Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Vintage Treasure: How the 'girl about town' kept in touch before the mobile phone age!

Did you catch the feature on the 1940s school syllabus I blogged earlier this week? The one handwritten by a teacher detailing how the infants of Class 4 were going to spend their school days between July '48 and September '49? 

Well ... there's something about today's vintage papery treasure that suggests it belonged to somebody quite different to our teacher friend ... someone a little more urban, someone with a social life fizzing with cocktails and clubs. Although ... 

... our teacher friend could have been quite a different woman once that bell rang at the end of the day ... we'll never know! 

So here's today's treasure; an 'aide memoire' [a fancy way to say a tiny notebook for helping you remember things]: 
Currently available to purchase here in my shop.
So you're a woman about town in the 1940s/50s.  [I've tried to accurately date this piece but online searches have returned dates ranging from the 1930s to 60s. The telephone numbers inside tend to suggest it's pre-70s though and the style really does sit better with the 40s/50s].
You're all dressed up in your kitten heels, your twin set, 'slacks', gloves, and pearl earrings and now you're looking for somewhere to go. And someone to go there with.

You may not have a mobile phone to help you plan your adventure ...  but you've got something just as useful and twice as glamorous in your patent leather handbag ... your palm-sized phone number-keeper, your petit-point embroidered 'aide memoire'. 
Inside you've got numbers for Doreen, Eva, Caryl & Bernard and Peggy & Percy but if they're not available then there's always Phyl Tonge. 

She might be free tonight. 
And how about a quick drink or even a round at the Mid Kent golf club ... you've got the number handy after all: 
And why would you do anything as mundane as catching the bus ... when you've got the number for 'Reliance Taxis' on hand at all times?!

It's a great vintage notebook so evocative of a glamorous era and a unique treasure from womens' history; made extra-special with the personal touch of original handwriting.

And ... as 12 of its 19 pages are blank both sides [seven are written on one side], it also makes an entirely one-of-a-kind set of pages for an artist, collage artist, writer or art journaler to work on too:
If you're looking for a gift for a vintage accessories then... look no further. Or this would make a splendidly appropriate gift even for someone from around the Surrey, Kent, London area as place include: Camberley, Surrey, Gravesend, Mid Kent and Foots Cray.

So, it turns out that, pre-social media and pre-mobile phones this is how a lady who fancied a sherry in good company arranged to meet up with Peggy and Phyl to do just that! With no fear of her battery running out and being stranded without any numbers to contact! 


Thanks for visiting me and the treasure today. 

If today's item isn't the one for you - do hop over to the shop as there are lots of 'new' vintage goodies available now including books, index cards, menu cards, maps and more! 

Julie :-)


  1. Another great piece of social history ... how fascinating, and such a clever way to store numbers in your bag. I bet the owner would be tickled pink to think it was being viewed by people right across the world.

  2. I just love this - the names make me think of that kind of date too :) What will the people of the future be saying about us eh? I doubt we'll be leaving behind anything so pretty.

  3. This is a beautiful post - and I feel so lucky that I am going to see this 'aide memoire.'Thank you so much!

    1. I'm just thrilled it's found a welcoming new home!!


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