On 21 March 1941 Mr Churchill wrote to Lord Woolton, Minister of Food, in relation to the establishment of communal feeding centres:
These photographs are part of the “MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION”. Here five women from a nearby works enjoying a meal at the British Restaurant at Woolmore Street in 1942, just like they do in Maggie’s Kitchen. They work as oil and grease fillers at the factory.
© IWM (D 10676)
Here is entertainer Tommy Trinder in 1941 as he sings and dances in a British Restaurant, to encourage the public to use communal feeding centres.
© IWM (D 2413)
This is mealtime at a British Restaurant
in Poplar in 1942.
© IWM (D 12268)
The self-serve British Restaurant in Woolmore Street, London, during 1942. Like Gillian and Rose, these ‘dinner ladies’ serve the meals to the queuing diners.
© IWM (D 10680)
M M Brookes holds a diploma in domestic science and runs the restaurant.
© IWM (D 10673)
Cooks are trained at the National College of Domestic Science in Westminster and the general public sit down to lunch cooked by students learning about communal feeding.
© IWM (D 22533)
As well as requisitioning sports grounds and gardens for farming and growing vegetables a lot of other wasteland was used, including the side of railways as Janek does in the book.
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If you don’t have your own garden and want to get involved in a community garden then your local council web site might give details of community gardens to get involved with. Urban gardens like the one pictured here are popular in city and town centres.
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Luckily you will not need to go through the process of transforming a bomb crater into a veggie patch like this one in London during WWII; a small area or even a window box will do, or even a wall garden.
A victory garden in a bomb crater in London during WWII. Photo: Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. (06/13/1942 – 09/15/1945), Photographer (NARA record: 1138532) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
© IWM (Art.IWM PST 17019)
Food Production: Dig for Victory, Artist, Peter Fraser.
Victory Garden Poster, ‘Dig for Plenty’