Showing posts with label Second World War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Second World War. Show all posts

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

What would your birthday cake have looked like during wartime?

Visit the Imperial War Museum in London to see this great exhibition A Family in Wartime.

A Family in Wartime tells the story of the Allpress family during the Second World War. They lived in Stockwell, South London. The exhibition documents their family life during the war, and hence tells many a family story looking at the impact the war had on everyday life, such as feeding a family, maintaining a house and garden, doing the laundry, going to school, commuting to work, not to mention birthday celebrations.

There is a beautiful small-scale model of their family home as it was during the war, made by a model maker, the husband of one of the Allpress daughters. You can view it from every angle, the bedrooms, the living room, the kitchen, the Anderson shelter and even the inside loo.

We loved this exhibition, imagining our lives in the Second World War. We sat in the Anderson shelter and imagined what it would have been like to spend the night in there, discussed who would have which bunk and how we would have assembled it in our garden. My kids were quite impressed when I told them that I had found scraps of corrugated iron when I had been digging in the back of our garden (a London terraced house) when they were little. They must have been the remains of an Anderson shelter. The Second World War has been a piece of history that they have been able to relate to and connect with personally and being at this exhibition helped that to happen as they got to see genuine artefacts for themselves.

Having thoroughly enjoyed studying the Second World War at school, we went to this exhibition  a week before their 9th birthday, to be confronted with the question, "What would your birthday cake have looked like during wartime?" A timely question.

The answer, well with sugar rationing, icing on cakes was banned during wartime from 1940, to conserve sugar. They certainly wouldn't have looked like this...

Thank goodness sugar is not still being rationing now. In fact it came off rationing in 1953, 8 years after the war had ended.

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