Accommodates up to three classes (max. 35 students per class)
Two 45 minute led sessions plus 45 minutes of free time
This programme is a Living History session designed to immerse students in the lives of people on the British Home Front during World War 2. In World War 2 Jobs the students will meet a Costumed Interpreter who will talk about, demonstrate and perhaps invite students to participate in different jobs that were carried out in Britain. For World War 2 Blitz the Costumed Interpreter is in role as an ARP Warden, and this session focuses on a range of experiences that were commonplace during the air raids of the Second World War.
National Curriculum Links
Characters you might meet
She is treating civilian and military patients at Basingstoke’s Park Prewett Hospital, which has been commandeered for the war effort, and has many tales to tell. She is also keen to train everybody she meets in the art of bandaging, just in case…
Mr or Mrs Allright, the Bus Conductor/Conductress
With the men gone off to fight, the bus conductor welcomes new recruits to train. Full of fascinating facts about wartime transport and the blackout, everybody also gets a chance to board the 1935 bus.
Walter Walsingham, the Train Driver
In a reserved occupation as a locomotive driver, Walter shows off the ‘Woolmer’ locomotive and a day in the life of a driver and fireman during WW2. Pick up some hints and tips on keeping the railways running, which was vital to winning the war.
Betty, the ATS Clerical Worker
Working hard to support the army in her role with the Auxiliary Territorial Service, Betty’s employment helps to free up men to fight. She enjoys this new kind of women’s work and her typewriter certainly looks nothing like modern keyboards!
Queenie Stacey, the WVS Volunteer (Feeding the Troops)
Mrs Stacey is part of the Women’s Voluntary Service, helping out in the mobile catering vans providing food and drink for wagons full of soldiers at Basingstoke Railway Station. She also provides meals for the schoolchildren.
Queenie Stacey, the WVS Volunteer (Make Do and Mend)
‘Make Do and Mend’ and recycling keep Mrs Stacey busy in this time of hardship. She is an expert in making something new out of something old, sometimes in the most surprising way – her ingenious ‘woolly friend’ toy design is always popular.
Mrs Forsyth at the Ministry of Food
A stickler for the rationing rules, she will ensure that everybody knows about the ration books and coupons, and which foods are rationed. However it might be best to avoid her wartime recipes which contain slightly unusual ingredients!
Maggie or Albert, the Thornycroft factory worker
The Thornycroft factory once stood where Morrison’s supermarket is now, on the opposite side of the roundabout to Milestones Museum. Maggie/Albert helps to make vehicles such as the Amazon recovery lorry that can be seen here.
Topics covered by the ARP Warden (approximately 25 minutes)
Who they were and what they did
An opportunity for a member of the group to dress up and assist in demonstrating what the ARP Warden wore and why. Examine the special equipment issued to Wardens, the vast majority of which is original WW2 artefacts
Try on the replica gas masks and learn why they were so important
How air raids were carried out and the dangers for Britain. Identify the sound of the warning siren and the all clear siren
What the Blitz was and what happened. Play the plane identification game – is that friend or foe flying overhead?
In small groups, accompany the ARP Warden into our Anderson shelter to experience what it was really like for families sheltering from the bombs
Hands-on activities (approximately 20 minutes)
While the ARP Warden accompanies small groups into the Anderson shelter, the rest of the class will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities such as: