London: Faber and Faber, 2009. Ronald Searle (illustrations). Paperback. New. B/W illustrations. 74 pp. Item #11524
Mass Observation was founded by Tom Harrisson, Charles Madge and Humphrey Jennings in 1937. Its purpose was to create 'an anthropology of ourselves' in other words, to study the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. Discounting an initial pamphlet, this was the nineteenth book to be published. It appears in Faber Finds as a part of an extensive reissue programme of the original Mass Observation titles.
Both Meet Yourself on Sunday and its companion Meet Yourself at the Doctor's were first published in 1949 towards the end of Mass Observation's initial period. They share something else in common: they are both gloriously illustrated by Ronald Searle.
Meet Yourself on Sunday shows how the day of rest was spent in 1949. Here is Sunday in parks, pubs and prisons, in towns and at the seaside, in places as far apart as Soho and a remote Somerset village. 'Observers' go into people's homes to find out how they spend Sundays, to see who goes to Church and who does not.
This is a deliciously funny piece of social history; Sunday was a bit boring, one almost expects Tony Hancock to deliver a soliloquy from Railway Cuttings, East Cheam!