bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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As it was ? … Well almost.

Posted by Big John on January 13, 2008

Earlier today I discovered, by accident, a BBC website for children all about what it was like to be a kid in this country during World War II.

I must say that I felt very much at home visiting this website, firstly because I was a child during those troubled times and secondly because the content is aimed at 7 – 9 year olds.

The ‘Wartime Home’ section shows a house a lot like the one I lived in. I especially liked the illustration of the ‘scullery’ although the one in our house was more scruffy and lacked the gas water heater, and I wasn’t ‘posh’ enough to have a water jug and basin in my bedroom, although I did have another piece of ‘china’ under the bed.

We ‘lived’ in the kitchen as the sitting room (known as the front room) was only used for special occasions, that is until the night when Herr Hitler decided to bring down the ceiling and wreck the front of the house.

Some of the photographs brought back memories like …

  • I have slept in one of … THESE.   
  • I’ve worn one of … THESE.
  • and … I’ve seen a lot of … THIS.

I can’t relate too much to the section on evacuees as I only spent a short time in the country with my mother and an aunt, before returning to London just in time for the ‘Blitz’. I just can’t imagine today’s ‘little darlings’ being labelled and shipped off to some unknown destination, not knowing if they would ever return.

My best friend’s big sister was named Vera, so it was nice to meet up with her again after all these years, and she even managed to rustle up my favourite potato pancakes. (I would have eaten anything in those days).

I don’t know what today’s children would make of the information given on this site. It must be hard for them to imagine a world without … pizzas … television … ice cream … central heating … frozen food … bananas … and … supermarkets; but I do like the idea of kids learning about how another generation of children lived in the days of shared bathwater, blackout curtains and ration books.

The only thing that is missing from the virtual tour of the house (‘an exact copy of a real family’s wartime home’) is the ‘loo’. Now this could have been shown inside or outside the house with a ‘hot link’ highlighting the cut up newspaper hanging from a nail in the wall … I wonder …

…  how Vera would have explained that ?   ;-)

8 Responses to “As it was ? … Well almost.”

  1. I always say you know you are getting old when you go round the museum, point to exhibits and say “We had one of those…” :)

    And the police officers are so damned young these days, too…

  2. We were lucky during the war, we mostly lived in the cities, but we had time in the country with outdoor loos and keroscene lamps and water from a well. Saturday night baths in a portable tub water heated on a wood stove.

    JWL

  3. Betty said

    I found this very interesting, even if it was aimed at 7-9 year olds.

  4. Creepy said

    They currently have a TV programme on CBBC where some little darlings of today are shipped off to live in a wartime home. That’s probably what the site is all about. The TV clips I’ve seen is of them all complaining. :-)

  5. Big John said

    Nice to know that you are still around Creepy. Blimey ! 4 years is a long time. You should get some sort of ‘loyalty’ award. :-)

  6. Terri said

    Oh, I really enjoyed this, John. I think it’s great that it was developed and put together for school children today. Although I’m sure you’re right. They’ll find it difficult relating to some of it.
    But I feel that old saying is so true, “Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.” So enlightening today’s children can only be a good thing.
    Thanks for sharing that website.

  7. Norman said

    Yes all very good John, place looks like a bloody Palace, no bikes in the Hallway,nice red bath instead of the old galvanised tin one, which went in front of the fire every Friday night. And the Bedroom? Wonderfull! we got 4 in an issued camp bed(,2 up,2 down, and 3 other boys sleeping in the same room.Did you see that Anderson shelter? If ours were that good,they would have put 4 more kids in there, just for the ration cards.
    sorry John,couldn’t resist this one. cheers. N

  8. Big John said

    Blimey ! Norman. You must have been a bit posh if you had a bath ‘EVERY Friday night’. :-)

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