|The effects of the war on the inhabitants of Ridgmont and Brogborough were not drastic to start with. In September 1939, the evacuees arrived from the William Morris School from Walthamstow in London. But other than that, the children did not realise a war was on apart from hearing the bombers overhead of an evening. And then, later on, when men from the village left to go to fight and did not return.
These audio clips may take some time to download (about 90 and 200K respectively)
|Rationing became an issue later in the war, and ration books were issued to everyone.
These allowed people to get small quantities of basic essentials - sugar, butter, meat and even sweets!
|Pages from a sweets ration book|
|The front page of a ration book|
|Everyone had to carry gas masks with them - even the children.
One resident recalls, as a child, looking out of the window watching the ARP practising using their masks - "All you could see was a huge head like that of a jumbo elephant". How frightening is that! Click here to hear this story.
Cecil Woodland recorded his childhood impressions of gas masks in his diary. Click here to read them,
|People were made aware of the war by the posters and slogans used - "Careless talk costs lives" was a famous one, amongst others. Street and road signs were removed, so that invaders and enemy parachutists would not know where they were. One lady remembers being stopped to give directions, and having said she didn't know, felt terribly bad for some time as she had told a lie.|
|As the war continued and things became scarce, the childen were sent to 'scavenge' for all kinds of things - iron, metal, twine, paper etc. Early in 1942 the railings outside all the buildings in the high street disappeared - even those outside the school! These have since been replaced, but the sites of where many stood are still visible outside some houses along the road. Have a look outside the old butcher's shop the next time you are passing.
Blackouts were enforced - and it ws a serious crime if you did not comply. Even the cars had them, as Cecil Woodland describes in his diary.
There was no street lighting and all the houses had to have blackout screens to prevent any light coming outside. Can you imagine how dark it must have been? Maybe this extract from Cecil Woodlands diary may help.