Heritage Bulletin blog

The Heritage Bulletin Blog ran from July 2012 to January 2020, covering a huge range of subjects, from a day in the archives, to extracts from the WVS bulletins, and histories of various WVS/WRVS services.

It’s 219 articles have become a valuable resource in themselves, why not search them or just browse to discover something new.

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Winter Warmers

This week’s HB Blog is dedicated to winter warming recipes from The WVS Bulletin 70 years ago this month.

Bon Appetite!


White Vegetable Soup


1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 small turnip
1/2 leek
1 stick celery
1 1/2 pt. water
1/2 pt. milk
1 oz. flour
1 oz. fat
1/2 small bay leaf


Melt the fat in saucepan, slice the vegetables and put into fat. Cook the vegetables but do not let them burn. Add the bay leaf and water and cook until vegetables are tender. Mix the flour and milk together, pour into saucepan and boil for a few minutes to cook the flour, stewing carefully. Take out the bay leaf, add the salt and the soup is ready.

Potato Soup


1 1/2 lb. potatoes
1 stick celery
a few spring onions
a little leek
2 pt. vegetable water and white stock
2 level tablespoonfuls household milk
2 tablespoonfuls chopped parsley.


Scrub, peel and slice the potatoes. Place them in the boiled salted stock and cook with the lid on till quite soft. Rub through a sieve and mash well with a wooden spoon. Mix the milk to a smooth cream with a little water, re-heat, add parsley and serve immediately.

Beef Tea


1/2 lb. lean beef
1/2 pt. cold water
pinch of salt.


Remove all skin and fat from the meat and cut into slices. Stew each slice and soak in a china jug with the cold water and salt for 1/4 hour. Cook in slow oven for 2 hours. Strain and remove fat—season and serve hot with toast.

Milk Pudding


1 1/2 to 2 oz. cereal
5 level tablespoonfuls household milk
1 pt. water ; 1 level tablespoonful sugar
1/2 oz. margarine.


Reconstitute the dried milk with the water. Wash the cereal and put into a greased pie dish. Pour over the reconstituted milk. Add the sugar. Dot with margarine. Bake in a slow oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 00:00 Monday, 18 January 2016.

Labels: White Vegetable Soup, Potato Soup, Beef Tea, Milk Pudding, Recipes

Some recent enquiries...

Here at the archive much of our time is spent answering enquiries from members of the public and Royal Voluntary Service staff and volunteers, in fact we receive about 200 a year. But like London buses they all seem to come along at once.

This month we have had a small deluge of family and local history enquiries, requests from students and media companies to authors and people looking to donate material to the archive.

One of my favourite requests was from a gentleman who has donated 200 Civil Defence Welfare Section recipe cards to the archive (which as I write this have yet to arrive). Each card with a different recipe for feeding 5,000 people at a time, imagine that, the quantities are mind boggling!

We also had request for information on one of our Regional Administrators during the war, Mrs Vera Dart who looked after Region 10 (Cumberland, Lancashire and Cheshire for the uninitiated!) for an author who is publishing a book about her.

A lady rang up asking us to identify what had come in a small white cardboard box, which had “presented by Lady Reading 1940” written on the back. The answer? It was her WVS membership badge. A lucky lady to be presented with it by the Chairman!

We have also lent out this month our entire stock of wartime loan uniforms for events being held by Royal Voluntary Services around the country, they have been at the Dig for Victory Show in Bristol, as wells as other promotional events around the country from Sheffield to Hampshire, the uniforms always attracting much attention.

Finally in this small selection, we have helped an academic who is looking at how our narrative reports might be able to help track changes in society and policy over time. This may turn out to be an exciting project for the future!

Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 27 July 2015.

Labels: Region 10 , WVS, WRVS, RVS, Archive , Enquiries, Recipes, Vera Dart, Lady Reading , Narrative Reports