Women’s Land Army – Post WWII

Above: Joyce Bake with her gang and two cleaners. Joyce sat on van bonnet  at Brackley Hostel. 1947/48.

This post is created to share photographs belonging to Joyce Bake. They are dated and most identified with the location. Intended to assist with research for family members of those who served with W.L.A. If these images are useful, you are welcome to copy and share.

Joyce Bake (1925-1999) served during WWII with the Women’s Royal Air Force.  Wanting to learn to drive, she worked with the Women’s Land Army (WLA) from 1946-1948. She always recalled this era of her life as the most fun! Hard work and hard-play.

Among her documents are letters addressed from the Agricultural Executive Committee, the County of Northampton, that note that Miss J Bake was employed by the Committee 8 October 1946 until 9 October 1948, in the capacity of Forewoman at the Brackley W.L.A. Hostel.

Artifact: W.L.A. Armband – Joyce Bake.

Above: Joyce and her van. Noted as N.W.A.E.C. at Brackley hostel 1946/47.

Below left: Joyce with head scarf, Brackley, 1948.

Below right: More of the gang, Brackley Hostel.

 

Below: Joyce wearing a suit, front left. No further notes on the photograph.

Below left: Joyce and her best pal Margaret Oakie, at Brackley Hostel. Woman’s Land Army Forewoman 1946-1948.

Below right:  May 1944, Glamorgan. Paddy and friends at family farm. Threshing group.

  

Below left: Joyce’s friends Sheila and Glad at Brackley  1947.

Below right: Joyce Bake in centre, small image, noted as Kislingbury Hostel, N’Hants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Dolls

Researching maker’s marks on artifacts is my thing!

With a little perseverance I recently identified a doll that had no brand stamp.  It is a German-made Kammer and Reindhardt bisque doll.  There is sometimes a curve ball in the research, as the head molds were often used by other companies and look-a-like copies were produced.

I looked into the background my two dolls. Luckily they both have brand marks, patent numbers, plus country of origin. These marks are found on the dolls back, and back of the head.

This “Rosebud” doll was bought in the mid-1950s. It is a hard-plastic doll (head and body) made by Nene Plastics Ltd, England, a company that started in 1947 and run by Eric Smith. It was Smith who registered the name “Rosebud”, by 1955 they had started experimenting with vinyl (softer plastic). In the 1960s the company was sold to Matte, dolls made in America are marked with “Rosebud Mattel”.

My second doll was given to my around 1960. This was a Palitoy Patsy Chubby Baby doll, made in England. It has a patent number registered in Britain, Australia and Canada. The head has a different number to the body.  The doll is 15 inches tall, hard plastic head, soft vinyl body, rotating legs and arms. She drinks, cries real tears, and wets her nappy. The head has molded hair, hand-painted lower lashes and eyebrows, rolling eyes with lashes. There are no join seams visible on arms and legs.

Palitoy has an interesting history. Originally Palitoy Cascelloid Company started by Alfred Edward Pallet of Coalville Leicestershire in 1919, made their first doll in 1925.

Palitoy was bought by Chad Valley toys, then General Mills who also scooped up Airfix toys, Meccano and Tri-ang – all familiar toy brands throughout my childhood. The final owners were Tonka, then Hasbo. A fun fact – The British boy doll Palitoy Action Man celebrated it’s 50th birthday in 2016!

My aunt also has a childhood doll.  Among our family photographs I found a picture of her with a doll. Although the doll’s face was similar, she confirmed the doll in the picture was donated to her by a neighbour.

In the post-WWII years there were few luxury goods or toys available. In the past, we have compared notes and discovered that my first teddy, was also her first teddy! (a rather sad, hard pink thing stuffed with straw).

On a brighter in the mid 1950s her Mum (my Nanna) bought her a  brand new state-of-the-art “Patsy” doll that could be fed, cried real tears and we its nappy. The doll has a the same patent numbers as my doll, it is slightly earlier. It has the same hard plastic head, made in two parts, but vinyl limbs are also made in two parts,  join seams are clearly visible.

She recalls thinking she was a little old for such a gift, but we figure her Mum felt she deserved a nice ‘new’ toy.

Is there a vintage doll in your family?  What is its story?

When you have noted down who owned it, where they lived and when, take a moment to research the brand name and the maker!

Tins, Boxes and Ad Hoc Containers

If you are the keeper of a craft box, needlework, or tool box, you might be surprised to find a family memory item among your oddments. Pins, hooks, beads, nails and screws are often kept in small containers from your past.

On a FaceBook group recently there was much discussion about tobacco tins, Coronation memorial tins and more.  I enjoyed viewing the images which each provoked memories of days gone by.

While sorting some sewing items, I came across this gold hinged tin, containing ceramic, glass and wooden beads from my macramé days in the 1970s.  It measures 3 1/2 inches in length.

It is a gold plated cigarette case from the 1960s that belonged to my Mother.  Now, a little worse for wear from use, it is tarnished and dented. I was, however thrilled to discover a maker’s mark stamped inside the closing clip:

“Made in England by KIGU.”

An Internet search bought forth a little history of the maker.

Ruby Lane Antiques offers… “KIGU was one of the two British compact premier brands (Stratton being the other). The London business was established in 1939 by a man who was the son and grandson of compact makers in Budapest. KIGU quickly gained a reputation for quality and innovative design. In 1949, members of the Royal family were known to carry KIGU compacts.”

Whereas The Vintage Compact Shop mentions… “The makers described the case as follows ‘The ripple of the silvery engine turned background gleams through the opalescent enamel in the delicate shades of blue, pink or white.  (Some are decorated with flower or dolphin enamel motifs.’

….  this range was also described by the manufacturer as ‘modern in conception, is delicately curved and fits snugly into the palm of one’s hand…………….handy in size yet holds 12 full-size cigarettes.’  In the 1960s cigarettes were smaller than they are today and this case is ideal for roll ups or cigarettes or small items of jewellery like earrings, necklaces or slender business cards.”

Vintage Collectables Org. UK suggests….. “Kigu of London is most famously known for its powder compacts. Josef Kiaschek created the very first powder company in his workshop in Budapest, Hungary. He was a master goldsmith. His son named Gustab founded Kigu in Budapest. The name Kigu was derived from the first two letters of his surname and christian name. Kigu were renowned for their high quality in design, innovation and their product during the boom years of Powder Compacts.”

So, who knew?  and what to do next…. ? Add the photographs of the folder of family artifacts, tagged with date, maker and owner. Then return the beads, and pop it back into the craft box for another day of reminiscing!