Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 17 August 2008

This was how I saw it

WORLD WAR TWO: A child’s view of
technology

Metal shortage. To build more battleships the railings round the school were removed with oxy-acetylene torches. Sparks and glare for fascinated (totally unprotected) kids. Afterwards the remaining stumps of metal were removed from wall tops, allowing us to walk along them unhindered. Rumour had it the collected metal was never used.

In the sky. This was the West Riding so no baddies during the day. From time to time the big names (Spitfire, Lancaster) appeared, but mostly it was the twin-engine Avro Anson (presumably a bomber trainer) and the single droning-engine Harvard.

Camouflage. Close to the present Leeds/Bradford airport was an operative factory making goodness knows what. Earthworks were built round the single-storey structure and the top was then disguised with fake trees and a simulated duck pond. Even at ground level this was quite effective.

Health scare. Housewives were urged to hand in their aluminium pans to make more planes. Few did. Then came a story – almost certainly promulgated by The Daily Mail – that cooking vegetables in aluminium pans caused cancer. Could these two themes have been related?

1 comment:

Plutarch said...

We still have the stumps of metal railings, almost certainly removed, at the behest of Lord Beaverbrook, Churchill's minister of supply, as part of the war effort, on the wall beneath our hedge. I too have heard it said that the poor quality of the metal rendered them useless for arms manufacture. Not so long ago rumour had it that the use of aluminium in cooking utensils caused Alzheimer's disease.