Ok....so it's not been as simple as I thought to choose some pictures from the archive for your edification....but I've managed to find a few and they do indeed actually have some food connection...not much, but better than none....there are a few others at the Flickr site so pop there to have a look too.
So from the past I present what I believe was an event from 2005 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of V.E. day....
The premise was fairly simple, divide the team in two, with one half in period clothes discussing life at the Palace during the war...fire watching, civilian life, and the army...SHAEF was set up in Bushy Park after all!
The other half would dress in modern 'whites' and re-create period recipes either official government issue from the Ministry of Food, or those supplied by volunteers who had lived through the war.
The pictures, well the black and white ones at least, were all shot using a period camera then scanned, along with the colour ones, from film onto digital...which goes to explain the haze that they all seem to have I'm afraid.
It wasn't all just standing around and posing in uniform for those who'd escaped from the kitchens...oh no...they had fun teaching people army drill
as well as marksmanship using Swift training rifles...something that Adrian and Dave now have a fairly comprehensive collection of!!
It was actually refreshing to see how people took to this part of the display with lots of family groups egging each other on to beat each others score.
As for the food, well some of it was really good...tasty, hearty and really efficient with the meagre rations available at the time...some though was.....not (beetroot cake springs to mind!)
Probably the best thing though about the whole event was listening to peoples stories from living through the war, both good and bad, funny and sad.
Showing people the quantity of rations that a family was allowed was an eye opener too as so many of the younger families that visited simply couldn't see how you could survive on the food that was allowed...their shock was then added to when it was pointed out that the rations were what you were allowed to have, NOT what you were given...we had so many people come through that had lived in inner cities during the war and never saw the full ration allowance because they couldn't get the supplies!
As for 'Dig for Victory'...."where?" was the question posed by the elderly gentleman who had lived in a Glasgow tenement....He remembered ripping the cobbled yard up as they were told to do by the government so that the could grow their own vegetable, but as he said "what was gonna grow in that cr*p??"
All in all it was a fun event and one that we repeated later in that year....it also helped forge some ideas as to different interpretation styles and display layouts...all of which should become evident over this coming year as we try out some new ideas as well as re-vamping some old ones.
The weekend is now nearly here and the next update will come on Friday or Saturday (fingers crossed) with the odd tweet thrown in for good measure too.....who knows, we may even get some pictures to post during the event...but as always I'm promising nothing.