British Summer Time Begins: The School Summer Holidays 1930-1980

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The excitement of the summer holidays has been experienced for centuries. While some of summer's traditions are still enjoyed today, others remain in summers gone by.

In this warming talk, author Ysenda Maxtone-Graham recalls the vivid summer memories of real mid-twentieth century people. In doing so, we are reminded of how we were, how families functioned, what houses and gardens and streets were like, what journeys were made, and what people did all day in their free time.

Join us, as we explore the expectations, hopes, fears and habits, the rules or lack of rules, the happiness and sadness of pre-war summers to the late 1970s. From seaside escapes and grandparent retreats, to the sibling stand-off arguments over the middle seat and the long drawn-out days where time stood still. We consider whether it was those unscheduled days that were actually the most important and formative in our lives.

About the author

Ysenda Maxtone Graham is the author of six books: The Church Hesitant: A Portrait of the Church of England Today (Hodder & Stoughton); The Real Mrs Miniver (John Murray), which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award, 2002; Mr Tibbits’s Catholic School (Slightly Foxed); An Insomniac’s Guide to the Small Hours (Short Books); Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls’ Boarding Schools, 1939-1979 (Slightly Foxed and Abacus), and British Summertime Begins: The School Summer Holidays 1930-1980 (Little, Brown). She has written widely for many newspapers and magazines, as features writer, book reviewer and columnist, and lives in London with her husband and three sons.

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Organiser The National Archives

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The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and for England and Wales.  We are the guardians of some of our most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years.

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