Eggs, hot cross buns, daffodils and the WVS/WRVS

We hope you enjoy these extracts from the WVS Bulletin and WRVS Magazine which include WVS activities, easter traditions and recipes.

Firstly I would like to make a bid for the earliest mention of Christmas in 2017 with this Bulletin from January 1946.

                                              

The WVS worked closely with refugees from Holland during the war and established a sister organisation the Dutch UVV and  worked with them in April 1948.

IT IS ABOUT two years since the arrival of the first of the long line of Mobile Canteens which W.V.S. so generously gave to its sister organisation, the Dutch U.V.V., after the liberation of Holland. We here in Arnhem were so fortunate as to get the first two. The first arrived a few days before Christmas from Newcastle-on-Tyne, and was immediately put to work on distribution to the aged poor of loaves of sultana bread, a Yuletide speciality in Holland. …

During the bulb season the mobile canteens were used to distribute Easter eggs and daffodils to the aged, and as the bulb growers in the West had given us such tremendous quantities of flowers, we saved a canteen load of them for the Airborne Cemetery.

Over ten years later in April 1959 WVS volunteers were still hard at work.

NORWICH. This Easter we had a pleasant surprise. The staff in our building collected fresh eggs to be distributed to all the old people on the Meals-on-Wheels round.

Also published were a series of Easter Traditions in an article entitled The Egg The Hare and The Hot Cross Bun. You can read the article in full in the Bulletin from April 1963 but here is a short extract.

[T]he hot cross bun. I always assumed that the cross on the bun was a purely Christian symbol, but now I learn that it probably dates back long before that. Little crosses used to be put on cakes made for the worship of the goddess Diana, and it seems possible that the wheaten cakes known to have been eaten at pagan Spring festivals bore the same mark. Our hot cross buns have probably got a much longer history than we imagine.

Incidentally, there is one delightful individual custom associated with hot cross buns which takes place in an inn in London. In the early nineteenth century the licensee put aside one hot cross bun every Good Friday for her son who was away at sea. But one year he did not return. His mother didn't give up hope, but continued each year to replace the old bun with a new one, keeping the old ones in a basket. When new tenants took over the inn they continued to do this, and now there is a clause in the lease of the inn to enforce it.

Finally as we haven't posted any for a while a recipe for Easter Biscuits from April 1972:

12 oz. Plain flour
pinch of salt
6 oz. Butter or margarine
4 oz. Caster sugar
1 Egg
3 oz. Currants
Pinch of saffron, steeped for a few hours in 1 tablespoon milk,
Egg white and caster sugar for finish.

MethodCream the fat and sugar Beat in the eggAdd the currants and saffron mixtureFold in the flour, sifted with the salt, using a metal spoon The dough should be softer than for pastry, but firm enough to roll Kneed lightly and roll out on a floured board to 1/8 inch in thickness Cut in rounds, using a fluted cutterPut on a baking sheet and bake for approx. 20 minutes at 400°f-Mark 6 After 10 minutes in the oven, remove the biscuits, brush with egg white and dredge with caster sugarReturn to the oven for remainder of baking time Cool on a cooling tray Store in an airtight tin.

All our Bulletins and Magazines written between 1939 and 1974 (over 419 Issues) are available to download on our online catalogue. Why not search Easter in the Bulletin Text field for more extracts like these.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 17 April 2017.

Labels: Easter, WRVS, eggs, daffodils, Dutch, WVS

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