Heritage Bulletin blog
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The blog is a wee bit late this week, but for a very good reason, and we hope you will forgive us. It will also be the last of the year as I am off on my Christmas Holidays.
We have decided to give everyone an early Christmas present, one that the elves here have been working on for over 3 years.
Today sees the culmination of our Bulletin project!
We have painstakingly scanned, OCR’ed and edited all 419 editions of the Bulletin/Magazine from 1939-1974 and loaded them onto our online catalogue. You can now search the entire text, and then view and download the original documents.
All for free!
Try a search today
This is our first major foray into the world of providing access to our archive material digitally and we hope that it is a big success. There are 8,444 pages which contain stories from around the country of WVS and WRVS work covering 35 years; from tales of the evacuation, to welcoming the Ugandan Asian Refugees as well as Food Flying Squad competitions.
If you enjoy ‘Spinach and Beet’ every month, you can read every unedited edition, and indulge yourself with hundreds of recipes from ‘food news’.
Family historians will love all editions after 1961 which include the names of all recipients of the WVS Long Service Medal!
There is so much to discover, where will you begin?
It‘s all part of the continuing development of our collections, opening them up as a resource for all to enjoy and explore. This though is just the tip of a very large iceberg. The Bulletin represents only 0.05% of our collection and we are going to need your help in the future to make access to more available.
If you want to know more about the Bulletin and Magazine keep reading, as we’ve posted another blog below with a few details.
Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 08:02
Thursday, 10 December 2015.
WVS Bulletin ,
spinach and Beet,
From the Centres,
Long Service Medal,
Food Flying Squad,
Today Royal voluntary Service has released online its first major digitised collection of material, all 419 issues of the WVS Bulletin. To celebrate, we thought we would take a closer look at the history of the Bulletin.
The WVS/WRVS Bulletin/Magazine is a fantastic and accessible window onto the world of work undertaken by WRVS members over a 36 year period, following the fashion and trends of the periods it describes. Most importantly it is one of the best starting points for discovering more about the amazing work of the Women in Green.
The first issue of the WVS Bulletin was produced in November 1939, just two months after the outbreak of WWII when the WVS had a membership of over 300,000 and a way to communicate with them all directly was sorely needed. The Bulletin was produced every month for 35 years, from 1938-1974 over 419 issues.
The first thirteen issues of the Bulletin were a simple typescript, with the first covering just five sides of foolscap paper, and included news on subjects such as Evacuation, ARP, Transport and Hospital Supplies. It also showed the amazing ability of WVS to attract new members, with 110,000 welcomed in the month of September alone.
From December 1940, the Bulletin became a printed newsletter of eight pages, covering important information for members as well as a way of sharing tips and good ideas pioneered by one WVS centre for replication across the whole country. This reporting of goings on from centres all over Great Britain became a staple of the bulletin, with the ‘From the Centres’ latterly the ‘Reports from Everywhere’ column surviving until the very end of publication.
The first picture (a black and white cartoon from Punch magazine) appeared in February 1942, though pictures were a rare occurrence during the war, the first photograph was not printed until April 1947. While the war had been going on, there had been no need to include adverts, but as funding was reduced post war, it became a necessity.
The first advert appeared in April 1947 (perhaps to pay for the inclusion of the picture!) and was for the Listener Magazine. This was the start of a very long term relationship with the BBC which posted large adverts for its magazines and books in almost every edition of the Bulletin/Magazine after this point. Though initially the adverts were all for the BBC or Information from Government Ministries, the first commercial advert was run for ‘Milton’ (disinfectant) in November 1948. After that the number of commercial adverts increased significantly over the years as the number of pages in the Bulletin grew. By the end of its run in 1974 the WRVS Magazine was regularly 36 pages.
In April 1970 the Bulletin changed its name to the WRVS Magazine, but sadly publication ceased in December 1974. Members had always had to pay for the bulletin themselves with it initially costing one penny per issue. Sadly over time its popularity declined and by the late 1960’s were only printing about 5,000 copies. The price had risen to 50p annually by 1974 and they did not have enough subscribers to make it financially viable.
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.
Posted by Matthew McMurray at 09:00
Monday, 01 December 2014.
Darby and Joan ,
Meals on Wheels ,
This month’s extract from the diary of a Centre Organiser comes from the WVS Bulletin, September 1951:
Rest Centre rehearsal to-day: not too bad. Was rather startled to find all indications as to the whereabouts of ‘Drinking Water’, ‘Enquiries’ and so on prefaced with the words ‘ I HI! ’ instead of the more sober ‘ NOTICE.’ “Certainly very striking,” I said, speaking close to the ear of Miss Deffe who had printed them, “and—er—matey!” She eyed me reproachfully. “It was your suggestion,” she declared. Couldn’t imagine what she meant until I suddenly remembered I had emphasised the importance of notices being eye high (and not erected at levels where only Brobdingnagians or Lilliputians could read them)!
Recipe – From the WVS bulletin September 1951
Barley Water with Rose-Hip Syrup
The best barley water needs a lemon, but as these are so hard to come by we give below an excellent alternative.
Allow about 1 tablespoon pearl barley to every pint of barley water required. Put barley in saucepan, cover with cold water, bring quickly to boil, remove, strain, return the barley to clean pan and add 1 pint of boiling water. Let it stand for a while, strain water into a jug. Add 2-4 teaspoons of rose hip syrup. If rose-hip barley water is to be used purely as a drink, 2 teaspoons of rose-hip syrup to the pint is sufficient, but if the invalid is living on nothing else but barley water, he or she needs 4 teaspoons of rose-hip syrup daily, and must therefore drink about 2 pints of rose-hip barley water daily, if possible.
Other uses for Rose-Hip Syrup. When considering the invalid’s diet, do remember to make full use of rose-hip syrup, which besides being delicious provides the highest content of vitamin C. Serve it on a milk pudding, or as a sauce round the cornflour mould, or round creams made with milk, or with baked apples.
It must be borne in mind, however, that cooking destroys the vitamin C in rose-hip syrup, so, when cooking, add the syrup last of all, just long enough for it to get warm, but not boil.