Victorian Teenagers

Two women in their nineties talk about being teenagers in Victoria’s time in a 1970 BBC documentary

In a historical excerpt from the 1970 BBC short documentary Yesterday’s Witness: Two Victorian Girls, nonagenarians Frances “Effy” Jones and Berta Ruck say they grew up in the UK during the Victorian era. Jones, who lived in London, remembers her days as a bold young woman who wasn’t afraid to take up new hobbies and skills. Ruck recalled growing up in Wales before moving to London.

Frances ‘Effy’ Jones – one of the first women to be trained to use a typewriter and to make cycling a hobby – recalls life as a young working girl in London. Berta Ruck, a romantic novelist, recalls her formative years at art school and the culture shock she suffered after leaving her secluded Welsh countryside home for the muddy bustle in the heart of Victorian London .

Both women were very happy to remember their formative years and said they were very proud of when they did it.

We never called ourselves teenagers – but we were certainly Victorians and quite proud of it.

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