The Glamour_ologist and I decided that a day of “culture” was necessary and that the “Secrets of the Saucy Seaside postcard” at Great Yarmouth’s Time & Tide Museum fit the bill perfectly.
It’s a museum, therefore it is definitely culture, not just an excuse to giggle at postcards.
To get to the exhibition, we had to go through the rest of the Time and Tide museum first. Mysteriously disinterested in a historically accurate reproduction of a fish shed (thankfully minus the stench of fish), we did stop off to make friends with this lovely chap on the way upstairs.
We also discovered that the Time & Tide museum has a rather lovely permanent exhibition of seaside history. It featured a nice display on vintage swimsuits and summer fashions, as well as a fascinating wall of photographs of Great Yarmouth from the 1800s-1990s. You can spot the same buildings in photographs through the ages, though later, sadly, often nearly obscured by plastic facades and glass picture windows.
It was essentially a little history of the saucy postcards produced by a company called Bamforth & Co from the 50s through to the 70s. There was a little film showing artists at work (all in suits and ties, naturally) and how the cards were printed, and then packed and distributed (“at this point the girls take over!”).
A few of my favourite cards….
There was also a display of valentines cards, one of which Lucy has talked about over on her blog, and can be seen admiring here!
A particular favourite of mine, though, was a display of original sketches that had gone through the censorship process. In case you can’t read it the arrow pointing at this woman’s cleavage is labelled “moderate please”. For some reason this tickled me immensely.
After a bracing walk along the sea front, sobbing over the plastic facades over the gorgeous architecture, we decided to stop for afternoon tea.
We chose the tea room in the rather unpromisingly named “Yesterdays World” museum. Neglecting to pay the £6.50 to go in and look at a reproduction of a Victorian Street we headed for the award winning tea room. Our expectations were low, personally I suspected the awards may have been issued by the Yesterday World awards board. My cynicism proved unfounded as we were served a truly delicious afternoon tea, complete with sugar lumps and silver tongs with which to pick them up.
If I had a small criticism it would be that claiming to dress your tea room staff in “period costume” when what you actually have are ladies in black skirts and black stretch t shirts with a white pinny and hat, and some men in too big waistcoats, is, if not lying, at least stretching the truth a little. (P.S if you want as close to period costume as is practical for a modern waitress, pay the Nutmeg Tree in Tunbridge Wells a visit. I applied for a job there once specifically because I wanted to wear this outfit. I didn’t get it, they obviously had me pegged as a weirdo.)
I do feel quite refreshed after my day out. A change is as good as a rest as they say, though the busy weekend I had afterwards somewhat took it out of me! I bought a 1950s petticoat at the Vintage by Appointment sneak preview sale, got a bit more sauciness at the No Strings Boogaloo Burlesque Club Night, and spent Sunday hunting down Norwich’s most stylish for a competition at the Lanes Summer Fair.
Does that make Monday a rest day?