Make Do And Mend

Sherborne Museum

About The Project

Project Launch

Our Project - What It Has Meant To Us


Search Clothing

Search Food and Cooking

Search Everyday Life

Search In The Home


Patchwork Quilt

Patchwork Day

Rationing

Our Treasures

Sherborne Bombing Interviews

Sherborne Red Warnings

Private Carter Memoirs


Ilminster Memories

Wartime Morning

Wartime Sing-Song

Memories Afternoon

St Johns' Almshouse

Sherborne Museum Treasures Day

Leigh Old Vicarage Memories Morning

Sherborne Bombing 70 Years On


Submit Your Experiences

Contact Us


Big Lottery Fund
MLA

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Text Size:
+   -   Reset

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

Search

When?

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

Previous Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Next Page

Clothing
Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
South West
South East
1939 - 1945

"I was living in London when war broke out and was evacuated to Devon. My first place was in Honiton but it wasn't a very nice billet. They expected me to look after their child all the time and I wasn't used to that at home where I was the youngest! My sister was evacuated too but she cried so much she only stayed a week and went home. I stayed three years. I passed my school exam and went to Axminster High School. I had been living in South West London and we went to Devon by train - all of us as a school on a whole train. We didn't know where we were going. My parents didn't know either. We went with our suitcases and were picked up by the people who had volunteered to take us in. My lady was at the station to meet us. Her husband was a Scout Master but we didn't see him very often. I think he was involved in war work and working away. I liked the countryside. My grandmother lived in the countryside and that was where I finished up eventually and went to school in Reading. I didn't find it boring or quiet. My Gran was good at turning her hand at anything. At the lady's who had us at Axminster - mother, daughter and grandchild as well - we didn't have much in the wau of eating - very poor really. The rations went to the lady of the house and she eeked it out. Clothes - can't remember much about clothes. My mother was a seamstress. I expect she made us clothes. Mum and Dad came down separately at times to see me when I was in Devon.
My Gran in Reading - now that was fun. Half of the field behind her house was the REME HQ. There was a big camp there and so we half expected to be bombed but we never were. We saw the planes going over. There was a trememndous amount of activity. I went home before the end of the war. I finished school in the December and I went home early in 1945. That was at the time when the flying bombs and rockets were coming over London. We heard the rockets coming over and this tremendous whoosh and then the bombs fell. My sister was standing next to the oven and they dropped a bomb and the front door was blown off and the house was damaged and my sister went deaf - but it was only temporary. We saw a lot of houses destroyed. It was very frightening. I went to work for George Payne - they made Payne's Poppets, the chocolates. I started from scratch. They needed a young person in the office. I had a good training from filing to computers. Then they moved down to Devon after the war. I can't remember them being short of chocolate.
Nylon stockings were scarce. We did get some but I can't remember how we used to get hold of them!"
Devon and Reading

Olive Newton

Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
Scotland
South West
South East
1937 - 1945

"I worked at Harper House, a boarding house for Sherborne School, as a sewing maid with Mr Tindall as House Master. In the 1920s he asked me to join him as House Matron at West Downs Preparatory School, Winchester, the Preparatory School for Winchester College, where he had just been appointed Head Master.
Two of my friends went with him too. West Downs was a lovely school and I enjoyed my work there. I used to come home during the holidays or sometimes went on holiday with the Tindalls to the Isle of Wight or Newquay.
When the war came we were worried about the boys.
Some of my favourite Old Boys were Peter Scott who as a boy used to come and ask.
"May can I borrow your watch?" He was always drawing as a young boy but didn't have a watch. He used to draw wildlife in the grounds during his lunch hour. We also had Angus Ogilvy and his brother. Their parents gave me a clock for looking after them so well!
Southampton was bombed and we always had bombers flying overhead. Some of the parents were worried too so Mr Tindall started looking for a safe place to move the school to. We took over Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire in South West Scotland and soon the boys started arriving. All went well at first. Their parents managed to send supplies of most things they needed and there was always something for us too. Then things changed. We found we were on the flight path for Ireland and Mr Tindall started to get worried again.
I went home for the summer holidays. It was a long train journey. I used to have a break in London and go and stay with Aunt Louisa and Uncle Zeb at Finsbury Park. Uncle Zeb was an Austrian Pastry Cook but he was interred in the Alexandra Palace in the First World War in case he was a spy! Aunt used to be allowed to visit him on Sundays. After the war they changed their name back to her maiden name, from Reinthler to Hunt, in case the same thing happened again!
I was crossing Waterloo Bridge one afternoon when there was an air raid and had to go to the nearest shelter. Some time afterwards Uncle Zeb's house was bombed and most of their road. They were re-housed close by. On my way back to Scotland Mother, Louisa's older sister, used to send up a few supplies from the country -eggs, fruit and jam- and I used to drop them off.
When we got back to Scotland we had a shock. The army had taken over Glenapp castle and with less than 48 hours before the boys were due back we had to start searching for another home for the school.
Mr Tindall spent most of the next day with the army who tried to find somewhere for the boys. Then at the last minute we learnt Blair Castle, near Blair Atholl village, in Perthshire was being made available for us. Some of us went on to the castle while others waited to collect the boys as they arrived back and see they were sent on to Blair Atholl. There hadn't been time to tell them to go to Blair Atholl. It was a lovely place to stay. It had been an auxillary hospital in the First World War but was the family home of the Duke of Atholl. The Duke was the only person allowed to keep a private army and we often saw his Atholl Highlanders. While we were there the Duke died and we watched the Highlanders parade and pipe the coffin from the house to the church. We watched from the upper windows. The family made us very welcome and we had few shortages. The estate was large and the remaining keepers kept us well supplied with food.
The boys were very careful in the castle and I don't remember any breakages but they all came from well off homes so were used to such places.
In May 1945 I had a phonecall from Dorset to say Mother was seriously ill so I packed up and caught the first train home. She died soon after I got there and I stayed home to look after father and never returned to Scotland. At home we had rationing but we had a large garden and two allotments. My brother was a thatcher and got a special petrol allowance so he could carry on working. He often came home with something for the table. My Uncle was a keeper in Honeycombe Wood so he sometimes gave us things too. He kept pigs and built a smoke house near the house. He used oak shavings and smoked the joints and hams so we often had meat too. "
Dorset, Scotland, London

Emily May Garrett

In The Home
South West
1939 - 1941

"We rented a cottage, Parrowfield, Backhouse Lane - so called because there were no windows of the cottage that faced on to the lane - in a small village, with no electricity or running water so we had only paraffin lamps and cooker and a pump by the back door. There were four rooms - two up and two down and of course no bathroom - and an outside privy. I shared one bedroom with Mother and my sister and brother the other. Mice were everywhere! Many damson trees were in the garden and mother sold the crop for navy dye for Service uniforms. In 1941 we moved to a more convenient cottage near the centre of the village - but still no running water or electricity, but an Elsan in the outside privy rather than the earth closet of Parrowfield. Lynton had a large copper in the kitchen on which water was heated for our tin bath tub in front of the fire, as well as for clothes washing."


Sheila Rideout
RECALLS EVACUATION - and the great change from the city facilities she had been used to.
Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"We were born near Sherborne, Dorset but when Tom returned from the First World War there was no work so we had to move to Bow in Devon. He had learnt to drive during the war and the village Doctor was looking for a chauffeur. All of the Devon houses had quite big gardens but hardly any of them were behind the houses. They were on the other side of the road or behind another house! Tom grew everything we needed and we were lucky because I was never very strong and often needed the Doctor - but we never got a bill!
There was a woman in the village who said she lived "by the Lord". She never bought any food and there was always something left on her doorstep for her. There would be knocks at the door and when she looked out there was food there. This went on through the war too. There was a lot of bombing at Exeter 16 miles away but we were lucky in the country."
Bow, Devon

Lily Jeffery

In The Home
Everyday Life
South East
1939 - 1945

"I was 22 and working as a pharmacist at Beckenham, Kent. We were quite near the seat of action. We saw lots of planes overhead. They used to come over at the same time of day. The planes were heading for Luton or Vauxhall.
When my employer retired I took over the business. I thought I was too young. I was married by then. We talked it over and took it on.
People used to come to a little pop hole in a porch with their prescriptions next to the shop. We used to have to make their pills and their ointments from scratch. There were shortages. If we didn't have things in stock people would ask if it would be ready the next day. We just didn't know. If the right ingredients didn't come in we couldn't make their ointments for them.
If we had any spare time - and we didn't have much of that! - we would make our own make-up from what we had in the shop. You couldn't tell what shade it was going to end up. Sometimes it was too dark, sometimes too light. We weren't short of paper. We always seemed to have enough."
Kent

Irene Sanders

Clothing
Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
Midlands
1939 - 1945

"I was away at school, Nottingham High School, and we moved to Ramsdale Park, which was someone's home. We went and occupied it. It wasn't like school at all. We had a lovely time. It was very different from where my sister and I had lived in the town. My parents came to see us in a taxi; there weren't many cars and petrol was rationed. Rationing meant less butter - tiny bits of everything! Sugar was rationed. I didn't eat many sweets so I didn't miss them. I remember the blackout. All the lights were out and we had to make sure no light showed. I remember the air raids too. Mother used to turn clothes to make new ones, cut some down for us and make us new ones. We used to knit too. Stripey jumbers were popular We lived over a bank. Father worked there. Mother used to say we were caretakers.
I remember lots of vegetable gardens and when the war was over there were celebrations and street parties everywhere"
Nottingham

Joan Hyde

Clothing
Food and Cooking
In The Home
South East
1939 - 1945

"I remember the shortages. I didn't take sugar fortunately so I didn't miss it! All the fats were rationed and soap. It was lovely to get a tablet of soap. You couldn't get washing powder for love nor money - and oh we were so pleased if we could get some Lux! [ soft soap flakes]. If you did you shared it. You didn't keep it to yourself. There were no dog biscuits or cat food either. You used to queue at the fishmongers to get bits to feed the cats on. I had two cats. Clothes - well it was Make do and Mend. Fortunately we were all handy and made our own clothes. Mother was a seamstress so we always had a good wardrobe. She was always in demand. Stockings - well if we heard someone had some we used to queue for ages to get just one pair. At Soho there were lots of stalls. If a whisper went round that stockings might be coming in we would start to queue and would get one pair if we were lucky. They were lyle or fine cotton. Silk stockings were like gold dust. If anyone came from America with silk stockings they were plagued! The RAF smuggled them in sometimes for us. We unpicked knitted jumpers and pullovers, washed the wool to get the crinkles out and then re-knitted it into something else. Shoes were very hard to get hold of. I don't remember getting a new pair. People used to go round second hand stalls to get footwear. Wellingtons were the most important thing in our wardrobe ! Father was a good gardener. We grew beans, peas and potatoes. We tried everything to supplement our diet. The number of bananas I managed to get during the war you could count on one hand. We grew soft fruit too and we had two plum trees and an apple tree. Most of us shared everything -there were just one or two who didn't. We saved our sugar to make jam but there was never enough but it didn't matter because it never stayed on the shelf too long! I remember the first time we used pectin to make it set better. When the war ended there were lots of celebrations. I remember lots of street parties - we tried to make the most of everything. It wasn't the end of rationing though. It went on for another four years. It actually got worse after the war - not better. Everything was in short supply."
London

Joy Sinnott

In The Home
South East
1939 - 1945

"My father had been in Germany for seven years before the war so he was used to working in difficult conditions but he was home before war broke out. Then he worked for the NAFFI, a reserved occupation so he wasn't called up although he was of serving age. He was head of a department at Kennington Naffi HQ. Mother was at home. My brother was serving with the Royal Engineers in India. I don't remember my older sister very well because she died when she was 16 of TB and I was only about 5. Mother had been apprenticed to a tailoress at the age of 14 1/2 and she served a five year apprenticeship. She made all of our clothes. I can't remember ever buying anything in our family. Her mother was the same. Grandmother had had 13 children but only six lived beyond childhood. Grandmother was a very interesting lady. She lived in Battersea at No 43 Kersley Street opposite St Stephens Church. It was only a two minute walk to Battersea Park and I remember she always had a dog and the dogs she had were always called Jimmy.
At home when the siren went when the planes came over we went to the shelters in Wandsworth Common or Clapham Common. We stayed underground all night. I remember dodging the searchlights. Sometimes I would pop home and make a hot drink.
It was a very interesting time! I wouldn't say I would want to go through it again but it was an interesting experience!"
London

Joy Sinnott

Food and Cooking
In The Home
Everyday Life
South West
1943 - 1954

"My family was part of the Polish community at Haydon Park on the outskirts of Sherborne. I remember the galvanise roofs of the huts. They had a door at each end and were divided with one family at each end. The winters were very cold. We only had a small pot bellied stove for heat. Mum used to heat the water on top of it. I remember my Dad carrying me to the hospital hut when I was very ill with measles. When some of the families had been re-homed in the local community the hut was opened up and we had the whole hut. A new small range was fitted which was much warmer. I lived there until about 1954.

The camp was built in 1943 by the Americans as Field Hospital 228 and consisted mostly of nissen huts. Conditions were very basic when the camp was handed over to house refugees. NAFFI furniture on site was used to furnish the huts which did not have running water. There were communal washing areas and toilets. There was a central canteen and two meals a day were provided with breakfast and other small cooking needs carried out in the huts."
Sherborne, Dorset

Liz
Sherborne Museum would like to hear from anyone else who lived at Haydon Park Camp and hope to hold a reunion at the Museum in 2011
Food and Cooking
In The Home
Wales
1939 - 1945

"My grandfather was a butcher here during the war. He had to supply his own set of butchers knives. They were always kept on a stand on the dresser and he took them to work everyday. He was allowed to bring the trimmings of meat home everyday so we had a slightly bigger meat ration than a lot of families. My brothers used to go and scour the slag heaps for any bits of coal they could find and used to bring them home in their pockets."
Ebbw Vale

Emma Martin

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