LOOK how we used to live 100 years ago. Would you fancy it?
PUBLISHED: 14:15 01 January 2020
Country estates for £5,000… a new Buick car for £700… county-town phone numbers with only three digits… Welcome to the 1920s
As a new decade dawned, East Anglia was, understandably, still living under the shadow of The Great War. The talk in January, 1920, was of a shortage of sugar, blamed on the amount of sweets and other confectionery now being made in peacetime.
Newspaper front pages were still dominated by adverts for livestock sales and other agricultural matters, as well as houses to buy and rent.
Much of the news featured the sadder side of life. For instance: Harry Bilner, of Handford Cut, Ipswich, admitted stealing a hundredweight of Arran Chief potatoes from Hill Farm, Baylham, and stealing pullets. He escaped prison only because it was his first offence. Harry was fined £2 on each charge.
Teenage Norwich ironmonger Harry Tyce was punished for trying to pull a fast one - the first prosecution in the city under the Profiteering Act.
The 19-year-old had offered to sell a tailor an iron "goose" - a kind of flat iron - at a price the authorities thought unreasonable. He'd sought 18 shillings; the authorities reckoned a fair price was 15 shillings.
Tyce, of St Peter's Street, was fined £5, with £1 11s costs.
Botwoods of Carr Street, Ipswich (phone Ipswich 800), advertised a two-seater Buick car for £700 and a Cadillac with five seats for £1,375.
Ipswich Hippodrome's twice-nightly variety show included the Dancing Madcaps. The Central Cinema showed Betta, The Gipsy - "a romance of Gipsy life, the Welsh waterfalls, the caravans rolling along the winding roads…"
On January 6, Horsey School was destroyed by flames. Fire was a hazard of life: later that month, staff and customers had a narrow escape from a shop fire in St Benedict's, Norwich. In February, Weybread Mill was destroyed.
Two youths with a revolver raided Lloyd's Bank in Beccles in February, 1921. More cheerfully, King George V, his Queen and daughter Princess Mary visited Norwich to hear about progress with housing and help for the unemployed.
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Another fire - three people died in March, 1922, in a blaze in Surrey Street, Norwich.
By the spring of 1925, newspaper adverts and editorial coverage reflected a growing interest in fashion, though most folk wouldn't have been part of the affluent "flapper" crowd out for a good time.
Food production was still an issue - milk and sugar beet the causes for concern that April.
Ipswich estate agent Gerald Benjamin offered what were described as attractive brick-built modern villas in the east of the town - "6 good rooms, bathroom, excellent gardens" - for £525 and £550.
In November, 1925, Herbert George Whiteman (also known as Bloye) was executed in Norwich by hanging.
The 27-year-old had, in June, been accused of murdering mother-in-law Clara Squires and his estranged wife Alice at Town Farm, Swaffham. The indictment concerning Alice was not pursued.
Fashion appeared to be a growth industry in the summer of 1929… though agricultural sales finished the decade as they started it: making up the bulk of the "small ads" on the front page of newspapers.
For 70-year-old dishonest dealer Herbert Mulley, the 1920s ended on a downward slope, as a career of crime earned him three years of penal servitude.
The Recorder at Ipswich Quarter Sessions told him: "You are an extremely difficult case to deal with because, frankly, you have about as bad a record as it has been my painful duty to come across."
The septuagenarian, from Elmswell, near Stowmarket, admitted unlawfully obtaining £4 from a wood machinist by false pretences and with intent to defraud. The court heard there was also a warrant out against Mulley, with the Metropolitan Police, for a similar offence.
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