Wounded men dig potatoes

Some wounded soldiers helped to feed themselves.

14th September 1917

Payment to wounded men for digging potatoes.

The payment of 3£ divided amongst 8 of the wounded soldiers for assisting in getting up the potatoes for the Hospital was approved.

Maidenhead Cottage Hospital governors’ minutes (D/H1/1/2, p. 345)

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Potatoes for victory

Boys in Datchet were growing potatoes to help feed the country, while children in Cookham and their parents were putting their savings in the care of the government, for use in the war.

Datchet National Mixed School
5 September 1917
The potatoes were set, the weather most favourable & the boys are employed in the half-acre “Victory” Plot until further notice.

Cookham Alwyn Road School
September 5th 1917

The War Savings Association continues to do good work. The takings this week were much above the average, and reached £20-5-5.

Log books of Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 400); and Cookham Alwyn Road School (88/SCH/18/1, p. 302)

Plant food means human food

Local gardeners were encouraged to use chemicals to increase food yields.

PLANT FOOD means HUMAN FOOD!

Plants must have Food if they are to produce all they are capable of.
Much of the Land which has been newly broken up this season is sadly deficient in Plant Food. Farm Yard or Stable Manure has been very difficult – often quite impossible – to obtain. Unless means are adopted for Feeding the Crops, they will be small and disappointing.

The so-called Artifical Manures are really

CONCENTRATED PLANT FOOD

AND

You can Double Your Crops by their proper use.

We stock all the Standard kinds.

Sulphate of Ammonia and Superphosphate FOR POTATOES.

J. P. WEBSTER, FRHS, SEEDSMAN AND HORTICULTURAL SUNDRIESMAN,
124 High Street, & Station Front, Maidenhead
ALSO AT COOKHAM AND BOURNE END.

The Richer Your Land the Heavier Your Crop by the Use of Fertilisers.
Compete for our Handsome Challenge Bowl and Valuable Cash Prizes at Cox Green War Time Food Show, Aug. 16.

Advertisement in Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

“100,000 tonnes of potatoes could be added to the food supply of the Nation”

Winkfield people hoped communal effort would help with food shortages.

WINKFIELD WAR ASSOCIATION.

Mr. Asher has generously presented a spraying machine for potatoes for the use of the parish, but though it was ordered by the Association 5 or 6 weeks ago it has not yet arrived. When it comes it is hoped that we may be able to have a demonstration on the allotments in Winkfield Row and make arrangements whereby the machine can be used to the best advantage.

The Board of Agriculture assert that if small growers of potatoes in England and Wales would spray their crops this year, 100,000 tonnes of potatoes could be added to the food supply of the Nation.
The Association has also taken steps to try and insure that an adequate supply of coal shall be available next winter for those who cannot store coal in large quantities in the summer, and they have applied to the Coal Controller for leave to buy 250 tons at once. No reply has yet been received, but we hope to be able to state that this effort has been successful and give full particulars of the terms on which the coal can be bought next winter.

Owing to War conditions it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep our Choir up to anything like full strength in either men or boys. We should therefore welcome any assistance from the congregation, and in the hope that it will lead to more hearty congregational singing we ask all able to do so to attend the short practices which will be held in the Parish Room every Sunday evening at 6 o’clock.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, July 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/7)

The importance of spraying potatoes this year

The latest technology was put to use to maximise food production.

WINKFIELD WAR ASSOCIATION.

On June 29th a meeting was held at the Men’s Club, Winkfield Row, to discuss how the best use could be made of Mr. Asher’s generous gift of a spraying machine for use in the parish. The Vicar presided and explained the importance of spraying potatoes this year. A working Committee was elected, and anyone wishing to utilize their services should inform Mr. T. Beal without delay.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, August 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/8)

Sacks of waste paper

Winkfield people collected waste paper and grew potatoes for the nation.

WINKFIELD WAR ASSOCIATION.

The Secretary of the War Savings Association reports that we have now 57 members, and 19 War Savings Certificates have been bought. As the Association was only started in the first week in April we may hope that it will not be long before the membership will increase to three figures.

Several sacks have already been filled with waste paper and we hope soon to hear of the filling of many others.

The holders of the new allotments at Winkfield Row have been working very hard, and with favourable weather should reap a good reward. The Government recommend that this year all potatoes should be sprayed to guard against disease, and the Committee hope to be able to arrange for the hiring of a portable spraying machine for use in the parish.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, June 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/6)

‘Not many “offer forms” were filled up’ for National Service Scheme

Cranbourne people were prepared to grow food and save waste paper, but were less keen to offer their services.

A Waste Paper Depot has been arranged at the Sunday School. Waste Paper is received every Wednesday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 5.30 p.m.

The Seed Potatoes have arrived and will be given out on Wednesday, April 25th, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. We are grateful to Mr. Belcher for the use of his barn.

A canvass of the Parish in connection with the National Service Scheme has been made, but not many “offer forms” were filled up.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/5)

No potatoes and poor quality beer

Shortages were beginning to bite for William Hallam in Swindon.

14th April 1917

All the greengrocers shops had notices up “No potatoes”. So we shall have to do without this Sunday. After tea I went along to Bath Rd Reading Room till nearly 8. Beer and stout is now 6d a pint and poor stuff at that price but I got some to-night for supper.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/26)

A peer’s potato plan

Berkshire people were being encouraged to grow their own food. A local peer offered his advice.

Below is a short article which will be read with interest by many of our readers who were present at the meeting which was held on “Food Production.” We desire to take this opportunity of thanking Col. Wedderburn and Mr. Crisp for their helpful counsel at that meeting.

Potatoes
From Lord Desborough

Sir – it may be of interest to some of your readers who have gardens, and who are in want of seed potatoes, to hear of a plan which I have practised for some time.

For every potato which comes into the house has one eye cut out. The eye is put in a wooden tray in a leaf mould sufficient to cover it. When it sprouts it can be planted in the usual way, about the beginning of April. As this house has been used for some time as a Home of Rest for War Nurses, there is a large consumption of potatoes, but it is satisfactory to think that each potato consumed has a chance of producing six others. The surplus of sprouting potatoes can be given to those who can grow them.

Taplow Court, Taplow. Bucks. DESBOROUGH.

Wargrave parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Great battle of aeroplanes

News came of naval and air battles (the latter part of the Battle of Arras, also known as ‘Bloody April‘), while at home Bisham was ready to plant potatoes in every garden.

9 April 1917

Two German destroyers [illegible]. Great battle of aeroplanes – 50 each side. We lost 28, they 46!!

Hear seed potatoes will go round village.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

The gravity of the situation and the imperative need for all to carry out the instructions of the Food Controller

Various kinds of savings were pursued in Winkfield – but there were concerns as to how poorer people would cope.

WINKFIELD WAR ASSOCIATION.

The Committee organised a Public Meeting in the Parish Room on Friday, March 30th , when there was a large attendance.

Mrs. Boyce gave an excellent address on the Food question, pointing out clearly the gravity of the situation and the imperative need for all to carry out the instructions of the Food Controller, especially as regards to bread; and the point was emphasized that although the labouring man who could not afford so much meat might legitimately take a larger allowance of bread, yet he is now bound to reduce his usual amount by at least one pound a week.

Mr. Creasy also spoke on the importance of War Savings, and proposed the following resolution which was seconded by Mr. Harrison and carried “that all present pledge themselves to co-operate in carrying out the regulations of Lord Devonport and the Authorities on the question of rations to households generally, and to support the War Savings Association to the best of their ability”.

The Committee learning that many Cottagers and Allotment holders found great difficulty in obtaining seed potatoes arranged to buy a ton of seed at once, and Mr. Asher kindly advanced the money to secure them. Most of these potatoes have now been applied for, but a few pecks are still available, and any wishing to buy them should apply to Mr. C. Osman, Winkfield Row.

Arrangements have been made for the saving of waste paper; sacks have been taken by Mr G. Brown, Maiden’s Green, Mr. Eales, Winkfield Street, Mr. C. Osman, Winkfield Row, Mr. Langley, Brock Hill, Mr. Osman, Gorse Place, and also at the Schools, and it is hoped that many will send contributions of waste paper (old letters, circulars, newspapers, but not brown paper) to help fill these sacks which will then be collected and forwarded.

Winkfeld section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/5)

“Many empty lorries driven by the men of the Flying Corps pass daily through the village”

Cranbourne people were invited to grow vegetables, while church services were disrupted.

For the purpose of saving fuel and light in Lent week, Evening Services will be held in the Sunday School on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and Evensong will be said on Sundays in Church at 3 p.m. instead of 6 p.m., until we can do without the gas. It seems to be almost impossible for the Coal Merchants to deliver fuel just now, there is coke and coal at the stations, but no carts are to be had. Many empty lorries driven by the men of the Flying Corps pass daily through the village, how helpful it would be if they could “dump” a few sacks of coal for us at some central place.

Two lectures on “Vegetable cultivation in War time” have been given in the Reading Room by Mr. F. W. Custin, F.R.H.S. Unfortunately there was not the large attendance that might have been expected when all of us are being urged to add to the food supply of the nation. The lectures were most practical and helpful. Great stress was laid on the need of spraying not only potatoes, but the young vegetable plants. The lecturer gave the following recipe for a spray of paraffin emulsion:- ¼ pint of paraffin, ¼ -lb. of soft soap, 3½ -gallons of water. Mix the soft soap with a little hot water, whisk it up and then add the paraffin slowly, beating it up as it is poured in, then add the remainder of the water. This should be used for onions and celery in May and June. Potatoes should be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture at the beginning of July and also early in August. We expect the delivery of the seed potatoes at an early date.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, March 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/3)

The horrors of winter war are over now

Spring was welcomed by John Maxwell Image, who sympathised with his brother in law Percy Spencer at the front, and was amused by wife Florence’s enthusiastic adoption of a potato allotment.

29 Barton Road
18 March ‘17

[Talking about his house]
Just at the garden’s paling lay an expanse of grassy fen, belonging to King’s College. It was indeed a godsend to this house as extending our outlook, our privacy and air freshness. Well – this glorious mead has been cut up into potato allotments! Crediti posteri. Florence (as full of energy as yourself) applied for one; as did most of the Varsity people around us: and has got 10 poles, which come close up to our palings. I declined anything to do with it…. It will give her plenty of fun, anyhow – though tillage by our old gardener at 4/6 per diem won’t speak for economy, I fear. Our two tall athletic Abigails are to take in turn the spade-culture. Indeed the whole scene is a lovely one, as beheld from our upper windows, male and female, old and young, rich and poor and each busy and toiling.

The winter happily is over. It will be spring campaigning. Iam ver appetebat cum Hannibal… The horrors of winter war. I remember a bit in one of Florrie’s brother’s letters, where he spoke of “the terrific bounds of red hot lumps of metal off the frozen surface of the road a few yards away from me”!!

Our best wishes and love to you both
Bild

Letter from John Maxwell Image, Cambridge don, to W F Smith (D/EX801/2)

A call for economical but wholesome recipes

The vicar of Wargrave was at the heart of the village’s flourishing War Savings Association, and also efforts to encourage food to be produced locally. The March issue of the parish magazine announced:

War Savings and War Rations

A meeting of the Wargrave War Savings Association will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 7 .p.m., in the Iron Church Building. All Parishioners are most cordially invited to attend. The subject of War Rations will also be discussed.

The total sum paid into the Secretary’s hands up to February 26th, amounts to £1014 9s. 6d., which has been extended in the purchase of 726 Certificates value £1 five years hence; 21 value £12 five years hence: and 13 value £25 five years hence.

Bonus

There is no doubt that the Chairman’s kind gift of one sixpenny coupon on every Certificate up to ten has proved a strong inducement to save that number. And he is so pleased with the response that he has most generously determined to extend his offer up to 25 Certificates for each person.

Vicarage Office Hours

On Saturdays 9.30-10.30 .a.m. and 5.30-6.30 .p.m. the Parish Room is open for War Savings Business.

Certificates due members may then be obtained, and Certificates may be purchased.

During the days of the War Loan the Vicar was glad to welcome War Savings business on any day and at any time when he was at home, but he must now ask members to be more particular in the observance of Office Hours.

Money may be sent to the Vicar if accompanied with a clear statement of Certificates required, full names and sufficient postal address.

The meeting duly took place:

War Savings Association

A very well attended Meeting was held on Saturday, March 10th, in the Iron Church Building. Mr. Bond presided and gave an address on Food Production and War Rations.

A Committee was appointed for Food Production of which Mrs. Bulkeley is Chairman, supported by Mrs. Hinton, Miss. Rhodes, and Messrs. Butcher, Chenery, Crisp and Pope.

A good deal of work has already been done in organising parties to dig, and in providing allotments and seed potatoes for those who want them.

A Committee was also appointed for Food Economy in charge of Mrs. Winter, supported by Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Cain, Mrs. Chenery, and Mrs. Hermon.

It is hoped that the committee may give much help in disseminating information and enlisting support. Mrs. Winter will be very grateful for any economical recipes which have proved wholesome and successful. These recipes will be exhibited in the Parish Room.

Wargrave parish magazine, March and April 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Is there any demand for allotments?

Allotments were still relatively rare during the First World War, but they offered a way for more food to be grown at home.

A meeting was held in the Reading Room, North Street, to consider the question whether there is any demand for allotments. The Vicar, having explained how allotments may be acquired, asked those who were present to give their opinion. A discussion took place from which it appeared that owing to various reasons the demand would not be large.

The names of those requiring seed-potatoes were then received, and Messrs. Aldworth, Belcher, Douglas, Maxwell Williams and the Vicar were appointed a Committee to make the necessary application and arrangements for the delivery and distribution of the potatoes when received. There was a very good attendance at this meeting.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/2)