For the month of February, we went back to the 50's. We remembered Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, the Queen's Coronation, the 1956 Olympics, the space race and so much more. However, I found my residents were most engaged when our reminiscing of the 50's shifted from the news of the time to the everyday life. Perhaps these were the memories best preserved? We used a selection of Laurie Richards photo's as visual prompts to start the stroll down memory lane. Laurie Richards was an Australian commercial photographer from the 1950's to the 1970's. His photo's have been archived by Museums Victoria. As he was a commercial photographer, the setting is staged for product placement, from the hills hoist and lawn mowers, to type writers and televisions, making them a great reminiscence prompt for remembering everyday life from the 1950's.
Here are some of the memories found: Laundry “Monday was laundry day. The men went back to work, and the women to laundry.” “You didn't wear high heels! It was barefoot with basket and you put everything all the way along the one line, then popped a stick up along the middle to lift the whole thing up.” “We used starch to stiffen collars and doilies.”
Technology “There were only three televisions in the whole street.” “It was mostly news and it would finish by 10pm.” “We didn't call it a record player, it was a gramophone!”
Customer Service “I would give my list to the shop keeper then wait and chat with the neighbours while he went around the shop getting all the items.” “They would fill the tank and check the tyres while you sat in the car and waited.”