|When it was seen that working women were unable to do their own shopping as the shops were closed by the end of the working day, the WVS organised shopping parties to do the job. They would collect the lists of items required, along with the money and coupons from each person, do the shopping, very often by bike, and deliver it to the doorstep. They were also available to advise the housewife on how best to produce nutritious meals on wartime rations. In areas that had been heavily bomb damaged, the WVS would be seen setting up emergency outdoor cookers on which to prepare meals for the people who had lost their homes and all their possessions.|
|Another job of the WVS was to make the camouflage netting, used by the army to cover tanks and trucks and even small aircraft to keep them from being spotted by enemy aircraft. These nets were very large and hard to handle. The finished nets were woven with large, fabric leaves to complete the camouflage and it was a very long and laborious process.
Dressed in their uniforms of grey/green, the WVS ladies were seen to be everywhere during the war years, working hard for the benefit of the community in general.
|The Women's Institute (WI) also worked hard for the benefit of the nation. As no food was permitted to be wasted due to shortages, they set up working parties to make jam and bottle fruit in rural areas. The government provided the extra ration of sugar that was needed. They also went from door to door selling National Savings stamps. These could be collected as savings and later cashed in, or put towards National Savings Bonds. In the meantime the money was lent to the government to help to fund the war effort.
A picture of a National Savings Book:
The stamps were bought every week on the doorstep and attached to the book. When enough had been saved they could be cashed in or put towards Savings Bonds.
A letter to a prisoner of war:
A letter accompanying a cash Christmas gift from the WVS Housewives service to a prisoner of war.
to hear Ivy Smith talking about her work with the WI.|