Monday, October 1, 2012

Pic-Nic 1934

There is something charming about the picnic. Been checking out what you would have had back in the 1920's and 1930's. The CWS advert here dates from 1934 and reads like a typical salad dinner you would eat in the summer months.

Not quite the Enid Blyton "Famous Five" (written between 1942 - 1962) who would have had lashings of hard boiled eggs, tomato sandwiches, lemonade, tinned sardines, melt-in-the-mouth shortbread, radishes, Nestlé milk, ginger beer, tins of pineapple chunks, squares of chocolate....

Modern times it could be olives, hummus, fresh peaches and chilled Prosecco from a cooler box. Your mileage may differ. Tupperware boxes of salad or those triangle sandwich packs sold at petrol stations. Maybe the invented traditional of the Ploughman's Lunch.

The advert has a quaint age of innocence. It is old style ready to eat food. If you wished to recreate a 1930's picnic using some of these products then it possible to find current brand equivalents. The fruit squash drink are not yet extinct. Spotted some of those meat paste items at the local co-op. Not a prominent item but still on the shelves. Tinned fruit is a relic when fresh strawberries, albeit not very tasty strawberries, are sold in January.

But the illustration makes it all look spiffing good fun. No wet grass then. Hey, ho we'll all off to scoff  'en plein air', and play some ball games or frisbie afterwards. That's the bit when people think it is pretty smart to do throw and catch.

But the romance of the picnic is still with us, even though the weather hasn't been clement this summer.

The photograph is a colour photograph of a picnic on Stanmore Common in London, taken by R E Owen, 20 May 1929. It's from the National Media Museum which is in looks just how a picnic should with the wicker basket, rugs on the ground and possibly proper glassware...

Further reading : A brief history of the picnic.

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