Pies and Poems

There are two ways the blog could have gone this week instead I thought I would try and cover both elements in the title as we haven’t really looked either of them before. Let’s start with Pies ...

23 January is National Pie Day, why not celebrate by making a ham and egg pie from this wartime recipe.

Ham and Egg Pie 
 
1 good slice chopped raw ham        1/2lb short crust pastry
2 dried eggs, reconstituted                1 tomato sliced
Salt and pepper
  

Line a plate with pastry, trim and decorate the edges. Put on the chapped ham. Beat the egg well, season, and pour over the ham. Decorate with tomato slices. Bake in hot oven 20-20 minutes (Regulo Mark 7). Reduce the heat when the pastry begins to brown and allow the custard to cook slowly.  

Rotherham Food Advisory Bureau 1943 , WRVS/HQ/PUB/PUB/F-43-003  
                                       

WVS did not just suggest recipes for pies while many ingredients were rationed, they also ran the Rural Pie Scheme. Millions of pies and snacks were distributed to agricultural workers during the war to around 2750 villages each month from 1941-1945. The scheme was first introduced in Cambridge by WVS volunteers who wanted to help agricultural workers because they were on rations and in need of a good midday meal, so they started with meat pies. The Scheme was soon picked up by the Ministry of Food and spread all over the country, in some areas the WI was also involved. Often pies were distributed by a WVS driver from a depot or they were homemade by volunteers. Pies were delivered in many different ways, in Frodsham Cheshire for example the WVS trekked across the Marshes to provide pies to farmers; in Kent they were delivered in a mobile canteen to Hop pickers.  Though some, as in the image above with two Land Girls, recieved their pies by tricycle. So while you enjoy your pie remember the hard work of the WVS to feed a nation.

If poetry is more your thing you may be partaking in a Burns Super this week; Burns Night on 25th January a celebration of the Life and Poetry of Robert Burns, WVS/WRVS volunteers were very fond of poetry as well as writing their own on the back of Narrative Reports, some were sent in to the Bulletin or even received from those who had benefited from services provided by the organisation. This is one of my favourites about the One-in-Five Scheme, perhaps you will be inspired to write a poem about Royal Voluntary Service.

“Gather your hearers while you may,
Old time is still a-flying
 If you don’t get them day by day,
You’ll be forever trying  

For you, unless you look alive
And have your talks in plenty,
Will never get your One-in-Five,
Or even one in twenty!  

So be not coy, but do your best
Your backlog to diminish,
For if you once should lose your zest
You’ll never, never finish.”

WVS Bulletin, One-In-Five, June 1962, p.14

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 23 January 2017.

Labels: Pie, Poem, WVS, WRVS, National Pie Day, Burns Night

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