PICNICS IN THE LATE 1940s AND 1960s
Interviewed April 1992 by Gail O'Hanlon p.26.
GO'H One question I didn't ask you about earlier was picnics, as a child. Did your family ever go on picnics?
WIESE Oh yes, we did. Often in the holidays. We had lovely rocky areas around and either friends or relations - everyone seemed to have a large family of children, so it was probably an ideal way to entertain - and everybody would bring their particular picnic, but they would pool it. They'd set out the rug on the rocks and while the children were leaping over the rocks, they'd spread out this WONDERFUL picnic. So it was a very social occasion and once again like a party, because you never ate your own mother's food but [laughs] you'd like to eat your aunt's food because it was something different and therefore, much more exciting.
GO'H What sort of foods would be prepared for the picnics?
WIESE Well, probably different types of meat. People made their own sausages, and Mum had a lovely Aberdeen sausage which I mentioned before which was really yummy sliced, and they'd make those type of things that you could slice up, as well as cold meat and homemade chutneys. I suppose there was a finger salad, you know, carrot, cheese, tomato, that you could pick up - and bread. But other people would make little pastry things that were quite yummy and of course there were always yummy cakes. Everyone would bring their favourite cakes so by the time you'd tasted everybody's it was like a wonderful party. On holidays we'd do the same. All the relations would gather at the beach on a nice warm evening and do the same thing while the children played and fell in the water; or else King's Park, something like that.
GO'H Would you cook meat at the picnic, or would you take it already cooked?
WIESE Rarely we would cook it. This is as a child I remember. We rarely cooked lamb chops over an open fire. But picnics also played a large part in my own family's....... bringing up of my own children. Often in the holidays, friends would come out in spring and we'd have a picnic at one of the beautiful places on the farm, and I guess most times we cooked our sausages or chops or steak because it was sort of exciting for the boys to gather the sticks and light the fire and then they'd cook marshmallows. That was just a treat. They'd stick a marshmallow on the end of a stick, at the end of the meal. [laughs]
But yes, so we tended to always have a barbecue because it was the fun of lighting the fire; and salad and buns and apple cake or some sort of sweet thing, and then fruit, and we'd either boil the billy and make proper tea, billy tea, or take a thermos. We'd usually take an orange juice or a bottle of lemonade or something for the children.
(Battye Library OH 2452/9)