In the Second World War, recycling was an important part of life on the “Home Front”.
Whilst thousands of our men were away serving in our Armed Forces women took on a variety of jobs during World War 2. They contributed and played a vital role in so many ways to support the war effort, they also fought a daily battle with rationing, recycling & reusing.
During this time the British people were faced with severe shortages of essential raw materials to keep its factories running. Millions of people were enlisted to recycle a varied range of materials for use in ammunitions production.
Garden railings were removed from homes for their scrap metal and aliminium everyday saucepans were collected for their potential within the aircraft industry. Toy and bicycle production ceased, because the metal needed to make these items was in such high demand.
Metals from old machinery, trucks and cars were recycled into aeroplanes, trucks and tanks, not only did this benefit the war effort but it cleaned up the cities and countrysides. Old clothing, rags and even curtains were collected for the making of blankets and bandages. Old bones were made into glue for aeroplane construction as well as being used in ammunitions and housewives were asked to save fat from the cooking of meat for the making of dynamite.
The Girl Guides and Boy Scouts played a huge part in Government initiatives collecting scrap with their dustcarts going from door to door.
Everything was rationed and cut back but these scrap drives were a vital part of the war effort, whilst not all scrap materials proved useful, many did and provided a small but significant source of material. But most importantly these drives made each individual feel they were doing their bit.