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.
Today’s Diary of a Centre Organiser is from April 1950
A survey of the town has revealed a “corner” of it which is out of reach of any existing Darby and Joan Club. Mrs Ream has energetically pushed a leaflet into the letter-boxes of all houses there known to be inhabited by one or more people over sixty, inviting them to a meeting to discuss the possible formation of a Club. “I’ve been so busy doing this and that, I even forgot to get my husband’s dinner to-day,” she confessed, and added: “He says the leaflets have gone to my head and that I’ve got a one tract mind!”
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.”
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 ...!!’
from May 1950
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 egg yolks, unbeaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons milk
4 tablesp. butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For meringue top
2 whites of eggs
1/2 cup sugar.
Sift flour once, then measure, add baking powder and salt, sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add flavouring. Put into greased baking tin. Beat egg whites until foamy throughout, add sugar, 2 tablesp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is thoroughly blended. Continue beating until mixture stands in peaks. Spread over the cake batter. Bake in a moderate oven for about 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool, then remove carefully from cake tin.
Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 09:00
Monday, 26 October 2015.
Meals on Wheels,
Darby and Joan Club,
Work Party ,
Spinach and beet
BARNET U.D. We were really thrilled to have a personal visit from Corporal W Kane of Stoke Newington who is just back from Korea. He came to express the grateful thanks of all who enjoyed the contents of our parcels. As a token of his appreciation he presented the Centre Organiser with a pair of Korean chopsticks, a spoon and a festive eating bowl. It was quite exciting to hear first-hand news of all the boys and girls who write to us, and we really felt we knew them personally.
BECKENHAM U.D. Flashback to the early nineteen hundreds. A member of one of our Darby and Joan Clubs, having been business manager to Leslie Henson in his early days, wrote reminding him of the past and asked him if he could supply any entertainment for the members of her club. To the great surprise of the leader of the club she was hailed as “Miss Beckenham” although 83 years of age and invited with 90 of her friends and colleagues to witness a performance of his latest play “Relations Are Best Apart”. From the footlights Mr Henson paid a wonderful tribute to this little lady who is gradually losing her sight. He welcomed the members of the club with great gusto.
ERITH B. Sitters-in are still supplied and the job is particularly popular in Metropolitan Kent. Recently a centre received an unusual request - the mother of a small girl asked for a sitter-in whom the child could call Granny as she hadn’t a grandmother and most of her friends had! A Darby and Joan member aged 60, who is a widow and lives alone, has taken on this job and it has given her a great deal of pleasure. She said: “God bless the W.V.S. I feel as if I had been given a new lease of life.”
FULHAM B. Mrs Emma Weekes of Fulham, has just been enrolled. This lady will be 103 years old next May. She is knitting squares in coloured wool to keep the sailors’ “tootsies warm”. Is this a record, please ?
Posted by Matthew McMurray at 15:00
Monday, 12 January 2015.
darby and Joan Club,
Sitters in ,
Knitted Squares ,
Relations are Best Apart,
This month’s extract form the diary of a Centre Organiser comes from the WVS Bulletin, May 1950
Our coachload of festival-bound “Darbies and Joans” was held up in a traffic jam on the outskirts of London. After ten minutes or so, impatient hoots and toots began from the motor horns of the vehicles surrounding us, and soon the air was hideous with sound. Drivers’ faces became purple with ill-concealed impatience and remarks—far from complimentary—were hurled at the Police who were doing their best to push to one side the broken-down van which was causing the hold-up. What might have developed into a quite ugly scene was suddenly transformed into a humorous one by a “Bobby” who climbed on to a car and, raising his baton began to “conduct” the orchestra of discordant klaxons. Smiles replaced frowns, and good temper was restored all round!
Recipe – From the WVS Bulletin, January 1949
Frosted Sandwich Loaf - as the piece de resistance;
1 loaf of Day Old Bread. Various fillings.
Mayonnaise. Cream Cheese.
Remove all crusts and cut into slices, 1/4 in. thick at least. Make tiered sandwich block by spreading the foundation slice with mayonnaise, then a layer of filling : spread each subsequent slice with mayonnaise on both sides, leaving the top of the last slice without mayonnaise. Between each slice put a different coloured filling, eg tomato, parsley, egg, corned beef, sardine, lettuce, etc. When complete press very firmly. Soften cream cheese with a little milk, beat until fluffy and frost outside of block completely. Garnish with parsley. Leave in a cool place for at least one hour. Slice crosswise to serve.
Posted by Matthew Mcmurray at 09:00
Monday, 14 July 2014.
Frosted Sandwich loaf,
Darby and Joan club,
Spinach and beet,