I was delighted to be at Swords Library this evening for the second in my series of 1960s women road shows. It was a real pleasure to be back there as I spent my childhood in Swords, and it was great to see some of my extended family among the faces in the audience.
As was the case with my first event in Portlaoise last week, I opened the event by giving a brief introduction to the aspirational lifestyle for 1960s housewives as laid out in the pages of women’s magazines, and I also brought along a few of the items that will be on display at the Modern Wife, Modern Life exhibition that opens at the National Print Museum of Ireland in July.
Once again, it was fascinating to hear the reminiscences of those who remember the 1960s. And this time — compared to Portlaoise when the audience was composed mostly of those from a farming background — those in attendance today had a more urban outlook. As the road shows progress, the blend of lived experiences will grow; it’s something I’m particularly looking forward to.
One thing that came up in the discussion after my talk was the suitability of items for the People’s Archive I’m creating. I was asked if I’d be interested in a copper kettle or a mixing bowl. The answer is resolutely YES! I sense that people are sometimes unsure as to what constitutes an acceptable item, perhaps thinking that diaries or medals, for example, are preferable. The truth is, I’d like to include ANYTHING from the 1960s that people still have in their homes; there really is no limit.
Up next is Dun Laoghaire on 26 May. I hope to see some of you there!