Wednesday 30 March 2011

Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum
London bus circa 1920
Last week I made my first visit to the Imperial War Museum. I can't think why I've not been there before as it's packed with interesting exhibits, an art gallery, and always very important – an excellent cafe.
These toys brought back a few fond memories
This was all you were allowed during rationing.
I went with my good friend Jean Fullerton and we decided we must go back at least once more as we didn't really do it justice.
They have brilliant mock-up of semi-detached house – but it was certainly not the sort of place most people lived in.  It had an indoor bathroom and flush toilet (something I didn't have until late in my teens) and the kitchen was well-equipped.
I can remember at my grandmother's house trying to keep the slippery satin eiderdown on the bed during the night. In the end I put it under the blanket instead of on top.
The dreaded satin eiderdown!
I think this could be a Spitfire. (We really should have bought the guide book.)
Rationing lasted until the 50s which is why I can remember having to use my sweet coupons. I can also remember what must have been one of the last "pea-soupers". I'd gone with my father to the corner shop no more than 5 min from where we live and the fog came down whilst we were out. I think it took us an hour and a half to grope our way back. I hung onto his jacket whilst he fingered his way up and down every path until he reached a front door and could find out if it was the entrance to our apartment block.  The planes were surprisingly small and the guns absolutely enormous.
 A German plane - not sure which one.
I think many of these brands are still around today -and certainly were not so long ago. We didn't get time to look around the art gallery but will do that on out next visit. The Blitz experience was good -when the seats moved someone at the end of the row used very rude language - in keeping with the times, I felt.
I apologize for the random layout of this blog -not quite got to grips with it yet.
Fenella Miller
A fine array of tinned goods


  1. The blog's looking good Fenella. No wonder everyone was so slim during the war looking at those rations! I used to work near the Imperial War Museum but never went in. Silly, isn't it how you often don't appreciate things that are round the corner but you'll go miles to visit museums or stately homes etc.

  2. Thanks Cara - Jean and I are going back soon -and will put something up about the art next time.