As I continue the research for my forthcoming World War 2 novel I am discovering just what it was like back then. While the young men went to war, all those left behind wanted to do their very best to contribute to the war effort.
There were many government campaigns, each one encouraging everyone to do their bit. It’s hard to imagine now, but from June 1941 until 1949, buying new clothes was rationed in Britain. Everyone was issued with clothing coupons. The government urged people to repair, reuse and reimagine their existing clothes – refashioning coats into skirts, collars of shirts turned to extend their life, cutting the top from a summer dress to make into a blouse. Evenings would often be spent unravelling the wool from an old jumper, only to knit it again into something new.
It’s ‘making do and mending’ that we find Fred and Phyllis focusing on in the opening chapter of my novella, More than Ashes.
With our current urgent need to increase recycling, perhaps we could use a few of their imaginative ideas today!