Make Do And Mend

Sherborne Museum

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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

Everyday Life
1938 - 1940

"In 1938 we were measured and fitted with gas masks during the Munich crisis. Trenches were dug for shelter from air-raids and some street shelters were built. Then the Munich Agreement was signed and we all thought we were safe from war! We bought a three bedroom house in Solihull. The war put an end to my school days. In the summer of 1940 I went to work in the staff office at Lewis's store in Bull Street, Birmingham Even during the war Lewis's held dinner dances in the restaurants. Sometimes Joe Loss provided the music. When Joe Loss wanted to see Mr O'Sullivan in a hurry he used to bring us a box of chocolates if we could give him an appointment straight away. Sweets were rationed and chocolate almost non-existant so he always did go straight in!"

Peggy Nash
nee Williams. Born 14th April 1925
Everyday Life
1938 - 1945

"The air raids were terrible. One awful night the ARP Wardens made us all leave our houses and go outside and lie in the ditch under the elm trees in the field. Shrapnel came down all around us. During the raid which went on for several hours there was also a storm of incendiary bombs. The noise was indescribable and we were so cold as it was November. Next day I walked the eight miles along the Coventry Road into the city to Lewis's. No buses could get through as so much of the Coventry Road had been blitzed. It was no wonder that the sky towards Birmingham had been so red the night before. Most of the places were still burning. When I eventually got within sight of Lewis's I found the road was barred because there was a 1000 lb unexploded bomb outside the main entrance to the store I had to turn round and walk home again. We had no gas, electricity or water. It was cut off for several days. There was one stand-pipe a quarter of a mile from the house and Mother and I took buckets there for water. Candles, when we could get them, provided light and we cooked what we could on the open fire or in the Valor oil-stove - if we had any paraffin. When we had a cousin coming we saved up three weeks of meat coupons to be able to buy a small joint. The night before was the night they bombed Coventry so badly and there was no gas, electricity or water. Father built a big fire in the grate and tied the joint up with string and suspended it from a poker in front of the fire. It took a long time to cook but it was delicious!"

Peggy Nash
nee Williams. Born 14th April 1925

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