Make Do And Mend

Sherborne Museum

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Sherborne Bombing 70 Years On

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Supported through
'Their Past Your Future 2' (TPYF2) Programme



All | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950

Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
North East
1939 - 1945

"We lived in a semi-detached house in Sheffield. I was two. I remember hearing Great-Grandfather had been a table knife grinder. I remember the noise of the bombers coming over Sheffield. Our shelter was underneath in the cellar. We had metal beds in it and I was in the underneath one. Neighbouts used to come in and share our shelter with us. They made it exciting - not frightening.
I was a long awaited child. My father worked in the steel works. I had wanted a teddy bear and one night be went into Sheffield's large department store called Atkinsons and came home with this teddy in his siren suit. Stores stayed open longer in those days so he was able to go in and buy it on his way home from work. He just got there in time. That night the store was bombed and raised to the ground. Teddy was the last toy sold there. He will be 70 on 12th December.!
I remember when the whole of Sheffield was bombed one night. 17 restaurants were hit in one night. Next day Dad returned from work and had see firement outside of a pork butchers frying bacon!
I remember spam - it was quite nice actually. It was one of those pseodo meats devised for the war I believe. I also remember corn beef and snoeck.
There was a prisoner of war camp on the Moors in the south part of Sheffield. There was a big prisoner of war camp there. I saw the officers with their long coats and peaked caps and their guards. One day one took a detour up our road! Mum ran up and fetched us in saying 'That's a bad man'."

Brenda Spencer
Brenda joined our Memories Tea Party at Sherborne Museum and brought her very special teddy bear to show everyone.
Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
North East
1939 - 1945

"I was a war baby so I can't remember a lot about the war. My Mum told me I was born at seven months so was quite premature but she was only allowed to stay at the hospital for a few days because it was being taken over by the army. There weren't any incubators or any of the things they have now for premature babies so I am lucky to be here. I was born at Hull and it was bombed a lot. I spent the first fortnight after coming home in the air raid shelter as it was safer. Then my older brothers and sisters caught either measles or chicken pox and they were so afraid I would catch it too so we were kept apart. We were bombed out four times. My father was out on fire watch and once when he had only just got it he was so tired he wouldn't come down to the shelter with the rest of the family. He insisted on staying in the house. We heard the bombs dropping. The daughter of the woman next door was killed and the blast threw father out of the house through the door. Luckily he survived. The house wasn't habitable so we were re-homed. We were in a row of cottages down a long alleyway. There were no services - no electric or running water. I had to go and get the water with my sister from the pump a long way away and we had to keep going backwards and forwards to get enough - especially on Mondays because that was washing day. I must say I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Everyone was so friendly and we all helped each other. I also remember at the end of the war and afterwards we children used to get paid to go out into the fields pea picking, bean picking, potato picking and we were all allowed hooks to cut down sprout stalks and other greens. You wouldn't be allowed to do it today but I don't remember anyone getting hurt. I used to love it and of course we earned a little pocket money. My husband Colin's family had a different war. His mother came from Yorkshire but she married a Londoner and they lived in Deal when the doodlebugs came over. He will tell you all about it."

Stella Powell
nee Coultas. Stella, who now lives in Dorset, plans to record more of her memories over the next few weeks.
In The Home
Everyday Life
North West
North East
1939 - 1945
Kathleen Willcock and her husband visited the museum in August 2010 and Kathleen recalled
"I was living with my family near Leeds and was evacuated to Lincoln. I was at the High School and had hoped to complete my last year and get my school certificate. We thought it was a strange place to be evacuated to as we all thought Lincoln was more likely to be bombed and it had been quite peaceful at home. I remember the whole school left by train. I remember the very tearful goodbyes. I thought I would never see my mother again! However I had a very happy year - and no bombing! I got my school certificate and left and got a job. We were evacuated to a very old house - a lovely old mansion not far from the cathedral. It was lovely. We were lucky as I lived there with my friends but some of the others were in another part of Lincoln and had a long walk to school. It was a very happy and peaceful time after all!"
Leeds and Lincoln

Kathleen Willcock

Food and Cooking
In The Home
Northern Ireland
North West
North East
South West
South East
1939 - 1945

"Every household became a miniature munitions dump during Christmas - and the munitions are wanted now for active service. Your munitions comprise all those Christmas cards, letters, boxes, gift wrappings, decorations and crackers. Paper is a munition of war. Every household must see that its accumulation of Christmas paper gets to the enemy in the most effective form. In one envelope there is sufficient paper to make a wad for a bullet. Remember that 3lbs of waste paper makes containers for two anti-aircraft shells. A ton of paper will make, among other things, 9000 shell fuse components. You probably had your weekly joint of meat on Christmas Day. Don't forget that the bone is wanted too. Bones provide glycerine for high explosives as well as glue for binding particular aircraft parts, body filling for camouflage paints, fertiliser for growing food, and feeding meals for cattle and poultry. Scrap metal is also vitally important. Five tons of ferrous metal will provide steel for 8145 anti-aircraft shells."

Wartime Christmas
A newspaper cutting of January 1942 has been sent to us.

Do you remember having to make do and mend? Please submit your experiences.