To Huddersfield yesterday - I'll explain why in a moment - and the second time of late that I've been there on a Saturday and so shopped at the excellent tat stalls in the glorious town centre open market.
What you need to remember about flea markets is most of it is complete rubbish - bags of assorted screws, scruffy VHS copies of unsuccessful films, chipped coronation mugs. All those were there - plus some Northern Soul singles, a touch of militaria, and, and ...
Well, look above. I was well pleased to find this - a wartime propaganda leaflet, German, and dropped over Britain, says this specialist website, in June-July 1941, when it did indeed seem that we might be losing the war,
It's cleverly done - much more sophisticated than much wartime psyops material. It proclaims that German bombers and U-boats were decimating allied shipping across the Atlantic, and that as a result: 'If the war is continued until 1942, 60% of the population of Britain will starve!'
'All this means that starvation in Britain is not to be staved off. At the most it can be postponed, but whether starvation comes this year or at the beginning of next doesn't make a ha'porth of difference. Britain must starve because she is being cut off from her supplies.'
Did you pause on 'ha'porth'? Half-penny-worth. It will have struck readers then as now that the Germans were going to some effort to communicate in everyday language.
You do wonder how this fragile sheet of paper came to be picked up, kept (and well kept), and a lifetime later ends up on a stall at Huddersfield market. But whoever kept it safe for so many years. thank you! I don't like Nazi memorabilia at all - but this telling remnant of the most difficult days of the Second World War is a welcome addition to my collection.
And what takes me to Huddersfield? Watching Town, of course. It's an enthusiasm I share with my son. And yesterday they won 2-0 against Ipswich - thanks for asking! Huddersfield Town are currently standing third in the Championship. Third! Just one place off automatic promotion to the Premiership.
And what's particularly nice about travelling by train to Huddersfield is arriving there - one of the most elegant stations around. I've seen some Parliament buildings with less grandeur.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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