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15 Lessons Learned from “The 1940s House”

I have just been rewarding the wonderful BBC Series “The 1940s House”, and each time I get something different out of it. Here are fifteen lessons I learnt this time –

  1. The utilities were often cut off after bombing raids – water, power, gas. Be prepared. Store bottles of water and some easy to prepare food ( a 3 week to 3 month supply is a good start). Have a back up way of heating water and food.  Learn how to make a fire without matches.
  2. Grow a vegetable, herb and fruit garden for food, barter and healing (like comfrey for sprained ankles).
  3. Keep chickens and ducks for eggs. Be prepared to breed and butcher your own if you want to eat meat. Think about other small animals for meat and fertiliser, like rabbits and cavies. (People did actually resort to “roof hare” in war torn Europe ie. Cat). Get into aquaculture – fish are often easier to farm than cute and furry animals!
  4. If you have room, get a milk goat or two and a couple of beehives. Dairy foods and sweetners were rationed and hard to get.
  5. Learn to cook from scratch – especially basics like bread, stews and basic yoghurt and cheeses. Practice with powdered agh and milk and have some on hand.
  6. Learn to sew and have a good sewing kit so you can “make do and mend.”
  7. Have ” no tech” days – turn off the TV and cook, cool and heat without power. 
  8. Have a stock of real books and games for entertainment when the power goes down. Get the kids to make their own board game. Learn an instrument. 
  9. Keep a diary, or blog, or write letters to keep your language alive and your brain active.
  10. Cut down or cut out the alcohol, unessessary drugs and cigarettes, otherwise you may need to quit cold turkey.
  11. Shop locally and eat fresh (to back up your own home grown), walk to the shops and leave the car at home. It saves waste, can be cheaper and healthier and is better for the planet.
  12. If you want a job and can’t get one, volunteer – it can give you a boost as well as helping others.
  13. Keep a couple of lipsticks and hair dye kits (if you use them) on hand. They can boost morale. 
  14. Also keep a stock of toilet paper – it is REALLY important! Moisturiser, toothpaste and soap are also important. 
  15. Be nice to your family members, and ensure your children know to to do basic chores!

About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

2 responses »

  1. Thank you so much for recommending this. I have just started watching it. Fascinating.

  2. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I was born after the war ended, but I remember all the talk about it.


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