Marriage and sewing machines remembered by Formby residents

As part of Abbeyfield’s Creating Conversations initiative, Abbeyfield have been taking Tea & Memories sessions out into the North-West community.

Tea & Memories

The second monthly Tea & Memories session was held in March at Formby Luncheon Club, following a pilot event in February. Older people from the local community, some accompanied by their family, turned out to reminisce over a cup of tea.

Aided by the archive film footage from Living Memories CIC, entitled ‘Home Sweet Home’, the topics under discussion included the tradition of asking for parental approval to get married.

Jo Painter, who led the session, explains, “Attendees recalled the nervousness felt at the prospect of asking their fathers’ approval to marry and the difference in today's society. We also spoke about people getting their first sewing machines and some even made their own clothes, including their own wedding dresses.

“We watched another film and talked about people’s first kitchen and appliances, their first telephones (and how chunky they were), and their first tools or hand-me-down items. We discussed that people saved for things back then and credit was not readily available as it is today.

“We also watched a selection of vintage TV ads including those from Cutex covering fashion, nail varnish and hair styles; learning to cook – which featured Marguerite Patten (nearly all of us owned her cookery book); Shippam's paste sandwich fillings, and the ‘Shippam's Guide to Opera’ advert. We also watched the ‘Busy Bee’ song sung by Arthur Askey, and another film on the more personal service which used to be offered by local grocery store rather, than the impersonal supermarket services of today.”

Cherry scones with jam and clotted cream and refreshments followed the session, before entertainment by Leeanne Parr. Leeanne sang a variety of songs from the 1950's through to the 70's which got everyone singing and dancing, and Jo also ran a raffle.

If you would like to find out more about Tea & Memories events in Formby, please contact Jo Painter at or on 07831 990653.

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