3.4 The ‘Hungry Thirties’
Life in Britain in the 1930s was hard for some – a period often called the ‘Hungry Thirties’ because of the high levels of unemployment and poverty at the time. But for some people in Britain, there was an improvement in their lives. These two films show the contrast between the two experiences for people in Britain in the 1930s.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
6 MINS 30 SECS, NO SOUND, B/W, 1930-39
When America was hit by the Great Depression in the 1930s, many Americans could not buy goods from abroad, which meant factory closures in other countries too. Millions lost their jobs in France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Britain. This footage shows what typical life was like in Britain in the period often called the ‘Hungry Thirties’ because of high levels of unemployment and poverty at the time.
CAR FACTORY WORKERS
0 MIN 30 SECS, NO SOUND, B/W, 1930-39
Despite the financial crash of the 1930s, some industries continued to prosper. Consumer products were becoming very popular and affordable, like cars and radios. This footage shows a busy car factory in the USA. There were many car factories like this in Britain in the 1930s, including in places like Coventry.