Make Do And Mend

Sherborne Museum

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Sherborne Bombing 70 Years On


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Food and Cooking
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"Missed the ice cream man that used to cycle round the outskirts of Southampton and the villages on his Walls ice cream bicycle and storage box. He used to sell 1d, 2d and 3d large and small bricks of ice cream. That all disappeared until after the war."
Southampton

Bert Jenkins
of Southampton
Food and Cooking
Everyday Life
South East
1939 - 1945

"My father was a Major serving in the Middle East. When he came home he found we were in the path of the flying bombs. I remember him lifting me up to see one flying over. I remember it so well. I wasn’t frightened. I was only small and didn’t see the fear in it. My father had seasoned a piece of olive wood and had it made into workboxes for me, my sister and my mother. That was where my interest in needlework and boxes started. He also had a bookcase made and it was shipped back wrapped in sugar bags, put together in this country and then had glass doors added. My father found us a safe home in Scotland to get us out of London. When I was about seven I made a little needlecase. It annoys me now because the stitches aren’t straight! I worked it in chainstitch, featherstitch and other stitches. After the war we returned to London and I worked for Jacqmar and was lucky enough to work on the Queen’s Coronation robes and dresses."
London

Beryl Lawrence
recalls her early year in wartime London.
Food and Cooking
North West
1939 - 1945

"Ethel Carter of Bradford recalled she had never made jam before the war. However on finding her pot of wartime raspberry jam was a bit chewy she asked a friend who worked in the jam factory what was in it. She found out it had very little raspberry in it but 75% rhubarb! The pips were in fact tiny wood shavings! She managed to contact a cousin in the country and started to make her own jam."
Bradford

Ethel Carter

Food and Cooking
South West
1939 - 1945

"Our small Dorset farm had a little orchard. We boys had to go out and pick up all of the fallen apples each day after school. We didn’t go short of food during the war. Every night we had a pudding and from September through to April, depending how well they kept, we had apples every night. Mum would bake them, make apple turnovers, boiled apple dumplings and apple turnovers. It was always apple but she said they were good for us and we were usually healthy."
Dorset

Dennis Mitchell
Dennis's parents living at Bembury Farm where they were fortunate to have four or five cows and were not short of milk
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945
Recollections of an evacuee family that arrived at Yetminster on their own.
"We had a lot of evacuees in the village that arrived from a London school but we also had some that came on their own. Many were billeted with families in the village but others occupied empty cottages when they arrived as a family. I remember Mrs Bone and her four children Barbara, Peter, Rita and David came from London. We never heard or saw Mr Bone. They lived at the bottom of Mill Lane – at Crossing Cottage – a Victorian red brick house that belonged to the railway and was empty at the time. The children went to our village school and one of the girls was my age. Most of the evacuees returned to London before the war ended but the Bone family stayed until the end of the war. Crossing Cottage was a nice house compared to others in the village and very well built. It is sad that the railway is thinking of demolishing it in 2011."
Yetminster, Dorset

Heather Helliar (right) pictured at Thornford shortly before the Second World War with her sister Sylvia (left) and Aunt Lily Heather Helliar
Heather Helliar moved to Yetminster while still at primary school, shortly after war broke out. Her grandparents still lived at Thornford and she recalls.
In The Home
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"Relations of the late Miss Adeline Mitchell also gave this certificate to the museum, sent to Adeline's mother, Mrs E Mitchell, after the war. To date we know little about its history. It thanks Mrs Mitchell for opening her house to strangers during the early years of the war. It may be a thankyou for taking in evacuees although we do not hold any similar certificates and would appreciate more information about it. The museum holds more memories from former residents of Coombe Terrace and their evacuees"
Dorset

Miss Adeline Mitchell

In The Home
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"Relations of the late Miss Adeline Mitchell who lived at Coombe Terrace, Sherborne have donated this certificate to the museum collection. Adeline was thanked by the Duke of Gloucester for contributing to the 'Penny a Week Fund' for the Red Cross of St John during the war."
Dorset

Miss Adeline Mitchell

Food and Cooking
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"Len Batten died at Horfield, Bristol in June and was born in Bristol. During the Second World War he recalled being evacuated to Westward Ho! Near Bideford in North Devon and kept in touch and continued to visit the family for the rest of his life. He had a passion for cooking and sailed on naval mine sweepers followed by a career in the merchant navy where he sailed on banana boats. His favourite dishes included making pasties, faggots and bread pudding."
Devon

Len Batten

Food and Cooking
South West
1939 - 1945

"Eva Bartlett of Bath recalls not only milk being delivered in bottles but, during the war, in cartons to the Bristol Aircraft Factory and feels many people will not think cartons were introduced at such an early date."
Bristol

Eva Bartlett

Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"Jack Dimond recalls the first time he saw a German bomber fly overhead only a few weeks after war was declared 'Didn’t we run! We were frightened out of our lives. My sister was crying her eyes out.' The planes became a more frequent sight and the children were able to tell whose plane it was by the engine noise. 'One night we heard a loud noise and when we looked out there was a German bomber overhead in flames. We thought it was returning from a bombing raid on Bristol. We thought it was going to land on the house but it was a rough and windy night and it went over and came down in Oborne about a mile away. I went with my father and we were the first on the scene but there was nothing we could do. We could see the pilot and crew in the cockpit. They were buried in Oborne cemetery. One afternoon I remember two of our Spitfires were practicing overhead and collided. They both crashed in the road about 50 yards away. They were both on fire and bits had fallen off as they came down. My sister was four fields away turning hay and the horse bolted when the field caught on fire. I don’t know how she stayed on the seat. My mother was hand milking when a large part of one of the engines went through the cow-shed roof landing three yards from her. When we got home we found her sat on the path crying. Being on the farm rationing didn’t affect us too much. Our two evacuees had the time of their lives. On the day of the Sherborne bombing raid [30th September 1940] there were 13 of us in our shelter. We didn’t think we would get out alive. That night we walked into town picking our way through the rubble. We had a job to place the streets. Households were left without water for ten days.'"
Sherborne, Dorset

Jack Dimond
Sherborne Farmer and author lives beneath the Old Castle ruins and has sold over 15,000 copies of his memoirs.

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