More On Overlapping Time



In my ongoing look at overlapping time, here’s a rather lovely example. A singer who has a new album out at the moment first sang when Sigmund Romburg had a hit with The Drinking Song. Dame Vera Lynn was seven when she started, and she’s 100 now. The ‘Forces Sweetheart’ is to have her face projected onto the white cliffs of Dover in tribute.

In 1942’s The White Cliffs of Dover she sang in reference to the RAF pilots in their blue uniforms — the “bluebirds” — who would prevail against Nazi Germany and return home victorious. She was awarded the British War Medal and the Burma Star after the war. The new album makes her the worlds oldest recording star, and even features a new previously lost track.

When future historians come to look back at the British 20th century, it’s likely that they won’t regard people like me as the ‘New Elizabethans’, the term that was bandied about but never really stuck (the idea being to reference Elizabeth II being on the throne, not to enlightened ideas) but as ‘Late Victorians’ due to the fact that we lived (and still live) as Victorians did, in social structure, housing, education and the arts.

But to qualify as a true Edwardian Dame Vera would need to be 101 today, so there are some people around who are still true Edwardians in the 21st century. The last those whose lives could have spanned three centuries have now died – but only just!

9 comments on “More On Overlapping Time”

  1. Jan says:

    I don’t want to sour Dame Vera’s big birthday and she has had a truly remarkable life. But I remember my dad who was in the Fleet air arm in WW2 and his buddies always saying that Ann SHELTON “Betty Driver of Betty’s hotpot fame in Coronation street was the northern forces
    Sweetheart at the time of the war.

  2. Jan says:

    Did you see that news item last week that said the first person who will die on another planet has probably been born in the past few years.
    Now that’s a weird old thought.

  3. Vivienne says:

    Interesting to know what this era will be named eventually. The 20th century saw such change it will be hard to put in one category one imagines. I remember being quite surprised when reading a book set in New York that a house was described as Victorian. No such possibility of that sort of categorisation: building styles seem to change every ten years. I agree not New Elizabethan, in the same way George V and VI didn’t get called Georgian.

  4. Davem says:

    We are currently in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

  5. Linda says:

    My grandson was born in 1998,
    I will be Long gone but I hope he gets to live in three centuries.

  6. Jan says:

    Another dad fact. It would have been his birthday a few days back probably just on my mind. Dad told me that when he was at secondary school they all got to line up outside in the playground to watch Amy Johnson fly by on her way to Ringway now Manchester airport. In his late sixties he,watched the space shuttle fly by as part of an organised schedule of visits to British airports. Amazing the changes that took place in his lifetime.

    The pace of change is different now but as Davem refers to above this is the fourth wave of the industrial revolution. Deep fundamental change is happening around us.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    My Dad’s b-day was 4 March, so Dad thoughts were flying here, too. In case I miss the day – Happy Birthday upcoming, Chris.

  8. Chris Hughes says:

    Sorry, Jan, Anne Shelton and Betty Driver were two different singers. Betty Driver was a northern lady but Anne Shelton was a Londoner and was the original Forces’ Sweetheart. After the war she lived in Dulwich in south London and I once found myself next to her in Peckham’s famous department store, Jones & Higgins. She was very glamorous in a large hat buying sweets and we were very impressed with the chauffeur and large car awaiting her outside!

  9. Jan says:

    Right I must have got that,well mixed up….this is the result of me n it listed ing to dad,properly.

    Betty Driver was a wartime singer though wasn’t she??
    Sorry been working last few days not ha f time to browse.

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