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The Second World War

Tastes of History for All

The Home Front

World War II began in September 1939 but it was not until January 8th, 1940 that the first foods - bacon, butter and sugar - were rationed. Successive ration schemes for meat, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk and canned and dried fruit quickly followed. Almost all foods apart from vegetables and bread were rationed by August 1942.

Tastes Of History’s display recreates a simple 1940's kitchen to transport visitor back in time to experience the sights and smells of wartime Britain.

Join Sergeant and Mrs Probert to discover and sample (if you so choose) a selection of wartime recipes cooked 'on the ration'.


Discover more about:

  • The healthy diet of the 1940s.

  • The foods available in wartime Britain.

  • How rationing worked.

  • Cooking tools and techniques.​

Watch as We:

  • Prepare a selection of dishes from original Ministry of Food recipes.

  • Sample the results.

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for more of our period displays...


Click to learn more about: Rationing

Dig for Victory

A variation on the Home Front display, Tastes Of History’s 'Dig for Victory' theme adds a small kitchen garden where Sergeant and Mrs Probert may be seen tending to the root vegetables they are growing to supplement their ration allowance.

The Ministry of Food encouraged people not to waste food and to grow their own, if possible, because of rationing. The ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign was started urging people to use any spare land to grow vegetables – even the roofs of Anderson bomb shelters were used.


for more of our period displays...

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Join Tastes Of History to discover how Britons dealt with food shortages and their 'make do and mend' attitude.


Visitors can sample Home Front dishes selected and prepared from original Ministry of Food recipes.

Dad's Army

Volunteers are needed to join the Home Guard and defend Britain against invasion. Being an ex-soldier, Mark is only too keen to instil discipline in younger visitors with Tastes Of History’s ‘Rifle Drill for Kids‘.


Volunteers, both big and small, will be temporarily issued a wooden ‘drill purpose rifle’ to learn the basics of marching, rifle drill, teamwork, and the effective use of the bayonet*.

Discover more about:

  • Home Guard training.

  • Air Raid Precautions (ARP).

  • The who's who of Gas Masks.

Have a Go:

  • Sounding the Alarm.

  • Fire-fighting.

* Rest assured no actual bayonets or other sharp pointy things are involved.

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