1940s experience

Bluebirds flew over the white cliffs of Inglewood on Wednesday 6th September when residents and staff enjoyed a day of 1940’s memories and reminiscence. The home immersed itself into the wartime era with many of the staff dressed in wartime clothing, rooms decorated and the sounds of Vera Lynn travelling through.

Preparation for the day had been taking place for months, but all was kept under wraps to surprise the residents, beginning with a wartime menu for lunch. The kitchen staff prepared Lord Woolton pie, a pastry filled with vegetables and gravy, and also carrot and sultana pudding to finish- ration food at its finest! Shortly after lunch an air raid siren sounded (everybody had been pre-warned to prevent any nasty scares!) and our warden ushered everyone into Inglewood tube station, the public air raid shelter.

Propaganda posters covered the walls, hammocks hung in the corners ready for a long night and sand bags were piled up against the walls. Here, WAAF Air Commandant Maria took charge and encouraged the residents to keep calm and positive despite the ‘raid’. Everyone sang songs together and enjoyed a cup of tea (crossed out each time in their ration books!), whilst some ladies put red lipstick on to boost morale. Residents chatted about their memories of times like this, and commented on how realistic the decorations were and the authenticity of the atmosphere.

Games such as marbles, jacks and dominoes kept everybody in high spirits until the all-clear siren sounded, and residents moved into the Victory Tea Party. Residents sat at a long table set out for tea with china tea cups and plates, and plenty of sweet treats, whilst Inglewood’s very own WAAF Air Commandant Maria and WAAF Group Officer Elizabeth sang a set of wartime tunes, featuring the likes of ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ by the Andrews Sisters, and ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ by Vera Lynn. The residents were singing along, tapping the table and swaying in their chairs, enjoying being taking back to a wonderful era of music.

An absolutely brilliant day was had by everyone; the outfits were marvelled (and laughed at), memories were talked about and reminisced over, hairstyles were hair sprayed and admired, and most of all, the residents of Inglewood thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time.

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