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History Repeating Itself

6th December 2020 @ 6:06am – by Renee Cooper
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History Shorts 36 by Renée Cooper History repeating itself

onsie suit
Child' Siren Suit

When I hear 'one piece' or 'onesie' referring to a garment, I think of my mother unpicking old coats, turning them and making a one piece suit which was known as a 'siren suit', which was put on over your night clothes, when the planes came to bomb Liverpool and Manchester. You were taken out into the Anderson air raid shelter, where you stayed till the All Clear.

winston churchill and montgomery
Winston Churchill in a oensie and Montgomery

Winston in a onesie. Churchill did much to promote the siren suit, though his were made by bespoke shirtmakers and tailors. Here he poses with Field Marshal Montgomery on 19 May 1944 during a tour of forces preparing to invade Normandy. ©

bedford lorry
Bedford lorry

When I was married, a local man brought his open, flat-backed lorry to my gate and out of the wooden boxes and trays he weighed my vegetables into the bags I provided. I had two for shopping, roughly 18" x 24" (45x60cm), made of a flat nylon/plastic type net. I still have them and they could still be used.
Was the mobile greengrocer's flat-backed lorry like this?
Bedford J Star Sided Flat. 2017 East Coast Hull to Bridlington, Classic Vehicle Rally.

Later in my married life we bought my mother's small mixed grocery shop, and our first car, which my husband used for work, but on Saturday mornings it became an order delivery vehicle.
So, what's new?

wartime market
Wartime Greengrocers

'A Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife' – Greengrocer's on King's Road, Chelsea 1941

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