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Turn back time: the High Street

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Post by Dandelion on 2nd November 2010, 10:14 pm

Have just watched the first part of the new BBC re-enactment programme, where four shopkeepers and their families run four businesses in Shepton Mallet in the style of a previous age. Tonight it was the Victorian era, and we saw a pork butcher, a grocer, a blacksmith/ironmonger and a baker at work, trying to make a profit from the residents of Shepton Mallet (and probably from visiting holiday makers). It was really worth watching, partly because of what the families learnt, partly because it made you realise how far away we have come from the food we eat (children recoiled from seeing the heads of pigs for instance.) There was also a lot of attention to detail in the way the programme was made and filmed.
Mr D and I visited Shepton Mallet when we were in the area in the summer - it did have a real sense of deadness about it. Hopefully this project might get people back into the town shops rather than in the retail park.

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Post by Compostwoman on 2nd November 2010, 10:31 pm

We watched it as well D, and though it was very good, on the whole..

felt the bakers were made to suffer an artificial hamper though because she (who was the master baker) wasn't allowed to be the victorian baker, because she was a woman. Her husband ( NOT a master baker) was made to do all the baking work and the results were understandably inedible

But presumaably the family were chosen as a package and SHE was the master baker...so why couldn't she be allowed to get on with it?

seemed a pointless differentiation to me, especially as if she had been a victorian widow she could have been the baker in the shop....

Apart from that minor quibble, well worth watching and wish it had been a longer period both for the enactment period ( a month rather than a week?) and programme length ( 6, half hour progs? maybe for this era?

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Post by mark barker on 3rd November 2010, 9:02 am

I caught this prog and thought the choice of families was a little odd given that the woman wasn't allowed to bake, although I guess it was done so they could make that point and show how wonderfully civilised we are now! Wink

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Post by Adrian on 3rd November 2010, 9:57 am

There is a review of the programme here as well as one of Kirstie's Simply Gorgeous Life of Superduper Loveliness

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Post by Compostwoman on 3rd November 2010, 12:30 pm

Badger wrote:There is a review of the programme here as well as one of Kirstie's Simply Gorgeous Life of Superduper Loveliness

I missed Krusty. Thank Gods.

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Post by Adrian on 3rd November 2010, 12:37 pm

Have to admit to having a soft sport for Krustie, certainly looking forward to this new series more than yet another step back reality competition show.

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Post by Compostwoman on 3rd November 2010, 12:38 pm

I know I ought to like her BUT she just irritates the heck out of me....


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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 3rd November 2010, 1:30 pm

I like Kirstie too.
Watched the Masterchef final and then turned over for Kirstie
Her cheerfulness and 2 large glasses of wine helped calm me down
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 3rd November 2010, 2:46 pm

You're not talking about Krusty Asslap are you? Surely not? Tory stooge, henchperson to that Fat Oaf Pickles, the woman who said 'There will be no housing crash. If prices go down I will eat my hat' whilst encouraging the buy-to-let market and creating the 'Slap some paint on and flog it on for £20k more' culture that brought about the housing crisis in the first place.
She also said
""House prices will never go down because men will always want to put roofs over their wives heads"
David Cameron has spoken of raising her to the House of Lords. so valued is her contribution as Housing Advisor to the Condems. because who else could come up with gems like: "
'If you're taking something from the state then you have a responsibility to your neighbourhood.
'In terms of local authority accommodation, we need more of it, but need to be tougher on people who don't look after it.


I find everything she is and stands for repugnant.

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Post by Adrian on 3rd November 2010, 2:51 pm

Very true Billy, I hate her politics, but can't help but be charmed by her joy of reusing discarded things and making stuff rather than buying, that is a little irresistible and I am trying very hard these days to find good in people I loathe.

My inner Martha Stewart isn't fully acutualised, but I'm getting there...


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Post by Dandelion on 3rd November 2010, 5:19 pm

Compostwoman wrote:
felt the bakers were made to suffer an artificial hamper though because she (who was the master baker) wasn't allowed to be the victorian baker, because she was a woman. Her husband ( NOT a master baker) was made to do all the baking work and the results were understandably inedible

But presumaably the family were chosen as a package and SHE was the master baker...so why couldn't she be allowed to get on with it?

seemed a pointless differentiation to me, especially as if she had been a victorian widow she could have been the baker in the shop....


DD1 and I couldn't understand why the husband didn't ask his wife for a basic bread recipe, or at least get some advice on how much salt to put in. Very frustrating.

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Post by Compostwoman on 3rd November 2010, 5:38 pm

Yes that was just plain silly of him I thought. She was rolling her eyes and biting her lip!

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Post by Adrian on 3rd November 2010, 8:16 pm

Oh dear

I downloaded this today, may leave watching it until I am in a better mood

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Post by Compostwoman on 3rd November 2010, 8:37 pm

It was actually quite good fun Badger, just the Baker bit was a bit daft....!

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Post by polgara on 3rd November 2010, 10:27 pm

I have just watched it, I thought it was quite good, though I agree the baker was a bit of an idiot, as were some of the customers in the grocers, asking for factor 30 soncream in a Victorian shop!!

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Post by Aberlemno on 4th November 2010, 7:53 am

I think "contrived" is the word I would use and it irritated me. My eyes were out on stalks at the amount of salt going into that bread dough and when I saw FLAMES coming out of the oven I thought anyone with an ounce of sense would know that was going to be too blardy hot to cook in for heaven's sake. I bet there was some bitching going on that first night after they'd been so obviously "set up" for failure. Having said that, it was enjoyable because I love the Victorian period. I thought the grocery shop, with everything having to be weighed out and it taking ages to be served, was particularly good - I can remember that happening even in our corner shop during my 1950s childhood . . . tins of Peak Frean and McVities loose biscuits too . . .

Kirsty Allsopp, for all her faults, is at least encouraging the concept of make-it-yourself, though I never see her at our local car boot sale and I bet she's crap at haggling!

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Post by Adrian on 4th November 2010, 9:25 am

The grauns review of Krusty was funny

And the stuff she finds! Not the crap plebs like you and I habitually stumble across. It's all monks' benches for £50 and beautiful bits of bevelled glass. It's like being ushered into the private members' area of eBay.

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Post by Dandelion on 4th November 2010, 6:04 pm

Aberlemno wrote:Having said that, it was enjoyable because I love the Victorian period. I thought the grocery shop, with everything having to be weighed out and it taking ages to be served, was particularly good - I can remember that happening even in our corner shop during my 1950s childhood . . . tins of Peak Frean and McVities loose biscuits too . . .


I think that was why I enjoyed it so much, because it was like a link with my childhood (again, the 50s, in case anyone thinks I outlived Queen Vic!). I can remember my sister falling out of her pushchair and grazing her forehead on one of those metal tins of biscuits in the bakers. (That was before we had health and safety of course!)

I predict that we will see more of the Factor 30 lady later in the series - she caused a bit of indignant shouting in our house!!

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 4th November 2010, 8:08 pm

Badger wrote:The grauns review of Krusty was funny


actually when you said about the uses she finds for discarded crap, I thought you meant about her and Phil doing another series together.

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Post by Dandelion on 11th November 2010, 7:52 pm

This week's 'Turn back Time' was interesting, being based on shops in the Edwardian era. The bakers now have a tea room, but are still struggling to produce the goods (literally). What was particularly poignant was that all the men one day received 'call-up' papers, and had to leave their businesses in the hands of the women and children, to show how the First World War affected shopkeepers all over the land. The butcher in real-life has a son about to go to Afghanistan, which made it more heart-felt. I hadn't realised how much this war had restricted food, as it couldn't be easily imported. The bakers had to make bread using other ingredients such a potatoes for example.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Compostwoman on 11th November 2010, 7:56 pm

I agree thsi one was quite affecting from that poiont of view...probably times to coincide with Armistice Day, today.

Interesting seeing the Votes for Women fliers and ribbons - given the way women were expected to " step back in the box" after managing so well dueing the war, hardly surprising I guess.

My Granny was a Sufferagette.

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Post by Dandelion on 11th November 2010, 9:03 pm

Do you know much about her experiences?

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Post by Compostwoman on 11th November 2010, 10:11 pm

Not directly, sadly she cut off my mum for divorcing and re marrying my dad and having me "out of wedlock" sigh...I only know what my mum told me...

She lived in the East End and had many children, was from an Irish Catholic family , was a 2nd gen immigrant from Ireland...but got involved in VfW and was arrested at least once...

I know no more, sadly..

All this is going in my book, if I ever finish it!

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Post by polgara on 11th November 2010, 10:32 pm

I still think the bakers are a bit silly in that they do not seem to communicate & work together. I enjoyed it though.

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Post by mark barker on 19th November 2010, 12:38 pm

I've just caught up with this weeks episode (1930s)... Not sure I'll be bothering with the rest of the series though Sad I'm no expert on social history, but I'd guess that a butcher would have more than just one cow for sale. Surely they'd have a few chickens or some pork or something?

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