Food in the 1950s

Oral history account

Rene Smith worked at Armley Mills as a weaver in the 1950s. Rene started working at the mill in 1941, when she was 14 years old. She agreed to return to the mill to allow local schoolchildren to interview her, so that they could get a first-person account of what life was like for workers at Armley Mills in the 1950s.


The children devised a set of interview questions to pose to Rene, in order to find out what it was like to work at Armley Mills and also find out about her life outside work. You can watch video clips of Rene answering questions about dinnertime at the mill and food in the 1950s in general, including: 

  • What did you eat?
  • When did you eat?
  • What is 'dripping'?
  • What is your favourite meal and why?
  • Do you prefer meals now or then?
  • Is there any food from the past that you still like now?

Video clips of Rene's answers to questions on subjects such as entertainment and hobbies, fashion, family life and working in the mill can be seen in the other 1950s resources in this series.

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 | 
This content is licensed under Creative Commons BY NC SA

Accessibility Statement | Terms of Use | Site Map

Copyright © My Learning 2018. All Rights Reserved

Website by: Grapple