The British Pathe Time to Remember Series of the 1950s created a nostalgic narrative of inter-War life using various newsreel pieces from Pathe’s own heyday. These examples – part three and four of “A Teenage Flapper” are of particular interest, both for what they contain and what they leave out.

Joyce Grenfell’s narration, which will amuse or irritate you depending on your take on her comic talent, renders safe many aspects of twenties’ life as regards young women that were, in fact, the cause of some alarm at the time.One would expect nothing else. This is an exercise in gentle mirth and a certain amount of myth-making for an audience for whom the world depicted was already Ancient History. Nonetheless, the reference points are generally on target and the footage itself is invaluable. Elvira’s (pre-debauched) life included many of the social and sporting events shown here. As indeed would have (the decidedly un-debauched) Joyce Grenfell’s – she was just five years younger than Elvira and from an equally privileged background.Look out too for the “Bohemian” women artists – plus brief glimpses of Betty “Joe” Carstairs and Gwen Farrar.

Teenage Flapper Part Three

Teenage Flapper Part Four

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