Entertainment and Hobbies in the 1950s

1950s Oral History   

Rene Smith worked as a weaver at Armley Mills in Leeds during the 1950s. She started work in 1941, when she was just 14 years old. Rene agreed to return to the mill to allow pupils from a local school to interview her about what life was life for mill workers in the 1950s.


The children devised a set of interview questions to pose to Rene about her job and her life outside work. The video clip attached to this page shows Rene's responses to questions posed to her about entertainment and hobbies in the 1950s. 

The questions asked were:

  • What did you do at the weekend?
  • Did your children go to the Leeds Children's Day?
  • Did there used to be swimming pools?
  • What were your hobbies in the 1950s?
  • What were your children's hobbies?

Further clips of Rene answering questions on subjects such as working in the mill, fashion, family life and food can be seen in the other resources in this series on 1950s life.


Children can be encouraged to use this example to conduct their own interviews with family members or research what life was like in their own local area during the 1950s.

Scroll down for a list of links and resources on this topic.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Armley Mills Museum, Leeds Museums and Galleries | 
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