Exhibition looks back on life in the 1950s

Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies (right) is pictured with Cusworth Hall Museum curator Frank Carpenter during a visit to the Museum's exhibition exploring life in 1950s Great Britain. Mr Carpenter is holding Muffin the Mule, while the Mayor is holding glove puppet Sooty.
Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies (right) is pictured with Cusworth Hall Museum curator Frank Carpenter during a visit to the Museum's exhibition exploring life in 1950s Great Britain. Mr Carpenter is holding Muffin the Mule, while the Mayor is holding glove puppet Sooty.
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THEY were told they had never had it so good.

But for those who lived through the 1950s - though there may not have been a programme of Government cuts or rising youth unemployment - post war rationing was still in place, as was national service and the Cold War.

Now the decade is at the centre of the latest exhibition at Doncaster’s Cusworth Hall Museum.

The display, called Having it So Good, explores life in Great Britain during the ’50s.

The title of the display comes from Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s famous speech, made in July 1957, when in light of unprecedented economic growth and near full employment he said “most of our people have never had it so good”.

The display brings together iconic items like a Muffin the Mule puppet based on the popular television children’s television programme of the period, ceramic pieces by Clarice Cliff, and a selection of sheet music from the period to cast light on a decade that began with the country still subject to rationing, and went on to include the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Festival of Britain, and the Suez Crisis.

Organisers hope visitors will be able to find out about some of the social changes which took place during the decade, including the first large-scale arrivals of people from the Commonwealth and the beginnings of the pop music industry, with the likes of Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard becoming the first pop stars. The display also includes a number of interactive toys including Fuzzy Felt, to keep children entertained.

Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, had a preview of the exhibition.

He said: “The 1950s were a great decade and I have fond memories of growing up in Doncaster then. I would encourage everyone to come and see this interesting exhibition.”

The exhibition runs until April 23.