Nella’s Books, The Supper Club and that woman in the Daily Mail


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A pink parcel arrived for me this morning..

I thought it maybe the ‘melt and pour’ opaque soap I had ordered so I could make lavender soap for Christmas presents but instead it was something MUCH more exciting! These books…

Nella Last’s War

Nella Last’s Peace

Supper Club – Kerstin Rodgers

A VERY kind gift from blog reader and lovely lady, Cookaholic Kate. (please check out her cooking blog- it rocks! HERE ) This is one special lady. I won’t go into details but she is and this is terribly kind of her..

Many readers have recommended Nella Last’s books

“In September 1939, Housewife and mother, Nella Last, began a regular diary that lasted for thirty years. The account that she left of life during the Second World War is moving, fascinating and unique..”

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I’m touched with the support from readers and friends with my hopes of a monthly pop-up 1940s restaurant, supper club, tea-room and the book Kate sent me from her home library will be so helpful in that respect. It’s beautifully presented and full of great information, hints and tips and recipes too

“Supper Club- For a fixed price and a bottle of wine, people all over the world are sitting down in the homes of strangers to enjoy a lovingly prepared, restaurant-quality dinner. From New York to London to Cuba, these secret supper clubs and pop-up restaurants offer an alternative dining experience for those looking for something new, fun and exciting.”

I’m thinking of having the first “1940s Supper Club” in mid- October and can seat 10 in my dining room. It will be a 1940s themed evening with authentic recipes, music, and conversation and a chance to experience some ‘on ration recipes’…

I’m located in Nottingham and if you are interested in this unique evening please message me. Suggested donation would be 25 per person for 3 courses.

FINALLY

Thank you Marina for sending me a link to this amazing glimpse into the world of “The mother of 3 living in a 1940’s time-warp”

Click here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2405363/I-funny-looks-pub-The-1940s-housewife-Christine-Edun-living-Merseyside-time-warp-Formby.html

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14 thoughts on “Nella’s Books, The Supper Club and that woman in the Daily Mail

  1. The woman in the Daily Mail who purports to live authentically as if in the 1940s has got it completely wrong on so many levels. 50s knick knacks, modern perfume on show, plastic bags, the 80s sofa and modern carpet, along with a million other things is an exercise in how to get it wrong. As a living historian who has and still does travel up and down the UK demonstrating cooking with rations and other aspects of civilian life on the Home Front, my advice is to research and get it right and if you can’t be bothered to read then speak to the many people who are still alive and can remember what it was really like. But please don’t commit the offence of saying everything is authentic when clearly it is not.

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    • Could that simply be a bad bit of journalism on the part of the Daily Mail? Maybe she simply is a retro-vintage fan and this is lack of understanding by the journalist?

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  2. To Martha’s War, if you read the article closely, it really only states that she searches for authentic vintage finds, and many times states that she does have pieces in 1940’s style. Really don’t think it is worth getting all worked up over. Not once in the article did it say that everything was authentic, nor did I take the article to even broach the topic of full authenticity.

    To Carolyn, how I wish wish wish I could come to a supper club hosted by you!! Maybe one day when I finally get the chance to jump the pond, I will be able to meet you and have you feed me 🙂

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  3. The very fact that the Daily Mail are keen to emphasise that she lives her life in a 1940s way says that the journalist understood this to be a bona fide lifestyle and not a retro-vintage fan. However, the public at large are now under the impression that all 40s ‘dwellers’ live in this twilight world of pseudo 1940s and their perception will be that what they see in the newspapers is accurate. Not so. I know several people who live their lives in the 1930s and 1940s in a truly authentic way, even down to using a period vacuum cleaner and not owning a TV: they would be quite insulted to be compared to this person.

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  4. I love Nella Last’s diaries especially as we lived in Barrow in Furness for 2 1/2 years so I recognise many of the place names. I first got a copy of Nella Last’s War way back in 1999 and it is so dog-eared through constant re-reading that I bought the new version when it was re-issued and I also have the Peace, 50s and latest one which has entries not in the previous books (although I’m not so keen on the editing in that one). I adore the everyday details, the rationing, meals she cooked, her volunteer work etc. etc. Enjoy your reads, I’m sure you’ll love them.

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    • That’s what I’m really looking forward to- the day to day details told as it really was. Thank goodness she was part of the ‘mass-observation’ project. Diaries really do help create and more rounded and accurate view of social history. xxxx

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  5. It is interesting that the lady in the article has the perception that 1940s clothing was “smart and stylish”. My understanding is that women at the time found austerity clothing dreary and uninteresting – hence the excitement about Dior’s lavish New Look after the war. Also, I’m not convinced that women over 50 would have worn trousers in public in the 40s (maybe just in the garden or the farmyard). I know from my grandmother that trousers were considered the domain of smart young things.

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    • That’s interesting…I would have thought that the Landgirls wore trousers? and maybe some other jobs for practicality…although thinking back my grandmother never ever wore trousers and always looked very smart, hat, gloves, lippy..my mum very rarely wore trousers in my childhood and I have to confess I rarely ever wear them myself now although I know that is fairly rare these days I just prefer the femininity and comfort of a skirt!

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  6. You can find a bit of info online about Nella Last through the BBC’s history page. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/britain_wwtwo/nella_last_01.shtml

    You can also find info on Clifford Last (Nella’s son, a sculptor, who emigrated to Australia) here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifford_Last

    BTW, the landgirls wore trousers, dungarees and sometimes a form of jodhpur!!!

    Carolyn, you are amazing, and your supper club will be a fab success.

    xxxx

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