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A Shop Assistant in Wartime - The Dewsbury Diary of Kathleen Hey, 1941-1945, Hardback Book

A Shop Assistant in Wartime - The Dewsbury Diary of Kathleen Hey, 1941-1945 Hardback


Kathleen Hey's diary provides an insider's view of an industrial city in wartime Yorkshire.

As a shop assistant in a working class district of Dewsbury, she documented the stresses and complex exchanges in a grocery - from both sides of the counter.

Regular customers, usually close neighbours, were eager to learn what scarce and coveted items might be in stock, and sometimes went in several times a day to discover what was available, as well as to chat about the war, complain about the provisions they were getting, or seek assistance with their ration books. While the frustrations and satisfactions of shop-work are at the heart of her diary, she also wrote about leisure, popular culture, public events and political debates, civil defence, domestic tensions, and her hopes for the post-war future.

Life was often unpredictable; events happened unexpectedly - and could be recorded by her immediately; one social encounter might give rise to a surprising and revealing conversation.

Hers is a richly detailed, observant, wide-ranging and sometimes amusing account of wartime social life.

It is presented here with full introduction and explanatory notes. PATRICIA and ROBERT MALCOLMSON are social historians with a special interest in English diaries written between the 1930s and 1950s.