Page 4, 31st March 1944

31st March 1944
Page 4
Page 4, 31st March 1944 — Feminine . Forum ccolitty THIS is the age of superwomen. Here

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Organisations: Stork Club
People: Mark Beech
Locations: London


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Feminine . Forum ccolitty THIS is the age of superwomen. Here

Keywords: Meat, Rabbit, Chicken

are the records of three of them. They are all small, slender and cheerful.

The first is our office cleaner. She has two grown-up children and has kept them and herself for most of her married life. To be near her work she lives in the city, and knows all there is to know about the blitz. Up at six, and after a quick cup of tea off to clean some offices. Back at 8.30 to do own housework, and the whole of the rest of the day until about nine o'clock spent going from one cleaning job to another, with quick trips back to do her own washing, cooking and scouring. A 15-hour day—and no grumbles.

. * * SECOND: A woman doing work of, national importance. Lives just outside London in an 18-roomed house with her 78 years old mother. Had staff of four before the war—now has no one. Fler day : Up at 6.30 a.m.; takes down blackout ; attends to furnace; goes out to garden (eighth of art acre) to feed 100 rabbits, 18 hens, a goat and a pig. Comes back, brings up coals, lights fires, cooks breakfast, washes up, gets vegetables ready for lunch, reads morning paper while having breakfast standing up and off to work by 9. Mother does the shopping which just brings the working day within the realms of possibility and out of the fantasy class! Work is luckily within easy reach and so back to lunch, which she cooks, washes up, more food for animals, Back to work and home about six. Does blackout, final feed for hens, rabbits, pig and goat. Collects any eggs. Into house to get supper which she cooks; washes up and finishes the cleaning jobs left over from morning. Puts surplus eggs down to preserve. Is voluntary tirewatcher, as not enough in road to make even a stirrup pump squad. Life slightly complicated the other night by the house next door getting a direct hit with a H.E. Own house badly blitzed, with windows and frames and doors blown all over the place and ceilings threatening to descend any minute. Walls bulging. Dust choking everyone. Fetched in the four from the bombed house, took them down to own cellar, rendered first aid, put them to bed with hot water bottles—all in the middle of the night. Cahn the dawn and also twenty people from other bombed houses to breakfast. Fried twenty eggs. Gave a home to the first four for a week while they tried to salvage their furniture. Still living in cellar herself and mother because rest of house not yet habitable.

Effect of blitz on animals: Pig and gnat, nil. Rabbits, the does lost their litters through fright—either scattered or ate them. The hens have been laying better ever since.

Says she has to work to a schedule— like on board ship—and daren't deviate one iota, otherwise chaos. Gets to bed on quiet nights in the early hours.

a a a C THIRD: Mother of five children, A two at prep. school, three at home, living in big, rambling house; never sits down for a minute. Husband away for most of the week so has to cope alone; thinks herself extremely lucky to have household help for three hours a day. Up at six, feeds the baby, and soon four-year-old son arrives to superintend. Has to see he is properly clothed and baby happy before she goes down, copes with blackout, clears out stove; snatches quick bath—a case of now or never—and starts to prepare breakfast for schoolgirl who has to be got off by a certain bus, Breakfast for herself and the four-year-old. Out to feed hens, ducks and geese; back to house, washes baby and gets him settled in pram, Clearing up and odd jobs till elevenses—she makes this an inexorable rule—and reads in snatches the morning paper, "just to see what has happened the night before!" Starts to prepare lunch. Baby's schedule has to be observed and dovetailed into rest of work. Always an ear open for him and an eye for the four-year-old. Afternoon filled with work, washing, mending, getting tea in time for return of schoolgirl, and feeding poultry again ; baby bathed while gramophone interlude keeps small son amused. Bathing punctuated by visits to the gramophone to change the records. Small son then to bed and if lucky these operations cease in time to hear the 6 o'clock news. Thinks munition work would be a rest cure.

The house quiet and the children sleeping, she begins work on the Stork Club. Faithful and discerning readers may now guess of whom I am writing. The Stork Club was founded by her in 1940 to help expectant mothers, wives of Servicemen, to get layettes together. The idea is not to offer charity but to help mothers to obtain adequate.and nice clothes at a charge within their income.

It's done grand work during these four years and now there's to be a baby show to help the funds on August 19 in the village. You can help by sending baby clothes, anything to sell, or prizes for the winners. Send to the Moat, Mark Beech, near Edenbridge, Kent.

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