Postscript 14 July 1940

In the BBC Postscript broadcast for 14 July, Priestley reflected on a visit to Margate, which he described as “the strangest journey I ever remember making in this country”.  The journey felt like a dream: permits, tin hats, guns, bombed buildings, road signs removed.  When they finally arrived in Margate, the summer seaside town was completely empty of people, ghost-like.  “Here we were, alone, hearing our own footfalls on the lifeless promenade”.  He evoked the Margate of old, full of people and entertainment, a world he knew well, as would his readers.

Priestley used his strange journey through a changed England to make a point he was to repeat throughout the Postscripts: the war should not be fought just to restore the past, but to bring about a better future.  He would not want the old Margate back, just as it was, by some magic.  “Its silence and desolation should be thought of as a bridge leading us to a better Margate in a better England, in a nobler world.  We’re not fighting to restore the past;  it was the past that brought us to this heavy hour”.

2 responses to “Postscript 14 July 1940

  1. Hello Sid, thanks for sharing that. There’s some information about getting hold of the actual Postscript texts in this post

  2. Sunday 14 July 1940, It was my six birthday, I was living with my parents in Margtae. Listening to Radio 4e this morning, Sunday 20 November 11, brought back vague memories which I should like to follow up. Where can I find the written post script – A trip to Margate 1940 – by J B Preistley -please.

    Sid Farmer 77

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