This film is part of Free

Hints and Tips No. 4

A lampshade fit for a drag queen and frugal food in an age before Delia Smith. Who says austerity can't be fun?

Instructional film/TV programme 1945 16 mins Silent


The Hints and Tips series always teetered on the absurd, but this edition utterly embraces camp, with a fabulous feathery lampshade, gigantic egg cosies and a commentary that haphazardly drops in American non-sequiturs ("New potatoes at Christmas time?! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!") The cooking tips, meanwhile, offer an invaluable insight into how families coped on meagre rations.

In an age of austerity, the 1940s Hints and Tips series offered housewives tips on how to avoid waste and create charming household items at a low price. The films blended humour with practical advice and were aimed at a female audience, with the usually off-screen husband often the subject of gentle mockery.