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Project Title: Glasgow West War Story

Exhibition: Home Life during World War II

During World War II people at home in Britain had to adjust to many changes to their daily lives. Rationing of food and clothes was introduced shortly after the outbreak of the war, windows had to be covered during the blackout, and people had to live with the threat of enemy attacks and bombing. Home life was particularly hard for those who had family members serving in the war or who were separated from their families in the evacuation scheme. During the war entertainment such as the cinema and the dancehalls helped people try to live as normal life as possible. This exhibition features the reminiscences’ of Mrs MacGregor, Dr Ross, Sister Ward and Mrs Donaldson who explain the impact war had on life at home in Scotland.

Assets in this exhibition:

Rationing

Rationing was introduced on the outbreak of war so that the government could control the provision and distribution of food and ensure that everyone received an equal share. Rationing was applied to bacon and ham, butter and margarine, sugar, and cheese. Ration books were issued to everyone, including children, who were required to register with a shop supplying the rationed food. Registration allowed the local food committees to calculate the amount of food a shop required each week. Ration books contained coupons which people could exchange for a certain amount of food each week. For the most part the amount of food obtained such as sugar and butter was measured in weight. However, the amount of meat allowed was measured in money, and was restricted to one shilling and tuppence (1s/2d) worth of meat per week. So people could either choose to have a small amount of an expensive cut of meat such as lamb chops or a larger of amount of cheaper cuts of meat such as mince. Clothing was also rationed during the war and people were given coupons they could exchange for clothes.


Mrs MacGregor's ration book

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mrs MacGregor's ration book

Source

Date: 1944-1945
Contributor: Ministry of Food


Registration for milk

Exhibition Image One

Description

Registration for milk

Source

Date: 1943


National Registration Identity Cards

During World War II everyone had to carry personal identification. In 1939, the government issued National Registration Identity Cards to everyone in Britain. The cards included the owner’s National Registration number, name and address. Identity Cards had to be carried at all times to provide evidence of who they were and where they lived, and had to be shown to members of the Police or H.M. Armed Forces if requested to prove that they weren’t the enemy. Identity cards also had to be shown when using ration books and clothing coupons so that people could verify who they were and the amount of food and clothes they were entitled to.


Identity card

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mrs MacGregor's identity card.


Mrs MacGregor's identity card (inside pages)

Exhibition Image One

Description

The inside of Mrs MacGregor's identity card. Mrs MacGregor's National Registration number is given at the top of the card. Her name, address and signiture are also included. Changes of address were also recorded on identity cards. Mrs MacGragors change of address from Glasgow Street to Great Western Road is noted and her card has been stamped by an officer at the local National Registration office to verify the information.

Source

Date: 1939-1945


The Locarno dancehall

Exhibition Image One

Description

The Locarno was a popular dancehall in Glasgow during the war. This photograph taken just after the war shows the lighted sign on the exterior of the building and queues of people standing outside.

Source

Date: 1950s
Location: Glasgow
Original Source: © Newsquest (Herald & Times). Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.


Aerial view of Glasgow University and the west of Glasgow

Exhibition Image One

Description

This vertical aerial photograph of the area around Glasgow University was taken during World War II by the Royal Air Force. Some of the 19th-century tenements seen in this view have since been demolished.

Vertical air photographs were taken by the RAF during photographic-reconnaissance training. These photographs were used to ascertain the accuracy of the pilot in photographing the target and to aid the skills of photographic interpretation.

Source

Date: 27//08/1942
Contributor: Royal Air Force
Location: Glasgow
Original Source: © Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.


Clydebank Blitz

On the 13th and 14th of March, 1941 the devastating effects of a world war was brought home to the people of Scotland. This was no longer a war fought hundreds or even thousands miles of away, it was now being fought in Clydebank.

Over two nights in March, over a 1,000 bombs were dropped from 439 German bomber airplanes. 528 people were killed, with even more injured. Over 35,000 people were made homeless.

Clydebank was a target because of the concentration of industry in the area. The German bombers aimed for the many shipyards and munitions factories around the town. The Royal Air Force managed to shoot down two of the German planes during the raids. The crew of the Polish ship, the destroyer ORP Piorun, who used the ships guns to attack the enemy planes, also defended the town.

Though the industrial areas of Clydeside were the goal for the enemy, some of the pilots lost their way during the raids, and dropped their bombs on the West End of Glasgow. One of the landmines damaged the bridge over the Kelvin on Kelvin Way.


Clear up after the Blitz

Exhibition Image One

Description

Men clearing up debris and fallen buildings destroyed during the blitz in the West of Scotland.

Source

Date: 09/05/1941
Location: Greenoock, Scotland
Original Source: © Newsquest (Herald & Times). Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.


Poster: Blackout - Switch Off That Light!

Exhibition Image One

Description

This is a World War II poster to remind people of the Blackout. During the blackout, windows, skylights, and doors had to be covered with curtains, blankets or dark paper so that the light from the inside of buildings could not be seen from the outside to attract the attention of enemy planes. During the war, lighted signs were turned off and street lighting was stopped.


Mrs Donaldson and husband

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mrs Donaldson and her husband at Loch Long the day after their wedding. Mr and Mrs Donaldson went away with a car full of friends to celebrate their wedding. For their honeymoon they stayed in a cottage in Whistlefield.

Source

Date: 1941
Location: Loch Long
Original Source: Mrs Donaldson private collection