Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Dig For Victory

Dig for Victory

At this time of year many of us enjoy the fruits of our labours in the garden. All that digging, planting, weeding, watering and general care, is finally rewarded with tasty, fresh food.

In Britain, during the Second World War, gardening took on a whole new meaning when “digging for victory” meant that everyone could do their bit to help the war effort. This campaign used much land such as waste ground, railway edges, ornamental gardens and lawns, sports fields and  golf courses for farming, particularly vegetable growing.

In August 1940 the Hon. Mrs Wilson-Heathcote, of Woodlands Vale, showed how she was assisting in these  “digging for victory” days.

WOODLANDS  VALE GROUNDS.- By permission of the Hon. Mrs Wilson-Heathcote, the spacious grounds of Woodlands Vale, were open to the public on Thursday in aid of the Queen’s Institute of District Nursing. The extensive and well-kept lawns and flower beds were greatly admired, but in these “digging for victory” days the large and well stocked kitchen gardens were of equal merit, the less common vegetables attracting much attention.

In 1942 the allotment-holders within Ryde Borough planned a “Victory Diggers’ Show”.

FRIENDLY RIVALRY ON RYDE’S ALLOTMENTS.- An admirable idea is to be developed in connection with a Dig for Victory exhibition to be held in Ryde Town Hall 7-8 October.

The idea is that, quite apart from individual competition, the various allotment-holders in the borough will compete collectively with those on other allotments.

Thus victory diggers on the Pell Lane allotments, for example, would combine as a team to compete with the combined efforts of the other groups of allotment-holders. If extended this should foster a healthy spirit of friendly rivalry between different areas, with its resulting benefit to the campaign of increased production.

In addition to the competitive classes it is hoped to attract trade and non-competitive exhibits, while there will be special classes for children. It is also hoped to have a rabbit and poultry section, which will be a one day show in the market place.

Sources: Isle of Wight Times 3 September 1942; Isle of Wight County Press 10 August 1940 & Poster by Peter Fraser (from Wikipedia)