five years in the things that chiefly can sound a woman food clothes children education and so on. The more our two countries know of each other the better we can understand each other. And by far the best way to understand the
differences between things in your own country and in another US is to go and see for yourself. And I have been lucky enough to have had this chance. I have just got back from a three week stay in your country where the kindness and hospitality I was shown were tremendous. When my paper sent me on a trip to America I was delighted as a woman editor of a daily newspaper and one with such a great way to ship millions every day. I knew I would find so much to interest women. I'm not going to pretend that I know all about America but I was there long enough to show me that women's interests are much the same in both our countries. In my job which includes sifting news stories planning cooking beauty and fashion features reading and answering our mail which is a large one. Broadcasting on our women's programs I have the opportunity of studying conditions and during the last few years there has been a picture of gradual improvement. When I started my job clothes were rationed nylons was rarely as good and
as precious. Food is rationed too so on newspaper articles were much more devoted to make do and mend than to fashion news and to disguise and substitute in cookery how to improvise and to stretch rather than mouth watering recipes. Most of our decorative luxuries went for export. Many of them to get dollars and we could not buy for example a cashmere sweater or two inset among the loveliest things we make in Britain. Almost our only China was plain white we wore heavy stockings for work and hoarded any nylons we could beg buy or get them for special dates and parties. Visitors due our country came back with news of the wonders in your shops and your food investments in magazines made aside I've just been making a survey of the bound volumes of our paper for the last five years which show the following items of news which will illustrate what I mean. I'm leaving out all the political. Those are the headlines of course 1950.
Rumors of a cotton shortage made women queue to buy Tell us the price of cakes was restricted to about 15 cents a pound. That obviously meant no large areas in radians. There was an indignant letter from a reader saying that in order to get a pair of nylons she was forced to buy another pair of less glamorous kind. The weekly bacon and sweet ration was increased. We each got five ounces instead of four for bacon and four and a half ounces instead of full for sweets. Canned is to you. 951 bacon in sweet ration went down again in fact they kept on fluctuating. The ban on making cream was lifted for a few months while milk was plentiful and the government was worried about the quality of our ice cream. Children's clothes cost more. You see we had a utility scheme which fixed the price and design of many commodities. And for example utility furniture which had to conform to these specifications came down in
price and the big news at Christmas was that there was to be no power over the festive season so we cooked our techies without any worry. 952 a big driver started to persuade women that a mixture of soaking rain for stockings was as glamorous as Nylon. It failed miserably. We all grieved at the death of the King and this year but we were thrilled at the ascension to the throne of a young woman. 1953 the coronation of Her Majesty brought glamour pageantry and many visitors to London. I'm afraid some of whom were disappointed that living conditions were not as large areas as they had hoped. Cooking fat came off the ration and we indulge in an orgy of cake and pastry making 954 meat off the ration was the red letter day during this year. But perhaps the item of news that interested many was the visit of her majesty the queen mother
to the states which did so much to improve our good relations. Everywhere I went I heard her praises. Now in 1955 I can give you quite a different picture. Instead of plain white china we import colorful French and Italian tableware to add to our own beautiful Wedgwood and Royal Doulton and other world famous makes non-sale at home again. We too grumble that our nylons Neta too quickly. But now the demands exceeded by the supplies so we can easily replace our spoiled HOAs. Food has long been off the ration and although like most American housewives I spoke to we grumble at the cost. There is little we cannot buy and we don't have to queue anymore for skin as it is and we don't have to buy from the shops where we are registered that way in those days we used to have to register at the grocer and only get our fats and eggs and bacon from the same shop. Now we see something in a shop window and we just go in and buy it. Fashion industry is healthy and growing. I was delighted to find in New York
that one of our leading designers Digby Morton is working with one of your manufacturers and designing the lady Hathaway shirts for women. He is also designing skirts and separates for another. I was happy to see our hearts his cotton dresses in a Fifth Avenue store and to see the advertisement for them in the last Sunday newspapers. I was also glad to see famous British names for sweets cookies and other foods in American shops as one who has battled away for years in the cause of why does size ranges in Britain and always end with the American sizing. The fact that your have maca suits are being made in Northern Ireland and sold in stores is a source of satisfaction to me and to add to this healthy and encouraging swapping of talent is the news that your agenda is to design for the British fashion house. The men correspondents in our New York office were kind enough to save advertisement from the papers
of merchandise they thought would be news to me. But it is a little while since they have been home and they were surprised to find that none of the items was new to me and their wives were interested in my clothes. Impressed by the improvements and to learn also that our costume jewelry. Once the Cinderella of our fashions is now very good indeed. If I had come over two years ago I know my presence for my stuff and for my women friends would have been fast food nylons costume jewelry and fashion items in that order. What did I buy now. Well I bought table mats towels kitchen gadgets and luxury. The last I think exceptionally good why we have made and are making great strides. There are many fields of course in which we still envy you American women. Your kitchens are well famous and although we have many more washing machines and other work saving gadgets than we used to not on anything
like the scale you have your bedroom and bathroom furnishings too are quite wonderful and table appointments and all the things that save time for the busy housewife. I know that a great many American wives go out to work. So do we. In industry and in the polluting trade particularly many of the workers are wives and mothers in the industrial towns many women with children wept part time as do quite a few older women. When women in really big jobs are read we have no woman ambassador for example. And while news of a woman being appointed as a director is still given a prominent position in our newspapers we are gradually infiltrating. We have well-known oils and doctors in magazines and newspapers of course women play a big part as editors and Style writers. Several of our stores have women directors and many fashion houses are managed by women. Women do unusual jobs too. We have women conductors on our buses and
one of our most successful film producers is busy box whose film doctor in the house was playing in New York and Washington when I was over. And of course in the entertainment world and television women have a great place. Television has made a great difference in our lives just as it has in yours. Every home small or large seems to promise brought to television there are people hurry home to watch a favorite program meal times are altered to suit the timetable we have has to stop us on Sunday night to be able to watch What's My Line. Our version of which comes on much earlier in the evening than it does with you mothers worry about the effect of too much TV on their children just as you do. And articles are constantly appearing in our magazines and papers taking both sides of this argument. Manufacturers are busily making clothes for us to wear dishes to eat from and special chairs to sit on while we view. But I was in your country. I was constantly reading and hearing about your teenage problem.
We have experienced a similar What is since the war. It is being blamed on the families being broken up overcrowding TV of course lack of parental control and many other factors of this post-war world. A sudden fashion for dressing in an exaggerated style because many youths to be labelled teddy boys because of the fact that this something to the Edwardian book having a much more discreet revival in Savile Row. You may have seen reports of pictures about him in your papers. He won't narrow drainpipe trousers long jackets then bow ties known as Slim Jims and extraordinary has distinguished the teddy boy and he was blamed for a lot of things he did not do. I found when we did a feature on popular dance halls for the paper that many of the lads getting themselves dressed up so extravagantly to dance with their girlfriends. Well today brothers and lorry drivers who had worked hard to get the money to pay for their finery
the teddy girl followed suit and she followed her boyfriends example substituting a narrow black skirt for the trousers but wearing a collar and tie jacket and quaint head who also there were one or two cases of gang warfare between rival bands of youths some ending in tragedy. But in my view the teddy craze was on the whole fairly harmless as schooling has been a problem since the war. Too many too many children far too few teachers and schools. But we are tackling this problem. I do hope that many of you who are listening to me today will have the opportunity of coming over to Britain. You can be sure of a welcome and though you may not always get ice in your drinks or air conditioning remember our calendar is much more temperate than yours and we are not in such great need of these I mean it is you will find our food good again and plentiful our shops well stocked our countries and beautiful our own monuments and buildings fascinating and are people friendly. Theatre and concerts are among the best in the world. The one thing I can promise you is that the sun will
shine all the time. You will see that there is not a great deal of difference in our two lands and womens problems and living conditions are very much the same. Why do as I said earlier women here have not quite the place in public life they have in your country. The most important job of all is being done by a woman than to ruling the country. A young queen with her children and a happy home life who does have jobs to publish is an example to us all. You have been listening to miss and also Garland women's editor of The London Daily Mirror are speaking on the subject. The women's page Listen next week when window on the world will present the novelist Mr Joyce Kerry Mr Kerry will speak on the political novel this has been a tape recorded presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters and cooperation with the British Information Services. This is the end AB Radio Network.
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Window on the world
Ailsa Garland
Producing Organization
British Information Services
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
British journalist Ailsa Garland presents a talk titled "Women's Page," where she describes life for women in Great Britain.
Series Description
A series of short talks by well-known British personalities on the subjects usually associated with them.
Broadcast Date
Radio programs--United States.
Media type
Producing Organization: British Information Services
Speaker: Garland, Ailsa
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-30-35 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:29
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Chicago: “Window on the world; Ailsa Garland,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Window on the world; Ailsa Garland.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Window on the world; Ailsa Garland. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from