Thursday, 27 November 2014

Your Bedtime Routine (4)

Continued from Your Bedtime Routine (1), Your Bedtime Routine (2), Your Bedtime Routine (3).

Despite launching the most adventurous social reform agenda in British history, the Labour government also set about constructing a new secret state apparatus to fight the Cold War at home and abroad, as the world entered the atomic age. Furthermore, with independence being granted to India in 1947, post-war Britain took the first steps towards dismantling the empire and assembling a commonwealth based on influence and mutual respect.

The end of the war in 1945 did not result in the immediate end of shortages and rationing. By 1948 rations had fallen well below the wartime average. In some cases, they even applied to goods that had not been rationed during the war - such as bread.

This Richard Massingham film is a bizarre contribution from the Crown Film Unit, and addresses the challenges Britain faced in the austere post-war era. Wartime enthusiasm and self-confidence had become seriously eroded by the crisis-laden year of 1947. Domestically, the continuation of rationing, including for the first time bread (between 1946-48)

Fuel, like so many other commodities, was at a premium. Indeed, coal remained rationed until 1958.

As well as rebuilding and reforming the nation in the immediate post-war years, Britain also staged major events such as the 1948 London Olympics and the Festival of Britain in 1951. Considering that all of these achievements occurred despite continued rationing and economic uncertainty, the accomplishments of 1945-51 were very impressive

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