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Dig for Victory!

Alice Kirk

Did you know that during the Second World War, food was in very short supply. We – then, as now – imported much of our food from overseas, and during the war many of the supply ships from America and Canada were blocked from entering the country.

To save the people from starvation, the Department of Agriculture launched the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, and encouraged people to transform every spare bit of land they had into allotments to grow their own vegetables.

No land was spared: private gardens, public parks and golf clubs were turned into vegetable patches as part of Dig for Victory. Even the lawn outside the Tower of London became large allotments! This picture shows two people farming an allotment in Kensington Gardens.

Dig for Victory was one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in British history. In 1943, there were over 3.5 million allotments around the country, that grew over a million tonnes of vegetables. Not only did this supplement people's food rations and avoid mass starvation, but it freed up space on ships that could then be dedicated to the war effort.

You can learn more about this fascinating story, and about life in war-torn Britain at the annual Dig for Victory Show, taking place THIS WEEKEND 11–12 June at the North Somerset Showground.

Your children can try their hands at old fashioned games, or getting to know the animals in the petting zoo, or even follow the 1940s trail. Plenty for grown-ups too: a fabulous line up of entertainments, shopping stalls, historical displays and tasty refreshments.

There will be loads of activities for you and your children at the show – it promises to be a fabulous day out for all the family!

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