Living in the past: lifestyles from bygone eras

Sick of 2020? Growing numbers of people are turning back the hands of time, drawn by a retro aesthetic and a comforting sense of nostalgia

Every Saturday evening, a suburban street in Greater Manchester bears witness to a peculiar sight: at the first-floor bay window of a 1930s semi, top-hatted heads bow over a platter of Victoria sponge slices, silhouetted against the sepia light of a gasoline lamp. Eavesdroppers might even catch the strains of Gilbert and Sullivan issuing from an 1890s gramophone as Michael Koropisz, a 24-year-old portrait artist who goes about his daily life as if he’s a well-to-do Briton of the 1890s, stages a tea party for fellow Victorian enthusiasts.

“We do get children pointing and laughing, and passersby taking selfies in front of us,” says Koropisz, who wears a top hat and 120-year-old frock coat, and adheres to a “pious” code of conduct.

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