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Spinach and Beet - Part 10

This month’s extract from the diary of Centre Organiser come from the WVS Bulletin April 1950, with the recipe from May 1950.

Monday

Tremendous re-organisation beginning in the Clothing Store : all warm garments are being smothered in anti-moth crystals and relegated to the top shelves to make room lower down for more summery ones. Mrs. Bright, who is in charge, shocked her helpers into bust ing activity to-day by saying : “ Here it is Monday morning; to-morrow will be Tuesday, and the next day Wednesday—the week’s half gone, and nothing done. Hurry up, all of you—Hurry ! ”

Wednesday

It is often difficult to curb Mrs. Catte’s bitter tongue, but perhaps a newcomer, Mrs. Stranger will prove equal to the task. During this afternoon’s Work Party Mrs. Stranger—at our invitation—was telling us a little about herself and the work she had been doing for W.V.S. in the Centre she came from. In addition she told us about her son who had won scholarship after scholarship and had just received promotion after only a few months in his first job. “ Isn’t it wonderful how lucky your boy is?” Mrs. Catte purred silkily, but there was a glint in her eyes. “ Yes,” Mrs. Stranger retorted instantly, “ isn’t it wonderful ? The harder he works the luckier he gets.”

Friday

Sudden outbreak of a particularly nasty type of feverish cold amongst the helpers, coinciding with an unexpected number of requests for “ Meals on Wheels ” for ex-hospital patients. Everbody—myself included —rushing around madly, trying to cope with the deliveries by car, bicycle and even perambulator. Returned to the office to find amongst the letters one written in the third person : “ Mrs. Appleton would not mind a ‘ Meal ’ on a ‘ Wheel,’ provided it arrives really hot and that the food is freshly cooked and not merely re-heated. She never touches liver and does not care for steamed puddings.” “ Would not MIND ...!!’

Cheese Mousse.
1 oz. margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 pint milk

1/2 pint bottled tomato-water

Make this into a sauce. Add as much grated cheese as can be spared—not less than a breakfastcupful—and stir all into a smooth paste. Add 1/2 oz. gelatine dissolved in a little boiling water, mix well to prevent lumps. Allow this to get completely cold, then whip to a spongey consistency.
Having previously prepared a tin of evaporated milk by standing the tin unopened in a pan of cold water, brought to boiling point and boiled for 15 minutes and cooled thoroughly—overnight if possible —whip half a tinful of this milk until stiff. Then combine with the cheese sauce and pour into moulds. Decorate with paprika and parsley.

Posted by Matthew McMurray at 00:00 Monday, 16 March 2015.

Labels: Clothing Store, WVS, WRVS, RVS, Meals on Wheels , cheese Mousse, Recipe

Celebrating St. David

This week we are travelling to Wales, to celebrate St. David’s Day. Enjoy ‘More News from Wales’ from April 1958.

The record of the past two months in day-to-day work has continued and developed in spite of every possible vagary of weather. Snow, rain, flood, fog, icy roads have been taken in the W.V.S. stride. Meals-on-wheels in the very hilly areas have continued without a break and drivers are becoming highly skilled in handling vehicles on the icy slopes. We feel that many would give an excellent account of themselves in winter car rallies.

We are very sad to record in the decision to close Tonfanau Camp, Merioneth, that the W.V.S. Centre has also closed. This job has been continued with one or two short breaks since 1949 until now and from the highly flattering remarks made by Western Command we are glad to realise that the Army has found the work valuable. The site is on the edge of the sea and even in summer high winds and driving rain are a constant feature of this part of the coast. There are no towns of any size for miles and the W.V.S. Social Centre has proved a real blessing for the boys who have passed through the Camp. W.V.S. in Wales has been delighted to have been associated with the work and we have found that for some members working there it has been splendid training- ground before going overseas.

Cardiff W.V.S. are very pleased that their Darby and Joan Club which has been formed in the Docks district recently appeared in an I.T.V. programme featuring the life among the black population of seaport towns. Some of the old men were shown playing games, and a recording was made of the women singing. This is a very happy club, and we believe unique.

Cardiff W.V.S. were recently entertained en bloc at the Mansion House by this year’s Lady Mayoress, who is a very valued member of W.V.S. As the Deputy Lady Mayoress is also a member it was a very Civic occasion indeed and a most happy party.

Neath members, whose versatility has always been of a high order, have now excelled themselves in the formation of a “ Saucy Skiffle Group.” Dressed in highly coloured costumes and wearing wide- brimmed hats, they made their first appearance in public when they gave the Darby and Joan Club a concert for St. Valentine’s Day. Their report states: “The piano and the guitar probably supplied the music, but the saucepan lids and the wash-boards, the tin of peas, the whistle, the clappers, the wooden box with the taut rope (the double bass), all supplied the rhythm and the volume.” As it was for St. Valentine’s Day, the concert repertoire consisted mainly of love songs and Darbies and Joans joined heartily in all the choruses. One of the Joans in this club has recently made well over one thousand leeks for fervid Welshmen to wear at international matches and on St. David’s Day.

Posted by Matthew McMurray at 00:00 Monday, 02 March 2015.

Labels: St. David's Day, Wales, RVS, WRVS, WVS, Heritage Bulletin Blog, Tonfanau Camp, Neath, Darby and Joan, Meals on Wheels , ITV, Dockers

Reports from Everywhere - February 1965

Manchester County Borough made over 1,000 meals parcels for Meals on Wheels recipients and 350 boxes of toys (some of these boxes were for families with eight, nine and ten children), A Christmas party was given in Manchester in the New Year for 400 children which WVS was asked to plan and operate. There was a parcel for each child in addition to the above boxes.

When Peterculter won a prize in the Blanket Competition they were thrilled and on its return to them it was put on show. Yet they felt that they wanted to use it for a special purpose so at Christmas it was included in a parcel sent to a refugee priest in South Germany where it could bring warmth, be admired and appreciated.

We are feeding a maximum of 22 at our lunch club in Cheshire, and more would like to come. As we don’t like to refuse people in winter we hope to manage the extra few. Our Club members are most appreciative, which is nice. One old lady, however, is quite convinced that mince gives her asthma; and an old man bags his wife’s dinner if he thinks her helping is larger than his, and says he would not mind helping us if he were paid as much as we are! Many shops are very kind in knocking the Shillings off our bills. 

One of the members at the St. Pancras WVS centre has a young schoolgirl daughter who is very interested in the WVS Club for the Elderly at Chalk Farm, where her mother is a leader. Margot persuaded her little friends to sing carols to neighbours at Christmas time and give any proceeds resulting from their efforts to the club to provide a Christmas Treat. It was a proud moment for them to come to the club to sing Christmas carols in costume to the old people and to hand over a donation of £5 14s.

Posted by Matthew McMurray at 09:00 Monday, 23 February 2015.

Labels: Manchester, Peterculter, Cheshire, St. Pancras, Lunch Club, Old People, Blanket, Meals on Wheels

Reports from everywhere - November 1954

MABLETHORPE. When a party of children came here on a school treat, about 20 were swept out to sea by a sudden enormous wave. Fortunately all were saved. They were brought to us. We gave them tea and lent them clothes while we dried and pressed their wet ones. By 6 o’clock they were ready to catch the bus for home as arranged.

DARLINGTON C.B. Writing postcards in a crowded London Post Office, I was asked by a man with both hands bandaged to address a parcel for him. He thanked me saying “ I knew you would help me,” proving that even the back view of a W.V.S. uniform attracts those in need. Long may it remain so !

PADDINGTON B. A member visiting the doctor’s surgery was in uniform. While in the waiting room a harassed G.P. looked in, saw the W.V.S. member, and asked, “ Can you cope with looking out files?” An hour later she entered the surgery. “ Gosh,” said the doctor, “ I apologise, but I was hours behind and am only a locum. In the hospital I’ve just left we had two W.V.S. who did cope, and so have you! Do you want a regular job ?”

RUISLIP U.D. The Guide Commissioner asked us to find some work of public service for a 15-year-old Guide, so we arranged for her to help in the Darby and Joan Club one afternoon. She continued helping all through the holidays, serving tea and washing up, and prepared vegetables for meals on wheels when we were short of a cook. She was always smiling and willing and the old people were delighted to see her.

BROMSGROVE U.D. A demonstration of emergency feeding was said to be the best of its kind so far. Eight women who can build ovens and feed fifty people at a time assembled an oven from a few bricks, a hotplate and a dustbin within an hour. The following day the oven was tested and quickly turned out cakes and tea.

Reports from everywhere - October 1964

Help from the young
The very ancient town of Stirling - the gateway to the Highlands - is renewing its youth with the coming of the New University. The youth of the town are alive and energetic and when a notice was put up in the high school for volunteers to help with meals on wheels during the holidays over 40 girls offered to help. These Jolly youngsters distributed all the meals to the very appreciative old people. Through this holiday task many have become interested in WVS work for the future.

WVS cater for Old Contemptibles’
At the beginning of August, Teignmouth WVS were asked by the secretary of the Old Contemptibles’ Association if they would cater for the tea for them after the Jubilee Service and Parade held on August 9th. … WVS gladly undertook this task and catered for the men, their wives and friends – in all over 150 people – The kindly service received and the excellent food provided was greatly appreciated.

Her ‘show’
An old lady, wheeled into a fete at Hadleigh by a WVS member, asked to spend the afternoon sitting in the crèche run by WVS and seemed to enjoy every minute.

Fields and trees
Apart from the usual requests for spare-a-mile to keep hospital and dental appointments, Wallasey WVS had a request to take an old lady of 97 years of age for a run in the country. She was most anxious to see green fields and trees, having lived for a very long time almost on the promenade at New Brighton and the urge to see the country again overcame her. Our member who took the old lady reported that the outing was a huge success: she took her round the Wirral and then to her home for tea. The old lady was very thrilled and said it was a day to be long remembered. They hope to repeat the excursion.

Posted by Matthew McMurray at 09:00 Monday, 27 October 2014.

Labels: Stirling, Hadleigh, Teignmouth, Wallasey, WVS , Spare a mile, Meals on Wheels , Old contemptibles, creche, University