I remember my Grandmother telling me that civilian life during the Second World War was very much a community pulling together, even the in the main towns and cities you helped your neighbours and friends and friends of friends.
I guess a part of me believes that is the absolutely the right thing to do, although now in a 21st Century with the news showing daily horrific events of innocent people being duped by those who want to cause harm even fatal harm to others. So do I help people, even strangers? Yes I do, if I can although I never put myself into a situation where I might be compromised, hurt or sued. Yes we live in a lets sue everyone culture. Perhaps accountability has taken a step too far?
Whenever there is a crisis of some description, somewhere in the world we see images beamed into our living rooms of people, strangers helping each other. The recent tornado in the USA immediately springs to mind, as does the tragic events of 911.
Here in the UK there has been a TV show produced by the BBC “The Great British Sewing Bee”.
Sadly, I missed the show, but recently on my visit to the local library I selected the book that was produced to accompany the show and instantly I was transported back to my childhood when my Mum often made my clothes. Back then it felt to me as a child that it was seriously not cool. I did not see the skill, effort and determination to produce something that was lovely and unique, even if a pattern was used. Oh the world through a child’s eyes.
Furthermore, I read that then Queen, the late Queen Mother had held Sewing Bees at BuckinghamPalace during the Second World War, to show her contribution to the war effort, and to bring back and produce a continuum of Community to the Country.
The Blue Room at BuckinghamPalace was opened up and women who worked at the Palace were invited to join the Queen Mother, who of course was Queen at the time to “Stitch for Victory” at the twice weekly event. The actions of the Royal Household inspired thousands of women across the Country to join forces and participate in similar events.
It was this historic fact that inspired the show to be produced by the BBC, or as is affectingly known in the UK, well it was when I was growing up, Auntie.
The BBC, or to use its official name The British Broadcasting Corporation is funded by license payers. Yes, you need a license to watch a television here. Because of this fact the limit to watch BBC programmes via iPlayer is restricted; however some very kind person has placed the entire show on YouTube for our enjoyment.
I have yet to watch the show but I have though read the book and jotted down some notes and thoughts that came to mind as I want to capture the memories of my childhood for another project I am working on.
So in these times of austerity, programmes such as these bring back our focus to wider society and perhaps inspire us to pick up a needle and thread, inspire us to have conversations with our family members who sew. Indeed, perhaps you have a relative who joined the Stitch for Victory at BuckinghamPalace.
Do you belong to a sewing bee or alike? Leave a comment on why you enjoy it.
Julie Goucher is a Surrey girl, transplanted in Devon, where she lives with her husband and Border terrier called Alfie. Julie has a real passion for history and genealogy, antiques and book reading just to name a few. She can be found on her blog Anglers Rest. Read more of her guest posts here.