The wartime kitchen
In some kitchens people cooked on a 'stove' heated by a coal or wood fire. The stove heated the room and cooked meals. Most kitchens had a gas cooker though some had electric cookers.
Not many people had a refrigerator. People went shopping to buy fresh food most days. To keep flies away from meat, they kept meat in a small cupboard called a 'meat safe'. They kept bread in a bread bin and biscuits in tins. Families ate some tinned foods, such as tinned meat, peas and baked beans, but hardly any frozen foods.
You could only buy fresh fruit grown in Britain, such as apples or pears. Fruits that had to come in ships, like bananas, vanished from the shops. Many ships were being sunk by enemy submarines, and precious ship-space was needed for war materials (such as oil or guns) not bananas.
Listening to the Radio
Almost every home had a radio or 'wireless'. Most radios came in a case made of Bakelite, a kind of plastic. In Britain, all the programmes came from the BBC. People listened to the radio news, and read newspapers, to find out what was happening in the war.
The BBC also broadcast war news in foreign languages. People in France and other occupied countries listened in secret, because the Nazis punished anyone caught listening to the BBC.
Radio was not all news. There were comedy shows, talks and plays, and sports broadcasts. Lively music on the radio helped weary factory workers keep working!
Not every home had a phone (and there were no mobile phones). Pay-phones in red 'telephone boxes' did not always work after air raids, because of bombs. To keep in touch, people wrote letters. Evacuees wrote postcards and letters home. Men and women in the Forces wrote home too.
The sight of a messenger hurrying to a door with a telegram made people feel anxious. Telegrams often brought sad news - that someone had been killed in an air raid or in a battle.
Friends and Neighbours
With many parents away or at work, children were often left to look after themselves. They played in fields or in the street. Street games were safer than they would be today, because there were so few cars.
Children helped clear up after air raids. They ran errands to the 'corner shop'. Older children looked after younger ones. Often neighbours and grandparents helped too. Many families were 'bombed out' (their homes were damaged by bombs). When this happened, neighbours offered food and beds, and lent clothes or furniture.