A “Virtual” Tour of The Back to Backs – part 33




A Virtual Tour of the Back to Backs – part 33

So, can we picture George sitting by the fire in the dimly lit room, with a cat on his lap (I like the idea of George having a cat) and reading the newspaper? 

What, then, are we going to find on his table, amongst the remains of his evening meal?

First there is a Kodak No2 box camera, which was made by Eastman Kodak in the UK between 1929 and the 1950s. It was designed by Kodak employee Frank Brownell, and it became known as the “Brownie”. It was popularised in the UK by Picture Post photographer Bert Hardy when he used a Brownie camera to take a carefully posed snapshot of two young ladies sitting on railings above a breezy Blackpool promenade in 1951. Up until the arrival of digital cameras and camera phones one needed to be very accurate and patient with one’s photography. A camera such as the Brownie would only take 8 or 12 photographs on one roll of film. Having used them up you would take the film out of the camera and take it to a photography shop, or a chemists. Then you’d wait a few days before you could collect the results and discover how many heads had been chopped off, how many were blurred and how many double exposures you’d captured!

Another favourite on the table is an item that a lot of folk question. The herb cutter, or mint roller. This is used to chop mint quickly by running the cutter or “roller” across the leaves on a wooden board. MMM! Tasty! Ideal with a lamb chop!

Another item for food preparation is the chip-maker. Without one of these, to make chips, you’d have to peel your potato and then slice it one way, then cut each slice into chip-sized pieces. With a chip maker, you simply peel a lovely plump King Edward spud, put it in the chip-maker and press the handles down. Lo and behold a pile of beautifully cut chips. Now, where’s that lamb chop!

George Mitchell’s fireplace
Kodak no 2 Brownie camera
‘Blackpool Railings’ by Bert Hardy – 14 July 1951 – the girls are former Tiller Girls Pat Wilson (right) of Bridgend, mid Glamorgan, and Wendy Clarke of Southall in London
Mint Roller or Herb Cutter
A nice lamb chop ready for the oven
Potato chip cutter
Our lamb chop – ready to serve with the chips!