Old Magazines: Woman’s Weekly February 1950

Today I’ve been scanning some old magazines again and wanted to share this one with you.

This is the English Woman’s Weekly. Mum read this magazine for most of her adult life. It was always her favourite although she enjoyed others.

The front page

This issue is from 1950 and I find it interesting for several reasons. It is quite a small magazine, not so many pages as ones that were to come in the future and entirely in black and white except for the header on the front cover. Of course at this stage many things in Britain were still rationed but there are signs from the advertisements that the austerity era is coming to an end.

There are ads for appliances for the home like hot water heaters and wringers. Some of the everyday items advertised are still around today. Some of the home remedies don’t sound so hot though. I know what gripe water is but I don’t like the sound of Bile Beans.

What I didn’t find amongst the advertisements were any for travel or holidays. In later years the magazine carried a lot of this type of advertising and had regular travel articles but as yet people can’t afford to travel for leisure very much.

Magazines are also a great way to see what people wore, what cosmetics they used and how they wore their hair. I’m sure many short of cash housewives found this advice useful.

How to disguise when your perm grows out.

There was always a lot of knitting in the Woman’s Weekly. I don’t recall ever seeing an issue that didn’t have at least one pattern in it. Often there were sewing patterns too. Sometimes there would be a printed pattern to enlarge and sometimes a coupon to send away for the pattern and fabric to make a dress, skirt or suit. There were also lots of patterns to make toys of all kinds, knitted, crocheted or sewn and mum would often save these as she enjoyed making toys and dolls clothes.

Patterns for toys.

Mum also enjoyed the fiction in her magazines. Every week there would be a continuing serial or two and a couple of short stories. I have to admit that when thumbing through old magazines I often stop to read them too.

Finally the regular feature writers. For many years the Woman’s Weekly “Agony Aunt” page was a feature near the back of the magazine. Here she is formally called Mrs Marryat but by the time I started reading this column, probably in the early or mid seventies she was referred to as Mary Marryat, a sign of changing times. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy reading the problem pages. The British ones especially often dealt with matters of etiquette as well as romantic or personal problems. It is important to know when you should wear gloves and what the duties of the Mother of the Bride are.

Another regular was “Man Who Sees” who was obviously a parson and there were articles about the Royal Family and film or theatre celebrities of course although nothing like the media circus we have today.

Mrs Marryat Advises readers.


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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