Wartime Rations – Day 9

No photos today as everything I’ve eaten, apart from my morning porridge and toast, has been ‘leftovers’ – cauliflower soup and casserole. In fact, when my husband heard that dinner would be a choice between leftovers or fish pie, he very suddenly remembered he had an evening business dinner that he ‘had’ to attend.

So, I’ll go to straight to Anne’s memories. Staying on the cinema theme, I asked her the following: What do you remember of the cinema in those times?  Did the ushers always wear uniforms?

anne2013They were a world I wanted to live in.  Remember I was alone by now with my mum and dad, the others busy with babies or fighting, so home life was for me a bit dull – until *Clydebank, when the countryside and its freedom hit me like a nice kind of bombshell. Until then, the cinema was my escape and it was easy (if I had enough pennies) because of the Grosvenor and the little ‘Hillhead‘ cinema just around the corner near the top of Byres Road – it was 1/3d, 3d more expensive than the Grosvenor, but if I managed to save 5/- I could buy a book of 6 tickets which worked out at 10d a time.

Yes, the ushers did wear uniforms: a self-colour shirt-type dress or a skirt and white blouse; in the interval an apron was added if there was any ice-cream or drinks to sell.  And torches of course to guide you to a seat – not welcomed in the back row!

*Clydebank refers to the Clydebank Blitz, after which Anne, my mother and brother were evacuated into the countryside.

In searching – unsuccessfully – for some video footage of Glasgow cinemas during the 1940s, I came upon this homemade video showing modern day Byres Road, a popular street in the West End of Glasgow.  If you check the footage at 0.28 you’ll see the Hillhead Cinema Anne refers to above, at 1.14 the flat where Anne and my grandparents lived during the war and at 1.30 the bar where my mum used to go and buy a jug of beer for my grandfather.

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