During the course of ‘Get Cracking’ we get other glimpses of wartime initiatives. While introducing his new tank to the people of Minor Wallop, George gets back into the sulking Mary’s good books by using it to help her to sell saving stamps. The government encouraged people to use their national savings scheme in order to fund the war. Stamps could be purchased for various amounts and stuck onto a card. Full cards could then be exchanged for a bond which attracted a good interest rate. This use of a tank to help publicise them reflected real life, where communities might be encouraged to buy enough stamps to meet the cost of a Spitfire.
Strangest wartime glimpse of them all in this film is the young girl evacuee that is billeted at George’s house. For the purposes of the film it appears that they live together alone, something that is highly incongruous to modern eyes. Perhaps another example of Formby trying, but being no longer able to pass himself off as a youngster. Having said that, there is one scene where a housekeeper figures appears to be hovering in the background, waiting to take the young girl inside. But still, would a single little girl have been billeted with a single man? I’m torn between finding this hard to believe and that knowledge that evacuees were often difficult to place – and perhaps some were put into unsuitable houses just to get them off the billeting officer’s hands. Or is it all artistic licence?
My new collection of short stories is available for download now. Three of the five stories are set in wartime Skipton, Yorkshire. Each one was inspired by a Yorkshire Post newspaper article about something connected with the Belle Vue Mill, home of the Sylko cotton reel.
click here for a pdf download from Etsy