Hilda Green (HG-95-215)

The Palace, Lowestoft (uploaded by rasLXR). Creative Commons (Attribution) License via cinematreasures.org

Hilda Green of Lowestoft, Suffolk became involved with Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain through her lifelong friend Peggy Kent. One of seven or eight children, Mrs Green was born in Lowestoft in 1919; her father was a boilermaker, her mother a housewife. Her first job after leaving school at the age of fourteen was at the Premier Laundry in Lowestoft, where she met the women who were to become her lifelong friends: Peggy Kent, Hilda Catchpole, Gladys Kent, and Barbara Harvey. She was interviewed, along with all four of her fellow 'laundry girls', at Peggy Kent's home in Lowestoft on 18 October 1995.

In her lively and laughter-filled interview, Mrs Green and her friends--who now rarely see each other as a group--share memories of the good times they enjoyed in the thirties. Described in the interviewer’s field notes as “glamorous pensioners”, they reminisce about the fun they had and recall the complex web of social events they shared. They offer hilarious yarns about work at the laundry, getting ready to go to the pictures or the dance hall, trying out hairstyles, makeup, and fashions; looking your best (“And we did look lovely!”); imitating film stars and getting ideas from the films about what they were going to wear; going for a dip in the sea on the way home from an evening out. They update each other with anecdotes and news about their families, and vividly recall a wartime bombing raid on Lowestoft.

Documents, Memorabilia and Related Links
East Anglia home page
Palm Court Orchestra, The Grand, Eastbourne (mastersofmeolody.co.uk site)
South Pier, Lowestoft (lowestofthistory.com site)
Health & Beauty Display At Wembley, 1939 (YouTube)
Donated Photographs

Book chapter drawing on Mrs Kent's interviews:
Kuhn, A. (2002) 'Growing Up with Cinema', in An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory, Chapter 5. London: I.B.Tauris/Bloomsbury.