Episode 3 covers the conditions of the late 1940s. By November 1940, the war had gone on for fourteen months. The Blitz is starting and the cities turned to the countryside for help and defense. Ruth, Peter, and Alex celebrate a wartime farm Christmas.
The Battle of Britain saw the attempted destruction of Britain in advance of a potential invasion. The Battle of Britain was won by the British and the nation was grateful for the victory. The Bombing of British cities and ports continued. 40,000 civilians were killed during the bombings. Southhampton was bombed night after night, and as a result, people ended up sleeping in the fields.
Farms took part in sheltering the city people. They had plenty of outbuildings to house evacuees. Peter and Alex examine the buildings and discover that there are much-needed repairs. While the boys do that, Ruth builds some temporary beds. Furniture was in short supply, so the farmers had to figure out how to house these people. They had to find shelter and supplies fast.
Building supplies were in short supply too. Brick and tile factories could not keep up with demand. So old crafts were revived to help with the shortage. Colin Richard and Mick Crupper fix up and restart a tile-making machine. So the boys soften the clay for use in tile making. They get the tiles made, but Peter is not keeping up with the tiles. The results are quite comedic. The boys’ makeover a couple of hundred tiles for their building roofs. If you had the skill to make tiles, you helped out with the shortage. It was a case of “make do and mend.”
Cotton and linen were in short supply as well. Ruth is recycling old cloth to make quilts. The bags are made out of ticking and Ruth sews up the pockets every night. They are perfect for making the quilt. The quilt is more like a duvet. The job of the duvet is to keep people warm. Ruth is fighting the temptation to make it pretty.
In the meantime, the boys fire their tiles. It is a challenge to do in November. They have to maintain a constant temperature to fire. The kiln must burn for two days and two nights. This will require a lot of firewood, so they use an old-school power saw to cut it up. Alex and Peter joke about the Avon branded power saw.
Not only were women and children relocated to the countryside. Contentious objects were also relocated to the country. They were sent to the country for additional labor. Alex and Peter meet up with one of the contentious objectors and talk about his experience. He objected on religious grounds and he talked about the questions he was asked. He did not have trouble registering as a contentious objector. Over 5,000 contentious objectors were imprisoned, others were sent to the country to work on the farms.
Thousands of evacuees came to the country. Betty Rudd, who remembered the refugees coming, spoke about her experience. It was a challenging time for the country people and the city folks. The people did not eat their greens and would have wanted fish and chips. They were not country people. The ”townies” and the country people eventually learned from each other. The children were put to work on the farm and had new experiences in the country.
The second half of this episode would be good to show what the World War II evacuees went through and how they were treated by the country's people. The crafting section was interesting and you could potentially use it for an art class. Otherwise, I would put this on an independent study student’s list for viewing.
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