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Christmas Messages


In this month’s Heritage Bulletin Blog I would like to bring you all a little Christmas Spirit. To help assist me I have searched through the December issues of the WVS Bulletin and thus have enlisted the help of Lady Reading and Eleanor Roosevelt. These two very important (though somewhat forgotten) figures of the twentieth century were great friends and supported each other in their philanthropic work in the UK and USA. The following are their messages to members of WVS in 1942.



“The fourth Christmas of the war is with us, and although this is obviously no time for ordinary Christmas festivities, it is an opportunity for me to send to all W.V.S. members a message of my very real admiration for the work achieved, the way it has been done and the strength shown in carrying it through.
We all realise on looking back through these years of war how much we have learned, how often we have had to attune ourselves to difficult circumstances and how great a volume of undertaking has been accomplished.
Looking forward we know there is much more to be done with far fewer members to do it, but because we have learnt to work as a team and because of the difficulties we have overcome together, we can now regard ourselves as seasoned and tried and capable of yet greater undertakings. However hard the times ahead, we are in a better position to meet them because of what we have been through.
In our service our aim is not recognition of success-nor are we wishful of public thanks, but we are determined on achievement. No task is so slight that it falls below our notice-no effort so great that it lies beyond our attempt.
We fight for our country with unspectacular but unceasing determination, and my wish to you is that this New Year may hold for you steadfastness of endeavour, strength of resolution and undiminished courage.”





“I am so deeply impressed by the work of the Women's Voluntary Services that I want to send them this Christmas greeting, for they exemplify the true spirit of the Christmas season. This year the Christmas spirit reminds us again of the fact that there is no joy in living as great as that of giving, particularly when we give of our own strength and effort. This is the ideal of the women in this organisation, and therefore, I send you my

warmest Christmas greetings and my hopes that before long we will again, all over the world, be able to say "A Merry Christmas" with the knowledge that we are working in peace to bring it about for all peoples.”


Today the greatest gift we can give to others is still our own time. Across Britain our volunteers can still be seen working as a team in a number of undertakings from serving tea in hospital canteens to giving companionship to those who are lonely in their own homes; even now at this busiest and for some hardest time of the year. I continue to be inspired by their dedication to voluntary work. With the opportunity to curate the exhibition at Kelvingrove I have seen first-hand how our volunteers meet the needs of today in their local areas. I look forward to seeing them again in the New Year when I go to collect our Archives.
From all of us here at the Heritage Collection we wish you our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Archivist at 00:00 Monday, 02 December 2019.

Labels: Christmas, WVS, Royal Voluntary Service, Volunteering, Bulletin

Sweet and Savoury for British Pudding Day

Apparently Friday (9th November) is British Pudding day so for this week’s blog I thought I would share some pudding recipes from the WVS Bulletin and WRVS Magazine.



The WVS Bulletin March 1942



The WVS Bulletin January 1950



The WVS Bulletin May 1963






The WRVS Magazine September 1972

This is just a selection of recipes from the WVS Bulletin and WRVS Magazine, if you want to find more you can search on Archive Online.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 05 November 2018.

Labels: Pudding, WVS, WRVS, Bulletin, Magazine

The Women’s Voluntary Service is mistaken for the Women’s Vegetarian Society

October 1st was world vegetarian day and heralded the start of international vegetarian week. Most people probably see dietary requirements and other lifestyle choices when it comes to what we eat as a relatively new and modern concept. However vegetarianism has deep roots from ancient world including the Greeks to the National Vegetarian society (Britain) formed in the nineteenth century. So as you can see it is not new and this means we can share with you some fascinating insights into the thoughts of WVS members on vegetarian’s in the 1940s and 1950s.

Extracts from Spinach and Beet – the diary of a centre organiser

TUESDAY. How careful one has to be when wearing uniform: one's slightest word is taken literally. Among ourselves in the office we have dubbed as "vegetarians" the members who come to peel vegetables for Meals on Wheels. ("How many vegetarians are wanted on Thursday?" "We shall want an extra vegetarian on Tuesday when there's Lancashire hot-pot "-and so on.) Apparently similar remarks were overheard on a 'bus or somewhere equally public, as we were telephoned this morning by someone who wanted to join "The W.V.S. Yes: The Women's Vegetarian Society-such a splendid idea!" - WVS Bulletin No.118 October 1949 p.7

Friday.-Now that Mrs. Young's small boy attends kindergarten in the mornings, she is free to help us and to-day she signed an Enrolment Form. On his first day home from school he said to her excitedly:  "Oh Mummy, there are ever so many foreign children in my class: there's a French boy and a Norwegian, and a Hungarian and- and a Vegetarian. What country does a Vegetarian come from, Mummy?” - WVS Bulletin No.1 48 April 1952 p.6

Extract from Nature and other Notes reports for WVS members serving overseas

A great neurosis about our fauna seems to have swept over England, and even Tothill Street has succumbed! I must admit that the crabs are unprepossessing and the rats not house-trained, but with a little ingenuity and a tin of poison one can avoid having to hob-nob with them.



The rats are not really rats at all. They are large sand-mice called "taboa" (not "jerboa" as appeared in one paper). They are vegetarian and non-disease- carrying. They are incredibly bold, greedy and noisy, and not at all fussy about where they leave their droppings. We have waged chemical warfare against them, and at one stage felt we would have to move. - WVS Buletin No.221 May 1958 p.5


Recipes to try out

Now perhaps you are trying to think of something to eat to celebrate world vegetarian day, so why not try one of these. I am sorry about the tripe as I'm pretty sure this is not a veggie option.




Remember it is #AskAnArchivist day on 4th October Tweet @RVSarchives with your questions.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 02 October 2017.

Labels: vegetarian, WVS, World War II, Bulletin

Equality for all through actions

It’s interesting what you find when researching for an enquiry even if Lincolnshire and the Women’s Liberation movement are two different things. Finding the Bulletin article below got me thinking about Feminism and WVS/WRVS.

Feminism first appeared in the mid nineteenth century focusing on the promotion of equal contract, marriage, parenting, and property rights for women. It moved on to focus on women’s suffrage and rights which continued into the Twentieth Century. However by the time WVS was founded in 1938 the first wave of feminism had died down; possibly calmed by the role many women played in factories and other traditional men’s roles in World War I and some women obtaining the right to vote in 1918. In my mind WVS/WRVS was never a feminist organisation but a women’s organisation. It never really suited the definition of the ideological and political movement but it was one which used women’s skills to improve the lives of everyone in Britain. During the War WVS took roles in Evacuation, Hospital Supplies, Make do and mend, knitting and many others which used skills traditionally taken on by women in their homes. However some roles such as fire watching had been assigned to the ARP whose reluctance to include women in a way led to the establishment of WVS.

These less traditional roles appeared only to last as long as the War; the re-emergence of Civil Defence in the late 1940s early 1950s didn’t lead to a revival for WVS who took on the Welfare section. Some services they provided were different such as training in what to do if there was a nuclear attack or driving in the Food Flying Squad but they weren’t promoting a political ideology or actively campaigning for women’s rights. In a way WVS did more without having a political cause because they actively changed people’s lives through their actions and gave women a voice through volunteering.

The second wave of feminism came along in the 1970s along with the Women’s Liberation movement campaigning to make women equal to men and give them more control over their lives. WRVS at this time was still striving to make British society a better place for all. The Organisation focused on offering care to those who needed it either on a regular basis or during an emergency. They were also providing children with the opportunity to go on holiday when they might never have got the chance; patients in psychiatric hospitals were also benefiting specially designed canteens/shops to help rehabilitate them in the outside world and those with disabilities were given the chance to progress in the world of work with occupational therapy. However one member must have felt inspired by this new wave as she wrote an article in the WRVS Magazine; though as she says it was an unorthodox contribution.

WRVS Magazine No.377 June 1971

In short although WVS/WRVS wasn’t known for being a feminist or political organisation in its own special and of course unique way it strived to make everyone equal. Today Royal Voluntary Service continues working to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved whatever their age.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 01 May 2017.

Labels: WVS, WRVS, Feminism, Women's Liberation, Royal Voluntary Service, Bulletin

Ideas for Shrove Tuesday

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday or as many now refer to it Pancake Day, in the past this was a day when many Christians prepared to fast or abstain from rich ingredients used in food such as pancakes. Today there are plenty of options in the shops from readymade mixes, readymade pancakes or buying flour and eggs etc. to make them from scratch. However, during World War II some foods such as eggs were not always as plentiful or they were rationed. In March 1943 an article was published in the Bulletin to inspire those celebrating Shrove Tuesday.

VARIATIONS WITH A BATTER: Thanks to "Lease-lend" we can still make a pre- war batter with real eggs. The dried eggs, whether in tins or sold loose, as most housewives will now realise, are excellent in all types of cooking. For batter particularly, they not only increase the food value, but also help the colour and texture of the mixture.

During the making of the batter, it is essential that all ingredients are smoothly mixed and well beaten, and success depends on lightness which is obtained by the introduction of cold air in the beating, and a high temperature in cooking.

The following are some ideas which the housewife may find useful in varying the simple foundation batter: Foundation Batter.-4 oz. flour, 1 tablespoon dried egg, 1 oz. dried milk, 1/2- 3/4 pint water. Pinch of salt. Sieve the flour, salt, egg and milk together, and mix with sufficient water to make a stiff mixture. Beat well, add rest of water and put aside for one hour.

1. BAKED AS FOR YORKSHIRE PUDDING: With chopped cooked meat, 1/2 lb. sausages, grated cheese and Worcester sauce, 3/4 lb. mixed cooked vegetables, scraps of cooked or tinned fish, plain sweet batter dredged with sugar before serving, 3 oz. of dried fruit or 1/2 lb. fresh fruit (dates, prunes, apples, raisins, sultanas), or plain batter served with syrup, jam or chocolate sauce.

2. FRIED: (a) Pancakes.-Stuffed with any of fillings mentioned above, or with fried potato and pickle or chutney. Served with a sweet or savoury sauce. Rolled or on top of each with the filling between. Cooked “dry " as for dropped scones which can be eaten hot stuffed with a filling, or cold spread with butter, or 1 teaspoonful baking powder added to mixture and tablespoonfuls dropped into hot fat and served with bacon. (b) Coating.-The liquid reduced to half in the basic recipe and used for coating, dried fruits (prunes and apples), fresh fruit, slices of cooked vegetable, croquette mixtures, or small strips of stale cake or bread moistened with flavoured milk. Steaming.-Increase the amount of flour by 1 oz. and use any of the variations mentioned above.

Note: For a lighter and richer batter add an extra egg and reduce the amount of liquid equivalent to this. Sugar tends to make a batter heavy, therefore dredge sweet batters with sugar after cooking.


Of course pancakes aren’t just for this time of year as demonstrated in this week’s photograph. A WVS Rally at Warmwell Airfield taken on 15/10/1957, where eight WVS members of the Swanage emergency feeding team made and cooked small pancakes on an improvised hotplate cooker with oven at a WVS Rally at Warmwell Airfield, Dorset.  Two members cooked the pancakes while others made the batter.  On the table is the shield they won when they came first in the Dorset Emergency Feeding competition.

Enjoy your pancakes!

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 27 February 2017.

Labels: Pancakes, Shrove Tuesday , WVS, Bulletin, Emergency feeding

News Flashes January 1950

Another year has come and gone and we now move into 1950 (in the Bulletin) to take a look at, what was for the WVS, the usual, the unusual but never the mundane. We don't include every story so why not have a look at issue no 121 January 1950 on our archive online.

ACCRINGTON - A request for a dozen cuddly toys for Polish children was answered by a member who has four small children. A parcel was despatched next day.

BEXHILL-ON-SEA - A Home Help, nicknamed the "Pied Piper " because of the many children she looks after, is giving a party for 20 of her past and present charges.

CAMBRIDGE CB - An aged and garrulous caller caused temporary bewilderment by saying that her daughter, who went to work each day, left her a 'carrisole.' When the old lady said she was learning to cook one herself it was realised that she meant 'Casserole.'

DISS - Every third Friday a tea party is held for all sightless people in the area, numbering between thirty and thirty-six. They come with their guides.

DONCASTER CB - An 'Open Air School ' to which W.V.S. sent American Seeds, grew a pumpkin weighing 21 lbs. It was 40 inches in circumference.

GRIMSBY CB -During the National Savings Campaign week five W.V.S. members went to the Docks on pay day. They were well received and 36 new members of the National Savings Group were signed up.

HERNE BAY - While driving a patient to hospital a Hospital Car Service driver noticed a cow which had just calved. The driver deposited her patient, and returned to find the mother and child still alone looking very cold and forlorn. She called at the farmhouse and informed the farmer, who was most grateful. He said that the event had happened much earlier than was expected and the observation and quick action of W.V.S. had been a godsend.

HASTINGS CB - An old lady who had been in hospital for 50 years received flowers from the W.V.S. Office, a plant from the Trolley Shop and a basket of fruit from St. Helen's Darby and Joan Club. A call from the same hospital on behalf of an old man who was well enough to go home but could not get the people at his lodgings to bring his clothes, was answered by a member who went and collected them for him.

MAIDENHEAD -The manager of the local cinema has extended an invitation to all Darbys and Joans to attend his cinema, free of charge, on their respective birthdays and wedding anniversaries. An arrangement has also been made by him to collect and return them to their homes by taxi at the cinema's expense. Each member is allowed to take a friend.

OXFORD CB - A party of 20 Polish women and 20 children, including 4 babies under 6 months, arrived at Oxford after a long journey from the North of England on the way to Fairford. They had two hours to wait and W.V.S. served them with tea and buns, and supervised washing facilities. The Station Master was helpful, allowing them to use a Church Army Hut in the Station Approaches and arranging with the Refreshment Room to supply tea, milk and hot and cold water. None of the women spoke English but they had no difficulty in conveying their gratitude.

WEST SUSSEX - In three Darby and Joan Clubs, Health Visitors are to be on duty once a month to answer old people's health problems. If anything serious is mentioned they will be advised to go to their Doctor, but the Health Visitor will advise on such troubles as sleepless nights and indigestion.

WORTHING - W.V.S. asked eight councillors whether they would like to form a rota and be available at the W.V.S. Office once a month to interview members of the public and this was agreed. The local press were notified that the service is available.

Happy New Year from the Royal Voluntary Service Archive & Heritage Collection

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 02 January 2017.

Labels: WVS, Bulletin, News, Archive, online catalogue

News Flashes December 1949

More news from around the country, originally these stories were submitted by Centre Organisers on the back of the Narrative Reports and selected by the editors of the Bulletin for publication. These are just a few activities from December 1949.

GLASGOW - The mobile canteen lent by Scottish Headquarters was taken inside the Customs barrier at the docks for the sailing of the emigrant ship Cameronia. The canteen operated for many hours, serving not only those going abroad but also friends who had come to see them off. W.V.S. escorts at the station were on duty from early morning until late afternoon.

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY - Services Welfare, An ex-regular soldier of the Indian Army telephoned an urgent request for help. He explained that, with his family, he was to have embarked for Australia within the next few days. His wife had that morning been admitted to hospital, could we find someone to care for the triplets aged 3 years, in order that he could get to London and cancel all his arrangements with the Emigration Authorities? A member came to the rescue and undertook the care of the three boys.

HORNCHURCH - This locality is fortunate in having a landmark in a windmill over 160 years old. Up to 20 years ago it was owned by a baker who milled his own flour, but it was neglected during the war and has been falling with slow decay. Now, through the interest of the Ancient Order of Preservation of Windmills Society and Essex County Council, voluntary workers go every weekend to restore the windmill to working order. W.V.S. supplies teas to the volunteers and hopes to make a profit on the transaction. This profit will become a donation to the Windmill Fund.

NOTTINGHAM C.B - A message was received one day that a young German boy from Bremen was arriving the next night at Fenchurch Street Station. Could W.V.S. meet, feed and escort him to the train for Nottingham. London W.V.S. as always, came to the rescue. The Boat Train was late in arriving; consequently the Nottingham connection was missed. W.V.S. took the child on a tour of London, found accommodation for the night and saw him off on the first train the following morning.

MITCHAM - Dumb Friends League.-W.V.S. have obtained a regular supply of dog biscuits to be sent through the Dumb Friends League to an old age pensioner who found it impossible to feed his dog.

RUTLAND COUNTY - The County Organiser walked into the office one day to be told that she need not worry about the Home Help for Mrs. So-and-So's baby as it had been cancelled! A Home Help on her first maternity case told the Organiser when she went along that the family were destitute and there were no napkins for the baby. A small supply was produced and later one appeared on the table as a table-cloth. The woman who went in as Home Help came out as Godmother to the infant.

READING C.B - W.V.S. Children's Specialist in addition to her other work, devotes Thursday afternoons to the Babies Home at Battle Hospital and regularly takes the babies out in the large hospital perambulator!

ST. PANCRAS - Fifty-three members from our Kentish Town Darby and Joan Club were taken by coach one evening to see the “Lights of Southend." Had tea and cakes at the end of the Pier and arrived home 11.00 p.m.

WESTON-SUPER-MARE - One afternoon the police rang through to say that they had two boys aged 15 and 13 at the Station, who had run away from their home in Bristol on stolen bicycles. They had slept out all night in heavy rain and were found wandering in Weston soaked through. The police asked whether we could supply them with clothing. We feel rather proud of the fact that we fitted them both out with shirts-pants-sports coats-mackintoshes-pullovers -shoes, and last but not least long trousers.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 05 December 2016.

Labels: Bulletin, WVS, December, 1949

Food news - Thanksgiving Day

November 24th will be the last Thursday in the month which in America means its Thanksgiving. If you don’t know much about this holiday, apart from what you’ve seen in episodes of Friends and The Big Bang Theory, don’t worry Issue No.37 of the Bulletin from November 1942 is here to help, complete with Mock Duck and Mock Goose. If you were looking for a Mock Turkey go to Issue No.49 November 1943

"As we have so many of our American Allies in this country, many of us are likely to celebrate a festival we have never shared in before. The first Thanksgiving Day was held by the Pilgrim Fathers to give thanks for their first harvest, and ever since that time the last Thursday in November has been celebrated in the United States as a national festival and day of thanksgiving. Here is a typical Thanksgiving Day menu:

Soup- Tomato and Croutons. Turkey or Chicken or Goose, Mock Goose, Mock Duck. Cranberry sauce or jelly. Vegetables - Mashed Potatoes; sprouts; chestnut puree or chestnut stuffing; celery (raw); carrot strips (raw); salted nuts. Sweet- Pumpkin pie; mince pie; apple pie; biscuits.

Cream of Tomato Soup or Mock Bisque-2 cups raw, canned or bottled tomatoes; 2 teaspoons sugar; 1/3 tea-spoon bicarbonate of soda ; 1/2 onion, stuck with 6 cloves ; sprig of parsley; bit of bay leaf; 1/2 cup stale bread-crumbs ; 4 cups milk (household); 1/2 tablespoon salt; 1/8 teaspoon pepper ; 1/3 cup margarine. Scald milk with bread crumbs, onion, parsley and bay leaf. Remove seasonings and rub through sieve. Cook tomatoes with sugar 15 minutes (shorter time if canned tomatoes are used). Add soda and rub through sieve. Reheat bread and milk to boiling-point, add tomatoes, butter, salt and pepper. Serve 6 to 8.

Mock Goose (Ministry of Food).-1 lb. liver; 2 lb. potatoes; 2 onions or leeks; 1 apple; 3 oz. fat bacon; 1 dessertspoon chopped parsley; 1/2 teaspoon dried sage ; 1/2 pint water; seasoning. Wash liver and cut into slices. Cut potatoes, onions and apple into slices. Arrange ingredients in layers in a pie-dish or hot-pot dish. Cover with pieces of bacon. Add water. Cover with a greased paper and cook in a moderate oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Mock Duck (Ministry of Food) - Cooking time, 1 hour. Ingredients-14lb. potatoes; 2 large cooking apples; 3/4 pint vegetable stock ; 1 tablespoon flour; pepper and salt; 4 oz. grated cheese ; 1/2 teaspoon dried sage. Quantity- 4 helpings.

Method.-Scrub and slice potatoes thinly, slice apples, grate cheese. Grease a fireproof dish, place a layer of potatoes in it, cover with apple and a little sage, season lightly and sprinkle with cheese, repeat layers, leaving potatoes and cheese to cover. Pour in 1/2 pint of the stock, cook in a moderate oven for 3/4 hour. Blend flour with remainder of stock, pour into dish and cook for another 1/4 hour. Serve as a main dish with a green vegetable.

The American “biscuit” is more like a small muffin and is used at breakfast, dinner or supper. A biscuit like our own is known in America as a "cracker." American muffins are like our queen cakes in appearance. American Emergency Biscuits (Ministry of Food)-3/4 lb flour; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 2 oz. margarine; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 3/4 cup milk.

Method-Mix flour, baking powder and salt together, cut in margarine; add milk gradually until a soft dough is formed. Turn out on a floured board and pat out with the hand to about 1 inch thick. Cut into rounds and bake in quick oven for 15 minutes."

I haven’t included all the recipes just a selection if you want to know more visit our online catalogue.

Photo: members of the WVS are providing wartime services for the welfare of American service personnel at a flat in Buckingham Gate, London. In the flat, a number of American service personnel, WVS members and ladies are being entertained by a recital of classical music that is being performed in the flat for them. WRVS/HQ/P/SWH/AMER002 1939-1945.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 21 November 2016.

Labels: America, WVS, Bulletin, Archive, 1942, Thanksgiving

Palatable Pumpkin

It's that time of year when a you see a lot of pumpkins in the supermarkets mostly bought and used for decoration, recently in the news I have seen appeals for people not to just throw away the pumpkin flesh they have carved out. So here are some suggestions from the WVS Bulletin using pumpkins.

PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients:
2 lb. pumpkin
1 1/2 pints " household " milk
2 oz. margarine
salt
sugar to taste.

Method:

Peel the pumpkin, cut into dices and put into a saucepan with about 1 pint of water, add a little salt, cook until very tender.

When done, press it through a sieve, add the boiling milk, the fat, some more salt or sugar to taste (sugar preferable if possible). Boil for a few minutes, stirring all the while, and serve. (November 1943)

SAVOURY PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients:
2 lb. pumpkin cut in thin slices
2 lb. tomatoes
1/2 lb. bread (soaked, drained and beaten with a fork)
1/2 lb. minced meat
1 teaspoonful sweet herbs
2 tablespoonfuls melted margarin

salt, pepper and thick brown gravy.

Method:

Mix the bread, meat, herbs, salt and pepper to a smooth paste with the melted fat.

Put a layer of pumpkin slices at the bottom of a casserole, or pie-dish, add some tomato and top with pumpkin.

Pour in enough gravy to cover the last layer of pumpkin. Cover with greased paper or a lid and bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour. (November 1943)

Alternatively you could make a sweet pumpkin pie...

PUMPKIN PIE

1 1/2 cups cooked and strained pumpkin
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons molasses (treacle)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (reconstituted dried)
1 1/4 cups scalded milk.

Simmer pumpkin in as little water as possible for 20 minutes.

Add sugar, margarine, treacle, ginger, cinnamon and salt to pumpkin.

Add egg and milk and mix thoroughly.

Line a tin plate or sandwich tin with pastry and pour in pumpkin mixture and bake in a brisk oven. It is usual not to cover this mixture with another layer of pastry. (November 1942)



Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 31 October 2016.

Labels: Pumpkin, Recipe, WVS, WRVS, Autumn, Bulletin

News Flashes - October 1949

Lets take a trip back in time to this month 67 years ago where the WVS are very busy all over the country and sending in stories to the Bulletin mainly concerning unusual requests, their members and a very active Darby and Joan. Its time for the News Flashes from October 1949.

CHESTERFIELD.- Many odd queries. A Polish woman from the Russian Zone of Germany asked W.V.S. to trace her husband whom she last saw before the 1914-1918 war and who sent his last letter from Philadelphia in 1919!

DONCASTER C.B.- When the Meals on Wheels van broke down recently The Yorkshire Evening News loaned a van and driver. On another occasion the proprietor of a local ice cream business used his luggage brake and drove the car himself so that the old people were supplied as usual with their hot meal.

GRAVESEND B
.- A request for hats came from the hospital. The " Old Folk " were going to Margate and had nothing to protect their heads from the sun. Could we help ? We have a cupboard where W.V.S. store everything and anything unnamed, and which we call " The Lost Paradise." We managed to unearth twelve very ancient and tired-looking specimens, but strange to say, fashionable now. Bought bunches of artificial flowers from a local sale to trim them, also two more felt hats at 1/- each, making a total of fourteen. They were cleaned, brushed and reshaped and sent to the hospital that very same afternoon, also three for the men.

LEEK U.D.- Gifts of nightdresses and a dressing gown, sent into the Office in response to the Clothing Appeal, seemed providential as they were passed immediately on to a needy " Joan " who had to be rushed into hospital to undergo an operation.

MAIDENHEAD B.- W.V.S. staffed the Information Tent at the County Agricultural Show and afterwards provided a splendid canteen for the workmen who dismantled the stands. The men appreciated this service enormously and their only complaint was that W.V.S. had not provided a canteen for them when they erected the stands!

NEYLAND U.D.- At a Carnival held in Neyland (Pembs.) recently a lorry was arranged to represent the Neyland Darby and Joan Club. Children were dressed to represent the Darbies and Joans and the W.V.S. helpers. A table was set for tea and at another Darbies were playing dominoes. This lorry gained 3rd prize.

PORT SAID.- Troops in transit have made full use of the Britannia Club. On three occasions the Club was opened at 7.30 a.m. for the benefit of men given shore leave. One day it was almost crowded out by a seething mass of troops in jungle green. When naval vessels were here on a four days visit large numbers of the ship's personnel were in the Club, taking part in the various tournaments and attending the dances, which they appeared to enjoy tremendously. We were delighted to receive four parcels of magazines from Ardler, Burnley, Dunkeld and Headquarters (Technical magazines). Last, but certainly not least, six parcels from Eastbourne W.V.S., who also very kindly sent a grand parcel of sheet music and song books, which were greatly appreciated by our band.

PORTSLADE
.- A member offered to make 200 cakes for a Garden Party given in aid of the local Animal Clinic. This was in answer to an appeal by Brighton Centre.

POCKLINGTON R.D.- A Darby aged 58 cycles 1 1/2 miles weekly from outlying village of Allerthorpe to attend the recently opened Darby and Joan Club.

The front cover of this month's Bulletin reported "A plan for supplementing rations of farm workers is under trial by the Ministry of Food with the aid of W.V.S., Ipswich. Meat and cheese sandwiches and cakes are collected from a depot in the town and taken by W.V.S. to the fields. Workers pay on delivery and give orders for the next round. These farm workers seem well pleased with their cellophane-wrapped test meals." Hence the Headline in this weeks image "Packed Meals for Thatchers".

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 17 October 2016.

Labels: WVS, Darby and Joan, Bulletin