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

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Clothing
South West
1939 - 1945

"Army surplus stores sold cotton parachute panels in red and blue. We could piece the bits together and either make pyjamas or even knickers. Elastic was in short supply so we made French knickers fastened with a button and buttonhole!"
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Clothing
South West
1939 - 1945
Stockings
"When our fully fashioned stockings [ stockings with seams at the back ] were damaged they laddered. To make them last longer we would get out a very fine crochet hook and pick up the stitch and mend the ladder. In the summer we dyed our legs with permanganate of potash and drew a seam up the back of the leg with an eyebrow pencil!"
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Clothing
South West
1939 - 1945

"All clothing and textiles were rationed so we had to give up coupons when buying them. You could get army blankets, usually in dark grey, from army surplus stores and make them up into coats or dressing gowns. Wooden soled clogs were sometimes available as shoes were in short supply."
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Clothing
South West
1939 - 1945

"Fair Isle patterns became popular. You could unpick an old jumper and then knit new ones in stripes. Tapestry wool wasn't rationed so you could buy skeins and knit gloves or childrens jumpers with it."
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Clothing
South West
1939 - 1945

"People with small busts made bras from handkerchiefs folding them diagonally and making a dart in them. An old nightdress could be cut down to make a waist slip and when that wore out cut down again into panties or handkerchiefs.
We used a wooden mushroom and darned over holes in socks and woolies.
Worn cotton dresses were cut down into aprons and clothes for the children. Some people even bought shiny synthetic knitting material and made knickers!"
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

In The Home
South West
1939 - 1945

"Blankets and sheets were rationed. We were allowed three sheets and two blankets on a permit so patchwork quilts were made out of scraps and knitted squares became popular. Rag rugs were made out of strips of worn out stockings or peg rugs made from tailors sample books pegged into hessian."
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Food and Cooking
South West
1939 - 1945

"Most food was rationed. We had one egg a week. Dried egg and dried milk was available on ration. Otherwise we were allowed half a pint every other day. People with friendly shopkeepers bought baby food past its sell by date and made cocoa."
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Food and Cooking
South West
1939 - 1945

"One of my friends made little cakes using saccharine and liquid parafin and chopped up prunes as a substitute for currants!"
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

Food and Cooking
South West
1939 - 1945

"We made almond paste with soya flour and almond essence and jelly using gelatine, food colouring and synthetic fruit essences."
Sherborne, Dorset

Joan Miller

In The Home
Everyday Life
South West
1939 - 1945

"Popular Yetminster couple Kit and Harold Cheeseman, both 89, celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today (Friday 30th). It was a chance cycle ride to Sherborne from her home at Marston Magna that led to them meeting and romance quickly blossomed. Harold worked for the then Greenham’s butchers in Sherborne and the couple enjoyed a quiet early morning wedding at West Coker. Less than a year later after war broke out Harold spent six years in the army serving with the Somerset Light Infantry, the Oxford and Bucks Regiment and after a mission to France attached to the Green Howard parachute unit found he was one of only three out of 50 to survive. During the war Kit had to leave her baby with her mother at West Coker, being called up for work at the Twine Factory at East Coker where she recalls working seven days a week from 8am – 6pm for the weekly wage of 12s 6d!
In the early 1950s the couple moved to Yetminster where they have lived ever since. Their Platinum Anniversary will be spent with their family. They have five children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. "
Dorset

Kit and Harold Cheeseman
Kit and Harold Cheeseman of Thornford Road, Yetminster who celebrate their Platinum (70th) Wedding Anniversary today (30th Jan)

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