A very 1947 Christmas

As Christmas spending this year goes into overdrive I thought it might be interesting to reflect on a rather different Christmas, one from the immediate postwar era. Here's five British Pathe films from 1947, the year when postwar austerity really began to bite, following the harsh winter of the year before. Rationing got even tougher than it had been during wartime, with bread and potatoes added to the list of rationed foods.

The first film shows Christmas shopping in this autherity climate, with trees only for the lucky few.

Norway's evergreen Christmas gift, next - the tree in Trafalgar Square, a tradition that happily continues.

This footage of market stalls, bustling crowds and dodgy-looking spivs really captures quite how different shopping, and Christmas, was back then. It's like a scene from an Ealing comedy.

Talking of Ealing comedies, this post office ad is borderline Kind Hearts and Coronets.

And, of course, no 1947 Christmas would be complete without Santa himself, Stafford Cripps, newly prmoted to Chancellor, though familiar to Britons as the face of austerity.

Merry Christmas, Scoundrels. See you on the other side. x


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