"Nifty Fifties Farnham" exhibit at The Museum Of Farnham

To kick off a medley of Jubilee themed posts, i thought I'd show The Museum of Farnhams new exhibit "Nifty Fifties Farnham" which is currently on show. Our new House and Collections Manager Liz found some amazing Fifties pieces in the stores, including the fantastic television in the corner, and the two gorgeous day/evening dresses. Sue Gray also kindly loaned items for the collection. We also have a brilliant selection of Coronation memorabilia, and household gadgets of the time! The wallpaper I must admit is contemporary, but isn't it lovely!

Here is the accompanying text:

"The Fifties in Farnham was a very different from the Farnham of today. The streets would have been quieter, with less cars on the roads and more children playing in the streets. The Regal Cinema had opened in 1933 on East Street and in the early 1950s cinema was still the primary source of news films and visual entertainment. In other areas, The Woolmead had yet to be dreamt of, and the coach building industry with still thriving in Farnham with Abbotts and Pilgrims Way Motor Company carrying out a roaring trade. The town was still very much a rural market town with its roots in the countryside and hop pickers arriving in their thousands each year by train to be met by a fleet of tractors.

But as idyllic as this sounds the reality of post-war Britain was much harsher, the country had been devastated by the war both economically and socially with a shortage of housing in many cities, in particular, London. There were huge debts from the war period that were ever increasing due to the coast of rebuilding and the introduction of the Welfare State in 1945. The war had also had an impact on families, with a baby boom causing an increased demand for housing, and a shift in gender roles due to the number of women in the workplace. This all led to a perfect storm for the creation of one of the most influential decades for art and design, and modern 20th century living.

After the utilitarian fashions and dull and drab furnishings that epitomised wartime Britain, lust for colour and pattern expressed itself in every media, from mix and match tableware to curtains emulating abstract paintings. Commercially, designers and advertisers focused on creating products and technologies that revolutionised the home and made for easy living, with manufacturers of laminated surfaces and vinyl promising housewives a work-free and colourful existence. Formica table tops and melamine plastics in bright colours were the products of the day, and the Tupperware party arrived. The 1950s saw the development of the fitted kitchen and increased popularity of many labour-saving appliances including mixing machines, fridges, washing machines and vacuum cleaners.

The 1950s was a period of great change with revolutions in technology, art, design, music and fashion which brought about rapid changes to the way we live and the way in which we see ourselves."

If you ever find yourself in Farnham, do drop by and visit the Museum, we're open Tuesdays to Saturdays!

Hope you are all excited for the jubilee weekend! Thanks for reading!


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