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World War Two 1940's House Somewhere in England

Unfortunately, the World War House has closed. It was based at Harperley in County Durham. It is no longer there.

page 1 Living Room and Bedroom

World War 2

Life in Britain during the war


During the war it became more and more difficult for products to be imported into Britain from other countries. For example most fruit, including bananas could no longer be imported, while only small quantities of oranges were brought in and these were saved for children. Due to this problem the government introduced rationing. This enabled the population to have access to the same amounts of items at the same prices. This meant that no one would suffer. Even the royal family had to follow the government’s policy. Everyone within the UK was given a ration book. These had to be taken into the shops they registered with in order to obtain rationed items. Bacon, ham, sugar and butter were the first items to be rationed, followed by margarine, oil, cheese, jam, marmalade, treacle, syrup, eggs, sweets, chocolate and soap. The rationing programme turned out to be a great success because it provided everyone with a healthy balanced diet.

The government also came up with a policy called ‘Dig for Victory’. It encouraged people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The government also encouraged people to make up new recipes using whatever they could. For example, whale, horse and squirrel meat were used as an alternative to beef, pork and chicken.


Shelters were provided and constructed as a place of refuge during air raids. Shelters were provided in public places and constructed within people’s gardens. The Anderson shelter was a type of shelter used domestically. It was free to people which had an income of less than £250 per year. The shelters were made of sheets of steel and could hold up to six people. The shelters were buried partially in the ground and covered with soil which plants could be grown in, such as vegetables. People were encouraged to sleep in their shelters every night as it was seen as the safest option. Most people did this at first but found it too uncomfortable so only retreated to them when the air raid sirens sounded signalling an attack.


When Hitler started to bomb cities within Britain, the government decided that it would be safer for the children to be moved to the countryside to live with relatives, friends or other selected families. A total of 3 million children were evacuated altogether. School children travelled together on trains with their teachers. Children under five years of age were accompanied by their mothers or other chosen adult. Pregnant mothers were advised to evacuate too. The evacuation programme was optional but encouraged as the most appropriate action. Families found it difficult to be separated from each other as they missed one another. The children which were evacuated to areas of the countryside came from many different cities across Britain, such as London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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Living Room

Gramophone records were the primary medium used for commercial music reproduction for most of the 20th century. They replaced the phonograph cylinder as the most popular recording medium in the 1900s.

78 rpm record  refers to revolutions per minute of the gramophone records.

1940's gas mask

1940's wireless.

babies high chair


Singer sewing machine

1940's toys



1940's Hoover

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