BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

12 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


A Childs memories

by derbycsv

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Margaret Badel
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 May 2005

“This story was submitted to the site by the BBC Radio Derby’s CSV Action Desk with Margaret Badel’s permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions”

As a child growing up during the war, there are many things I remember happening.

We had an Anderson Shelter in the garden erected by my father and a neighbour, which we used until it was filled with water. My grandparents lived in Scott Street, off Upperdale Road. A brick built public shelter was built outside their house – very dark and “spooky”. My grandmother refused to use it; she preferred to sit under the stairs!

On V.E. Day and V.J. Day, we had street parties for the children, mums made jellies, blancmanges, sandwiches and cakes. Later we had a bonfire with an effigy of Hitler.

Taking the ration books to the Co-op, points for extras e.g. currants, tinned fruit, tinned salmon, jam or syrup.

Dockets were allocated to purchase furniture, for newly weds and bombed out victims, who needed basic replacements, families with growing children who needed extra beds.

There was an allocation (ration) of cool, the only means of heating the house and obtaining hot water.

We were issued with clothing coupons, never enough to clothe growing children – families had to “make do and mend”, making things last longer by darning, patching, letting down dress hems, repairing shoes – sometimes with a cardboard insole.

For one Christmas lunch we had roast rabbit (not rationed), no turkey or chicken. Homemade mincemeat and Christmas pudding – ingredients for which we had saved up all year – some very unusual!

There was advertising inside buses. Posters, which said:

“Dig for victory”
“Careless Talk costs lives”
“Keep ‘Mum’”

Identity cards – I can still remember my number. Seeing the houses on Derby Lane which were bombed, and the smoke screens lining the pavements.

Things we used on washdays:
Soap powders:
Paddy – Co-op own brand
Wiclo bleaching tablet
Dolly blue – for whitening cottons
Dolly cream – for net curtains

Co-op newsheaf green block washing soap
All washed by hand or in a dolly tub with a set of dolly pegs – very hard work!

A few things I remember are:
Sylvan soap flakes
Swan floating toilet soap
Zebra – black lead polish

Minicream – polish
Cardinal red floor polish
Brown paper carrier bags with string handles

The Co-op hand many shops in Derby in almost every area, we used the one on Browning Circle, which consisted of:
Grocery – where bacon was sliced on a machine then weighed and wrapped
Butter, lard and cheese cut off large slabs at the back of the counter, wrapped in greaseproof paper and weighed at the point of purchase.
Sugar in blue bags, dried fruit in yellow bags. No polythene and few pre-packed goods.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Family Life Category
End of War 1945 Category
Derbyshire Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy