This Woman Lives Every Day Like It’s 1939 - And Is Looking For Love


We can imagine it’s pretty hard to find someone willing to share your life with you, if you live in the past. [Photo: SWNS]

For the last decade, Joanne Frances has been living life as if the Second World War has just broken out.

The 41-year-old has eschewed modern life and technology in favour an authentic wartime existence.

She no computer, washing machine, television or car – instead cycling to work on an 80-year-old pedal bike.

Living most days in an authentic Land Girl’s uniform, she sometimes spends the evening in an air-raid shelter she built in the garden.

The woman, who works as a cleaner, has committed to the austere life of the 1940s – having ditched central heating for coal fires and using an outside toilet.


Joanne has built an air-raid shelter in her garden. [Photo: SWNS]

She even once attempted to live off the equivalent of rations.

But one thing is missing from her life – a wartime husband.

“I would like to meet someone,” she said. “I’ve had few boyfriends, but I know I’m a bit of a novelty and once that novelty wears off, well, most people find me quite hard to live with.

"But I haven’t entirely given up hope – I mean, I still like to think that I am a pretty good catch.

"I would have their tea on their table when they came home from work, I’d do their washing and ironing. In fact, I’d take care of everything.

"The only problem is that most people who want that kind of housewife are either in their 90s or dead.


Joanne wants to be a wartime wife. [Photo: SWNS]

"I might just have to accept that I was born just a few decades too late. But until then I will keep on looking.”

Joanne, who lives in the pretty village of Burton-upon-Stather in North Lincolnshire, said the lifestyle began in earnest a decade ago.

“Every morning I come downstairs and empty my chamber pot in the loo outside. People think it’s a hardship but it’s not – you get used to it,” she said.

“I think the neighbours realised I was serious when I ripped out the kitchen and bathroom as soon as I moved in.

"The units were just too modern. Besides, I wouldn’t have had a bathroom in 1939 and I definitely wouldn’t have had a Jacuzzi bath.”


Her obsession with wartime memorabilia started at a young age. [Photo: SWNS]

“I’ve got bloomers the size of barrage balloons too,” she added. “I look like I’ve stepped off the set of Upstairs Downstairs.

"People tend to be much more civil to me when I’m dressed like this and I honestly think it makes me a better cleaner.”

She said that she has always been attracted to the period.

"I remember walking into museums and thinking: ‘It feels like I’ve come home’,” she said.


Joanne cycles to work on an 80-year-old bike. [Photo: SWNS]

“I began collecting bits of pieces of memorabilia from quite an early age, but it was only when I moved in here 10 years ago that I guess it became a full-time lifestyle.

"I still have a good social life and enjoy a beer or a glass of whiskey,” she told website 'Survivor 79.

It’s not always been an easy lifestyle to adapt to, she admits.

“One year I did try to live off the equivalent of rations, but that was a step too far even for me,” she said.

“I’d make a sandwich and realise that I’d eaten an entire week’s ration of cheese.”

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