Have you ever seen the BBC2 Series ‘Back In Time For Dinner’? It followed the Robshaw family experience 5 decades of trends in British cuisine, where the family had to ‘live’ the decade and prepare and eat typical food of the day – using cooking utensils from whichever era they were living during each episode. You try making food for a family without a microwave or modern cooker! Over 3 million viewers enjoyed each episode when it aired on BBC2 in March this year. The series was so popular that the BBC has commissioned a 2nd series entitled ‘Back In Time For The Weekend’ following a different family on a time-travelling adventure to show how the way we spend our spare time has undergone a revolution over the last 65 years, transforming our homes, our hobbies and our family dynamics along the way.
The BBC were keen to include a section in their next 60’s episode about how women were choosing to do more with their spare time than be housewives at that time and were taking up part time and full time work with companies like ours. They contacted us and asked us if we could find a lady who worked for Betterware in the 60’s as they were keen for us to take part.
Rosie Smith, Head of Communications for Betterware said:
“We searched high and low for a lady who had worked with us in the 60’s and thanks to retired RSE Doug Moye we traced a former ‘Betterwear Sales Agent’ who was with us from 1963 – 1971. Helen Watson worked in the Norwich area and remembered the time fondly; she was a mine of information but nothing we could do would persuade her to ‘go on the telly!’ So I was nominated to take part .”
The filming took place in London at the beginning of August and will be seen in the new series which airs in Spring, 2016.
“It was a really interesting day because one minute we were meant to actually be in the 60’s and the next minute we were reflecting about how it had been in those days, so it took a bit of getting used to. The lady of the house had no idea I would be knocking on her door as her local Betterware lady, so her reactions are all absolutely genuine. I was invited in with my vintage suitcase full of vintage products and we spent the next few hours talking about Betterware products of the era and what it was like to be a Betterware lady in the 60’s (spelled Betterwear at that time). Thank goodness Helen had given me lots of background! The BBC team were particularly impressed that we had been an equal opportunities company and that women earned exactly the same commission as men, which was extremely unusual at that time. Although the BBC are very reticent to promote ‘brands’ on any of its TV or Radio shows and will no doubt do a lot of editing and voiceovers on what we recorded, there’s absolutely no way that viewers will be left in any doubt that the lady of the house is sitting having tea with a Betterware lady.”
Some of the 60’s products Rosie had in her suitcase…..
“We had a number of products from the 60’s era at head office, donated by customers for the most part and some we’ve managed to buy from Ebay. The ‘Teliplate’ was used to clip onto teacup saucers so you could put your biscuits on them while watching TV, but try as the director might she couldn’t get one to fit a modern saucer. In fact she tried so hard she cracked one of them, much to her horror! The lady of the house loved the ‘Crinoline Lady’ brush set as well and particularly liked the avocado ‘Soup Bowls’.”
‘This is the leaflet I used in the filming and is one of the original leaflet/brochures which Betterware representatives would have shown to housewives. They showcased the latest products the company had to offer and as many of the products were far too big to fit in a suitcase the Betterware lady or man would probably have had samples of them in his/her car.’
‘The hit product of the day with the production team and the ’60’s housewife’ was the ‘Betterwear Egg Squarer’. Once you had boiled and peeled an egg you put it into the Egg Squarer, screwed down the lid and hey presto, after it had cooled you had a square egg. Much easier to slice!’
It will be great to see our fantastic brand and sales team discussed and represented in front of millions of viewers, although I have to say I’m more than a little nervous about how I’ll look in HD TV! Ah well, you can’t talk about vintage products without a few wrinkles, can you?’
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