Open your copy of the Cornish Tidings, hot off the press. It’s 1921 now, and after the long war everything’s getting back to normal. Or what will pass for normal, in the coming age.
20 years ago, the best entertainment on the first page was Miss Mabel Quiller-Couch’s latest serial in the Cornish Telegraph. But today – in the post-war world – you have your choice of cinemas. On your way to the Penzance Cinema, you could look in at Pengelly’s Great Boot Sale. Or if you prefer to make your own entertainment, 10/6d down payment will secure a piano from Moon’s of Plymouth, or from their man at 2 High Street Penzance.
Back in 1901 there was a war on. News had just come in that Mr Bolitho’s coachman was a casualty. Do the Bolithos still employ coachmen? Do they use their coaches for everyday business, to and fro between the house, the bank and the estate? Or is it all motor cars now? Trelawney Tours are offering motor trips to see the Western Foxhounds on Sunday. And if you want to conduct your business in a modern manner, you will have your pick of lorries. Scott’s at Wherrytown can offer light and heavy “at a few hours’ notice”, and you can telephone to make the arrangements. And a nice little two-seater – an Isotta Francini – is being auctioned at Marazion in a couple of days. Perhaps you’ll cut along there and see.
And back in 1901, as well, reports of the old Queen’s last hours; news of Edward VII taking the helm. A memorial Service in her honour, at the Baptist church on Clarence Street. And the Duke of York become the Duke of Cornwall, shuffling one place up the pile, although whether it felt like that to him at the time, who knows? Today we have a wholly different king, and have lived through a wholly different war. There are worries about the high level of telephone charges, and the Labour Party is insisting on state aid for the unemployed.
Evening Tidings January 24th 1901
Cornish Tidings January 24th 1921