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Britain Since the 1930s

by Mandy Barrow
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Entertainment during the War

Entertainment played an important part during the war in keeping everyone happy, hopeful and informed.


During the war, although television had been invented, very few people had one and people relied much more on the cinema for entertainment. Cinema audiences grew from 20 million to 32 million making 'going to the pictures' the most popular form of entertainment during the war

Most cinemas showed children's films as well as films for adults.

In between showing the films, people watched the Pathe news at the cinema to help them keep informed, or possibly misinformed, on how the war was going. Information films were also shown at the cinema to show people how to behave and act during war.

Radio (wireless)

What was the importance of the wireless during the war?

The radio kept people informed with what was happening in the war.

As most homes didn't have a television set until the 1950s and 60s, the radio was the main form of home communication and entertainment during the war. Eight out every ten families in Britain owned a radio.

Besides news and information, there were music programmes, talks and comedy shows. The famous singer Vera Lynn had her own programme. The radio was an important way to keep cheerful during the war.


Dancing was one of the most popular hobbies during the war. Ballrooms and church halls were always packed with people dancing.

Due to a shortage of men, sometimes girls would dance with other girls.


In the 1930s, big bands and swing music were popular.

One of the most popular singers of this time was Vera Lynn who sang songs like "We'll meet again" and "There'll be blue birds over the white cliffs of Dover".


When war broke out, most familiar sporting events were stopped.

Children Games

Children did not play computer games. Instead they played board games.


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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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