Ration Book Recipes

Holst Birthplace Museum hosted some great ‘cook back in time’ demos last year using their Victorian range. Laura has shared some of her favourite wartime recipes with us (popular in both World Wars). Tuck into some Anzac biscuits and a cup of warming cocoa on VE Day. 

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Anzac biscuits

These iconic biscuits were originally made to send to the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) serving in Gallipoli in the First World War. They became popular again in WW2 as they keep well, you don’t need much flour to make them and the recipe doesn’t require any eggs.

Ingredients:
• 100 g unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons golden syrup
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 120 g plain flour
• 80 g porridge oats
• 100 g golden caster sugar
• 80 g desiccated coconut

Method:
1) Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the sugar, rolled oats and coconut.
2) Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add golden syrup and water.
3) Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the liquid mixture.
4) Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5) Place walnut-sized balls of mixture on a greased tray and bake at 175C for 15-20 minutes. (They melt out into cookies in the oven).

Traditional Hot Chocolate 

There’s nothing like a steaming mug of cocoa to beat the blues. This cocoa recipe was inspired by the cocoa drunk by the British Forces posted in Salonika during WW1. Gustav Holst himself went to Salonika to work as a musical organiser and educator (teaching music to the troops) with the YMCA.

Ingredients (per person):

• 2tbsp traditional cocoa powder (such as Bournville)
• 300ml milk
• 1-2tsp sugar
• Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom

Method:

1. Warm milk in a pan over a low heat.
2. Whisk in cocoa powder.
3. Gently stir in sugar.
4. Add some spice to taste if you fancy experimenting!

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1940’s Sing Along

Local jazz musician and vocal coach Lindsay Martin has recorded a special 1940’s singalong video to get Cheltenham in the mood for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May. 

We’ll be sharing the video with local care homes this week via our Cheltenham Dementia Action Alliance partners Mindsong. 

Cheltenham Children Celebrate VE Day 75!

Click below to explore our image gallery showing decorations, creations and writing by local children. Thank you to all the schools and families who have taken part.

Naunton Park Primary School

St John’s Primary School

St Mark’s C of E Junior School

Gardener’s Lane School

Oakwood School

Jessica and her brother Nathan interview their Grampy about life during WW2.

Warden Hill Year 5 pupils

Peace Posters

VE Day inspired – Diaries

VE Day inspired – Menus

The Nation’s Toast!

 Join people across the UK in the Nation’s Toast at 3pm on Friday May 8th. Come to your front door and raise a glass or a cuppa to toast the heroes of WW2. Live on radio and TV from 2:30pm. Paying ‘tribute’ and saying ‘thank you’ to the millions at home and abroad that gave so much. Please observe social distancing. 

Comforts for the boys at the Front

The Gloucestershire Society in London held a Bohemian Concert in the Holborn Restaurant, London.  The proceeds paid for 400 Christmas parcels to be sent to the boys of the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment on duty at the Front.  The parcels contained a briar pipe, tobacco pouch, 2 oz tobacco, 50 cigarettes and matches.  There were also 280 one pound tins of Fry’s chocolate with 24 bars per tin and 300 tins of 6 ounces of peppermints in each tin.

Baths for Cheltenham lads in Chelmsford!

There were many Cheltenham boys in the Territorial Force’s 5th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.  In fact, their commanding officer was Frederick Tarrant, Bursar at Cheltenham Ladies College and among their officers was Cyril Winterbotham, brother of Councillor Percy Winterbotham, who himself later became an officer in the same battalion.  Their sister Clara was Cheltenham’s first woman councillor and became the first female Mayor in 1921.

The Battalion was posted to Chelmsford for training during Christmas 1914 and few of the houses in which the boys were billeted had baths.  The appeal went out from the YMCA to householders to please let the soldiers have a bath now and then.  A system whereby bath tickets were issued allowed the troops to keep clean.