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About The Home was an essential part of afternoon viewing for many British women in the 1950s.
The long-running programme was designed to help housewives improve their domestic skills, such as cookery and needlework, although other items covered included shopping, deportment and even puppy training. About The Home also frequently did things with raffia. Whatever happened to raffia?
Hope improvement tips from Barry Bucknell proved so popular when he first appeared on the show in September 1956 that he was given his own series, Do It Yourself, in 1957.
He then moved on to Bucknell’s House (1962) where he transformed an almost derelict terraced house in Ealing into a trim modern dwelling. He always dressed smartly for a handyman, in dark trousers and a striped shirt with a collar and tie. This made him as reassuring to his 6 million-strong television audience as a family doctor.
In the 1960s, Bucknell opened up the expensive pleasures of sailing to the younger generation when he designed the Mirror dinghy – a small boat with a chopped-off pram-like bow, space (just) for three people, and the ability to be towed on a light easily affordable trailer.
More than 90,000 of the dinghies (supported by the Daily Mirror) were sold.
Barry Bucknell died in February 2003, aged 91.