Sunday, 15 July 2012

Gondola Baskets

I have done more sorting of Templeton's patterns  at Lee Mills, from the 1950s and 1960s.  One thing that you notice, when you're sorting leaflets that started off all mixed up with patterns from other spinners, is that some patterns turn up over and over again, while others we only have one copy of.  I assume that the ones that we have most of were ones that sold a lot of copies in the first place.    And in this case, the winner is.... a pattern for a women's jacket with a collar, issued in 1960.

I think that cardigans/jackets with collars were popular at the time, and this one is nicely designed - there is some neat detail in the shaping of the collar.  It looks attractive.  But one thing I notice about the leaflet  that has nothing to do with the jacket:  the model is carrying a gondola basket.  I had completely forgotten them.  They were very popular for several years, I think.  A few of the Templeton's patterns produced around the same time also feature a gondola basket.  It's quite possibly the same basket in all the photographs - leaflet 1160 shows it in glorious detail.  And the model in leaflet 1160 is wearing a stretchy hairband, by the look if it - my sister used to wear one, around that time (she was only 9 or 10 at the time, though, so she didn't quite get the model look).

  My mother never had a gondola basket - I'm sure she would have found it completely impractical.  It's only suitable for carrying, elegantly or otherwise, over your arm; if it rains (as it does) everything inside gets wet; and it's totally insecure - if you had your purse in it, it could easily be stolen.

But it's very useful if you are doing cookery lessons - the wide base means that you can carry home whatever you have made and keep it flat.  I remember that a lot of girls at my school who did cookery had gondola baskets, later in the 60s.  (I was never taught to cook - at my school you only did cookery if you weren't good enough at languages to do Latin or German.  I don't know what the reasoning was - maybe they thought that with a knowledge of Latin you could learn to cook from cookbooks.  It worked for me, though I don't think that the Latin had anything to do with it.)   

1 comment:

  1. A bit tangential.

    Cookery lessons - just last week we heard about a [Welsh speaking] school where the lady in charge of cookery has been put in charge of the electronics and computing lessons.

    Of course, the school is fully bilingual already, but Latin and german do not figure strongly.


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