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WVS Advice Bureau

Our WVS Advice Bureau has been a favourite at events and much admired for some years now, but we feel it is time for a change, so it had been put to rest and replaced with the Emergency Shop display for 2024.

Our display is a trailer which has been lovingly converted to a Women’s Voluntary Service Advice Bureau.

During the war the WVS travelled all over the country giving talks and demonstrations on issues as diverse as rationing, how to feed your family, putting out incendiary bombs, and hay box cooking, as living history re-enactors we aim to replicate this important part of Home Front history. Bureaus such as ours were donated by the Bundles for Britain campaign from the USA. 

The trailer is named ‘Nella’ after Nella Last, whose diaries gave a special insight into life of an ordinary housewife during WW2 and was televised as Housewife 49 starring Victoria Wood.

Almost all of the items in the Bureau are original, others have been painstakingly reproduced from photographs of the originals. 

The following are the sort of talks we give from the Bureau:

Off-ration Ideas
Hay Box Construction and Cooking
Cooking with Dried Eggs
How to Look After Gas Masks
How to Put Out an Incendiary Bomb

We are happy to chat to the public and answer any questions about life on the Home Front during the war. 

In addition to this we have an option to add a collection of mannequins dressed in original clothes and uniforms portraying men, women and children collecting for Home Front appeals, including a VAD Nurse, 1940s Girl Guide and Brownie (we also give talks to Brownie and Guide groups), and two younger children. These are very popular and create a great amount of interest.