Friday, 13 January 2017

Minor Meat Cuts Poster (1973)

An excerpt from a 1973 speech by Scarfolk's Minister for Family Welfare and Catering:

"In times of economic crisis, cuts are inevitable. We feel, however, that the citizens of Scarfolk should be directly involved in the process of how these cuts are implemented and that is why every household will soon receive a booklet describing all the cuts we currently recommend..."

Two weeks after the speech, thousands of poor families received Charcuterie for Beginners, which contained several pull-out posters, one of which is presented above.

More food-related austerity solutions from 1973 see HERE and HERE.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Real British Living Cement

Scarfolk's elite lived in hillside enclaves on both sides of the town. In 1971, these rich, wealthy and powerful residents decided that they wanted to travel freely between each other without having to pass through town where they might "contract a disease such as rabies or poverty from one of the underdeveloped proles".

They resolved to build a vast bridge over the town but soon learned that the costs would be exorbitant. Collaborating with the council and building contractors, they invented a new, cheaper cement aggregate that was not only "freely available and completely natural" but it also helped to reduce spending in other areas, mainly social welfare.

For weeks after the opening of the bridge, the muffled cries and groans that could be heard coming from within the structure were ascribed to high winds. It was only when limbs and other body parts began poking through the time-worn concrete years later that the bridge acquired its nickname "the big bridge in which all the worthless missing townspeople are buried".

Local business leaders were outraged that the truth had not come to light much earlier, especially because they had missed out on years of exploiting the bridge as a tourist destination.

More cement-related artefacts HERE.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Radio Times Christmas Issue

Everyone at Scarfolk Council wishes you a very merry final Christmas before the inevitable apocalypse.

Here's your festive double issue of the Radio Times, which covers Christmas to the new year (or the end of time, whichever comes first.)

Learn more about the jolly apocalypse HERE.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Disposable Children Bags

Discarded children were a serious problem in 1970s Scarfolk. Adults who had decided against parenthood, whether for reasons of finance or boredom, would dump their offspring in sacks by roadsides or in laybys.

Hungry children who had not been given the required sedative dosages often chewed their way out of the sacks and wandered into speeding traffic. Not only did these unwanted children cause hours of unnecessary delays to motorists, but a study showed that discarded children were responsible for close to a million pounds worth of damage to car bonnets, bumpers and windscreens in 1974 alone.

From January 1975, any 'Bag Baby' (as they came to be known) involved in a road accident that incurred costs to motorists, risked a fine of up to £125.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

BBC Sound Effects Records (early 1970s)

In the early 1970s, the BBC produced numerous sound effects records. Though many were created for educational purposes, such as 'Squeaky Eyeballs' (1973), the public were encouraged to utilise the more practical releases in their daily lives.
Expressing emotion or personal thoughts in both private and public had long been outlawed. Records such as 'British Tutting' (1970) allowed the disgruntled listener to listen to a variety of legally sanctioned tuts as a sort of surrogate expression of displeasure. Equally, 'Inconsolable Weeping in Libraries' was a soothing, lawful substitute for the act itself.
As familial contentment was also prohibited in the 1970s (apart from at Christmas when it was compulsory. See HERE), some families, frightened that their satisfaction might be discovered and reported, opted for albums such as those from the BBC's Divorce Series, which they would play at elevated volumes for the ears of prying neighbours or passing government agents.

Not all deceptions were successful. If a family was arrested they would be taken to their local police station where, while waiting to be interrogated by specialised officers, they might be played an album such as 'Uncomfortable Silences'.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Council Advent Cards

In 1970s Scarfolk, the council sent out personalised advent cards to all its citizens.

Not only did the cards hint cryptically at policies due to be introduced in the new year, but they were also frequently accompanied by updated citizen expiration details (see HERE).

The more observant among you may have spotted Charlie Barn on the roof.
More on advent HERE.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

1970s Pornography

Even an archive as respectable as Scarfolk's contains artefacts that some might deem offensive. In 1970s Britain, many aspects of life became increasingly sexualised, though sex was rarely one of them.

As you look at these pornographic magazines, which were aimed at lovers of Brutalism, please remember that the 1970s were a very different time with its own mores and values.

Click on the brown paper bag to access the magazines. You must be over the age of 18* (SFW). 

 *with a City & Guilds qualification in town planning.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Mandatory De-education Classes

Post-Truthism is nothing new. Following the Truth Reform Act of 1976, it became every citizen's civic duty to attend de-education classes. The state instinctively felt that knowledge and the educated people who wield it destablize governmental plans, especially those that routinely and deliberately disregard verifiable facts.

According to one de-education textbook: "A good or 'Schrödinger' fact is simultaneously true and untrue until such a time that someone in authority tells you which, though they may change their mind or substitute the fact entirely for another piece of information, fabricated or otherwise, that suits their personal or political needs."

It could take many years for a citizen to unlearn everything, particularly because they first had to learn the complex method of how to unlearn. (Also see the How to Burn Books book).

Additionally, because de-education classes were compulsory (and expensive), some people opted instead for lobotomies by backstreet barber-surgeons, who, it was later revealed, received government funding. These unregistered practitioners would lay their patients' heads on the bottom step of a staircase, then release a Slinky attached to a sledgehammer from the top step. If this procedure was unsuccessful, they would force the patients to binge-watch ITV talent shows such as Opportunity Knocks or the BBC's Come Dancing programme.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The "Easy as 1-2-3" Campaign

From the launch of the 'Easy as 1-2-3' campaign:

"We live in worrying times. Many residents require help but feel that they are unable to discuss with the council the social issues that affect them.

While it is true that a) we adhere to a strict policy of not answering our public helpline telephones and b) our offices cannot be approached without the aid of a mine detector, we would like to alleviate any concerns you may have.

In the coming weeks you will see posters [see above] placed in public areas around the town. Read them thoroughly. They contain all the details you need to go about your daily life. You do not require any additional information from the council. Further solicitations for help or support, even in alleged emergencies, could incur a fine of up to £500."

Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween Masks

(Page taken from the weekly children's hobby magazine 'Which Craft?')

In 1970s Scarfolk, children liked to make Halloween masks out of everyday household items such old curtains, ritually-sacrificed livestock and executed criminals.

The latter were so sought-after that mischievous children planted evidence of crimes that ensured the arrest and capital punishment of relatives in the hope of inheriting a head with which to make a mask.

Happy Halloween/Samhain from everyone at Scarfolk Council!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Economy & Currency Fly-Tipping (1970s)

When the pound's value suddenly plummeted in 1972 to its lowest in 170 years and became virtually worthless, people started throwing out all their money. Piles of discarded coins and banknotes littered the streets. Scarfolk's binmen were so overwhelmed that they went on strike, demanding a £4 pay rise.

Despite campaigns to stop currency fly-tipping (see above and below), the government, unable to cope with the mountains of useless sterling, created an ingenious scheme: It advised citizens to hold on to their money and use it instead to trade for basic items such as food and shelter. It even suggested that interim emergency values be attributed to the useless cash. The recommended value for a five pence piece, for example, was five pence.

The only way Britons could earn real money was by making tea and biscuits which were rushed in mass flotillas of little ships to the continent - evoking the evacuation of Dunkirk - where they were sold to Europeans on their tea breaks.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Points-Based Citizenship (1972-)

While politicians debated a points-based system for immigrants in the early 1970s, Scarfolk went a step further and introduced a similar system for existing citizens.

The council didn't see why it should be burdened with unimportant, objectionable people.

Surprisingly, many citizens had never even entertained the idea that their country of birth was purely accidental and that their value to society might be lower than that of a pack of disposable nappies or a plate of tripe*, nevermind better educated, more civilised foreigners.

Between 1972 and 1976 thousands of British citizens were deported to an immense raft which floated five miles off the coast of Blackpool. Realising that they were now the foreigners they had previously denigrated, the deportees hurled racist abuse at themselves and each other and frequently got into fights.

* see Citizen Values for further details.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Foreigner Identification Badges (1974)

From 1974, all foreigners (as well as citizens friendly to foreigners) were required by law to wear identification badges. The image above is just one page from a hefty, six volume guide distributed to local councils and border officials. The glossy guide and badges were so expensive to produce that they were manufactured abroad because the dwindling UK print industry no longer had adequate resources.

Additionally, the first print run of the guide had to be recalled after a typo was discovered: A foreign typesetter had accidently rendered every instance of the word 'British' as 'Brutish'.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Accidents in the Workplace (1971)

In the first half of the 1970s, accidents in the workplace increased one-hundred fold, largely because work equipment and machinery were poorly maintained by employers. In fact, health and safety guidelines were so frequently overlooked by corporations that the government could see no reason why employees shouldn't be able to accurately foresee and schedule the life-changing accidents that would befall them; especially because every major company was obliged to provide its workers, as per union regulations, with the services of a clairvoyant or witch.

In January 1971 the scheduling of accidents became policy. The state would only pay disability benefits and/or sick pay if the time and nature of an employee's workplace accident had been approved in advance by his employer.

Employees who had unplanned accidents as a result of their employer's negligence were accused of unprofessionalism and many were fired for damaging company resources and impeding productivity.

Some enterprises, however, turned the nuisance of careless workers to their advantage: One company that manufactured metal warning and safety signs for Scarfolk Council saw its employees mutilated by volatile machinery so many times that it stopped sign-making and moved into the far more lucrative decorative finger business.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

"Positive Outlook? Look Out!" (1976)

In the hot summer of 1976, people were enjoying the rare sunshine and the opportunity to socialise, sometimes even with foreigners. Scarfolk Council became concerned that its citizens were developing something akin to happiness, which it considered a destabilising threat to its authority.

Government operatives illicitly carried out false-flag acts of terror in an attempt to discourage positivity and regain control, but Scarfolk citizens were undeterred.

Fearing that this pandemic of cheerfulness was a prelude to social breakdown, perhaps even leading to revolution, the government quickly passed a health bill to formally recategorise "psychological states such as contentment, gratification and satisfaction" as mental illnesses "as dangerous in their effects as diseases such as rabies".

The above poster, which played on deep-seated personal doubts, appeared on the walls of cafes and restaurants, leisure centres and in other locations where people might be at risk of enjoying themselves or becoming contaminated by peace-of-mind