Ilford charity worker takes part in the BBC’s Further Back in Time for dinner
- Credit: BBC/Wall to Wall/Duncan Stingemore
The Recorder’s very own heritage columnist, Rochelle Scholar, travelled back to the 1900s with her family for BBC programme Further Back in Time for Dinner.
Guided by presenters Giles Coren and social historian Polly Russell they discovered the incredible changes to Britain’s diet and what this revealed about society.
From the strict 1900s to the decadence of the late 20s and early 30s, the family lived through two world wars and a plethora of different food sources.
Rochelle, who works at Eastside Community Heritage, High Road, Ilford, said there was a distinct difference between the time periods.
“In the 1920s everything felt slightly mad, lots of men had been killed in the war, they drank and drank and danced and danced,” she said.
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“It was a frenzy of madness to compensate for all the tragedy.”
The family got their first taste of the racy reputation of the age by hosting a jazz party fuelled by a menu of 14 different cocktails.
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The decade had something new for everyone, with sweet treats, spicy food from Indian curry houses and Rochelle adapting to life as a modern housewife.
No longer a lady of leisure, there was a lot of work to do in the kitchen after her servant Debbie found new work in a shop.
“The changing role of women was a strong thread that stuck out for while filming. The war freed up women, and enabled them to go and do other things and leave the home.”
Rochelle enjoyed the 1930s and said if you were a middle class women you had the opportunity to lead a good lifestyle.
“There was a real revival and interest in organic food in England, you had access to good quality,” she added.
The programme also revealed evolving trends and Rochelle discovered that middle class women did not wear make-up.
Such activities were reserved for show girls and prostitutes.
“Post war women can wear as much makeup as they want, it is liberating,” she added.
But historian Rochelle revealed she would not want to live in any period other than the present.
“I wouldn’t go back to any other time. Women have a voice you have a choice of food now.
“This is the best time to be alive and there will be more progression for women as we go forward.”
Catch up on iPlayer and watch the new episode on BBC2 Tuesdays at 8pm.