Sunday, 6 July 2014

The man who lives in 1946

The man who lives in 1946

Most of you will remember - and some of you have even blogged about - the programme Time Warp Wives, which first aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 back in 2008.  Currently on YouTube here, it featured some well-known faces in vintage circles including Joanne Massey (aka Lola Lamour) and Miss L Fire's Sammi Sadler (plus, for a few seconds around the 22-23 minute mark, our own dear Tupney!).  It garnered a lot of praise from all quarters for showing four truly vintage devotees in quite a positive light, something fairly unusual for the majority of such "real-life documentaries" these days - especially those of the fourth channel!

It's perhaps for this reason that I tend to shy away from featuring any such programming on my blog (TWW predating Eclectic Ephemera by a year) and why my first reaction to this short little clip on the B.B.C. Magazine website was one of mild suspicion.  I needn't have worried, though, as this video for the Beeb's Real Time series has turned out to be a jolly pleasant insight into one vintage chap's immersion in the past.

Indeed, Ben Sansum's story struck a chord with my own experiences - and I suspect many others' - of growing up and into vintage.  The "funny boy at school" with the "strange interests", the fascination with all aspects of a favoured period - it's all very much as it was (and is) for me.  Whether I will ever be as dedicated to my chosen era as Mr Sansum I couldn't say.  Certainly he, the Time Warp Wives and others like them give us something to admire and possibly aspire to but I have written in the past about my own attitude to the vintage lifestyle and I'm not sure I would - or could - live entirely like it was the 1920s or '30s.    

Having said that I do esteem - and envy (I want his house)! - those who do choose to live their lives in such a fashion and it pleases me no end to see them enjoying and appreciating their lifestyle as well as keeping the memory of these eras alive.  I'm glad to see the Beeb eschewed a [smarmy] voiceover and allowed Mr Sansum to quite eloquently explain in his own words his reasons and feelings regarding his vintage lifestyle.

For those of you outside the U.K. or without access to the B.B.C.'s online content, below is a similar interview with Mr Sansum carried out 3 years ago by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (in English).


  1. All BBC content can be viewed in New Zealand so may not be a problem elsewhere? I've always liked the 1940 "layered" look and it's so much fun searching for period decorative elements :-) Expensive modern furniture and effects often look unfashionable in just ten years time whereas period items are very decorative and will still be worth something in the future so they're a better investment anyway. Thanks also for highlighting the UTube link.

  2. Aww, I loved this little interview! Nicely done, and indeed a surprise to see a favourable light on the topic of living vintage. Thanks for sharing! P x

  3. I believe he was also on that Collectaholics programme that was on BBC2 a little while ago

  4. It's always interesting to see something like this. Even as a small child I had the oddest feeling of not being in the right place, hard to explain, but it was as if I was looking for a way back to where I "should" have been. It isn't that I don't appreciate things like modern medicine etc, it's just that I always felt I was visiting a strange land by mistake!


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