A plain white document box hides numerous officially produced and issued documents inside, giving a peep into part of everyday life for local people over the 40’s/50’s/60’s during WWII and the Cold War.
- National Registration Identity Cards (including one for a person under 16 years) – these cards were obligatory until Feb 1952,
- Ration books, Points Coupons (food) and Clothing Book/Cards (listing how many coupon points were needed to be able to buy clothes, cloth or wool) – used to ensure people received food/clothing to which they were entitled and no more, I think it helps to understand the ‘make do and mend’ approach of the time, a world away from internet shopping of today.
- Government Evacuation Scheme – An official form giving a brief overview of the need to care for evacuee’s, followed by an even more brief application form where if you were interested you filled in your name/address and indicated how many boys/girls you were prepared to care for (no mention of a DBS check in those days!).
- Home Guard Proficiency book – issued 1942/3 and over 125 pages covers a number of topics;
- Practical questions
- Problems of strategy
- Tactical problems
- New weapons
- German infantry weapons
- Answers to practical questions
Difficult to look at this without thinking of Dad’s Army in Warmington on Sea, although at the time it was of course a very serious training requirement.
- The Rural District Council of Ely – A letter listing all known water wells (over 50) in the village giving the name of the premises and address, I assume this was to be able to continue to provide water for the village if the official supply was in any way impacted.
- Civil Defence in the 50’s/60’s – various official documents giving advice on potentially what could happen during the dark days of the cold war.
- Civil Defence Warden training documents and scenarios detailing mock exercises and potential casualties/damage.
- List of Royal Observer Corp observation posts in the local area including Littleport (open from 1960to 1968).
- Government information booklets – information on Hydrogen bombs, nuclear fallout, war-plan and ‘what you should do’.
We have also added a number of newly acquired items to the archive this month including;
- Hope Brothers Ltd gold tone cufflinks
- Postcard of Black Bank Station
- Used postcard of William C Barber’s print shop, Victoria Street.
- 1904 postcard of the Ice Skating Cup and Spectators at Littleport.