Ralph and Mary met at the Department Store ‘Binns’ in Newcastle. She worked in ladies wear and he was working in the basement setting up televisions and radios, and repairing them.
Essex miniature sewing machines were manufactured between 1946 and 1956 by the Essex Engineering Works, Wanstead, London. We see them today as a vintage child’s toy but they were actually produced to fill a need in the market, after WWII, for making and repairing clothing. Rationing was in full force and people were still in the mindset, through necessity, of ‘Make Do and Mend’.