In the 1940's there was no television and, during wartime especially, the radio was mostly news about the state of the war. Villagers tended to create their own entertainment with whist drives, social evenings and fund raising events in the YMCA, now known as the village hall. Music was usually provided by someone on piano. Some of the evacuees in Brogborough formed their own concert party called the 'Brogborough Follies' to entertain the residents.
There were cinemas at Ampthill and Cranfield. Saturday morning matinees were very popular with the children where for 6d you could see two films and several extras!

Do you know how much that is now? Roll over the coin to find the answer.

The Zonita Cinema at Ampthill
Do you recognize this building? Click here to see how little things have changed.
An extract from the Woburn Reporter, February 1941
Childrens games have changed very little over time - even if the format is different. Games of football and cricket in the recreation ground were popular.

At home, games were often played throughout the long dark evenings. These included the family favourites of Snakes and ladders, Ludo, Draughts and Lotto or Housey Housey as it was better known at the time. Other games included motor and horse racing games, as well as blow football. Click here to view an extract from Cecil Woodlands diary.

Christmas Party 1946 at Brogborough
The church and chapels were also very active, providing activities for the children after school.

The 'Girls Friendly Society' met on a Monday in the Carving Room to make things in needlework and lace. Most were sold at sales of work, but a tablecloth still exists in the church that was embroidered by them.

Church choir practice was held onTuesdays and Fridays, as well as a Youth Club for the teenagers.

The Women's Institute also ran competitions for the children to work on at home.

The social club at Brogborough still exists - but you had to be over 16 to get in!

One of the popular tunes of the time was Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again". Click here to listen to this tune.

This audio clip may take some time to download ( about 450K)

The 'Brogborough Follies' gave concerts in the local villages to raise money for the war effort. These were very popular affairs and always well attended. The picture here is from a concert held in the YMCA hall at Ridgmont in September 1941, in aid of the National Air Raid Distress Fund. More than 150 tickets were sold, and the entertainment included music, tap dancing, an impressionist and a conjurer. The evening raised the mighty sum of £15.
The Brogborough Follies concert party performing at Ridgmont YMCA Hall in aid of the National Air Raid Distress Fund ©Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service
Many of the surrounding villages had their own small swimming pools. Residents of Ridgmont could use the nearby Husborne Crawley pool - but not so for the people of Brogborough!
The swimming pool at Husborne Crawley (from the collection of John M Saunders)