All our yesterdays – A woman’s place is in the home

Part 9 of our blog series taking a retrospective look back at the history of our community – Spring 1976.

Back in 2014-5, KLS Member Howard Webber wrote a series of articles for our community magazine casting a light on days gone by. He had been looking through copies of our publications from the inception of our community in 1967 and throughout the Seventies. We are now re-publishing these articles for a wider audience – we hope you will enjoy Howard’s inimitable style as he accompanies us into yesteryear…….(please note, that where individuals are no longer with us, we refer to them by their initials).

The question of age was oddly in the air in the mid-1970s. Two very popular films of the time were the excellent Soylent Green and the less excellent Logan’s Run (check them out if new to you); and then we have the Young Marrieds. (And the PS below.)

I apologise unreservedly for the paragraph above.

Where were we – oh yes, the Valentine’s Day debate of 1976, and the Young Marrieds’ shock decision to become the Really Young Marrieds, with an age limit of 33; after which, presumably, they became the Middle-Aged Marrieds.

At said debate, PFJ – surely not an obvious choice – proposed the motion that ‘Woman’s Place is in the Home’, seconded by RC (in whose home the debate was held). The opposition came from WJ and Nick O. In the March 1976 Kingston News, P reported that she and R were ‘still feeling a little smug that, despite the overflowing of women’s lib all around us’, they lost the debate by only one vote; a bit shocking given that, as reported by P, R ‘did threaten to lock [R, his wife] in her room while it was going on, so that she couldn’t hear what was said’. Political incorrectness gone mad…  

Meanwhile, bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be a Young Married was very heaven. March KN reported that as a consequence of their age decision, the Young Marrieds would be voting at their AGM for ‘the new Chairman, other officers and committee, who must be either under 33 or married to someone under 33’. (The result, according to April’s issue was the election of officers including those Bright Young Things Norman H, Paul L and Jenny O.) Nor was this all: there was an attempt by those cast out by this age bar to create a new social group. A meeting was announced for April 1976 to adopt a constitution for this group; but as far as I can see, it was not heard of again. Does anyone know what happened to it?  

In premises news, the Rushett Road building was taking shape, thanks (in DD’s words) to an ‘all-too-small team of devoted members… led by GZ and Nick O’; the first KLS AGM in Rushett Road was scheduled for 30 March 1976; and the sinister KGB Youth Club was invited to demolish an unwanted wall in their clubhouse.

And in unrelated news, the Women’s Society had a ‘TVP demonstration’. Who remembers the initials TVP? At one time they looked like the future… Members were offered ‘delicious tasters of steak, liver and sausages, surprisingly made of Soya bean and not surprisingly, no one realised!’.


And PS: The February KN carried an advertisement for the Kadimah summer camp, with age range ‘Girls 9-14, Boys 9-15’. What was there about Kadimah that made it suitable for 15-year-old boys but unsuitable for 15-year-old girls? I think we should be told.