Images from ‘Growing Well’ – Dig for Plenty

Permission to use the images in the exhibition was kindly granted either by institutions or those who were involved with the events described. These images should not be copied without permission. This section is all about the Dig for Plenty images used, and tells you how to find out more. If you have any memories of Digging for Victory or for Plenty in Coventry, follow this link to leave your details: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/chm/outreach/uhcw/growwell/questionnaire/

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This work, exclusive of images, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

'Food for your Garden, From your Garden' poster, late 1940s, reproduced by kind permission of The Garden Museum, London.
‘Food for your Garden, From your Garden’ poster, late 1940s, reproduced by kind permission of The Garden Museum, London.

The poster to the left was produced in the late 1940s to encourage everyone with a garden to continue making compost even as the war drew to a close. Rationing continued until 1953 in Britain, and the government were anxious that victory should not mean an end to domestic food production. So, instead of Digging for Victory, gardeners were urged to Dig for Plenty.

'Dig for Plenty poster', late 1940s, reproduced by kind permission of The Garden Museum, London.
‘Dig for Plenty poster’, late 1940s, reproduced by kind permission of The Garden Museum, London.

This ‘Dig for Plenty’ poster (right), again produced in the late 1940s, harks back to the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, both in the title and the cartoon of the digging foot. It represents a key theme of my research,  which explores the ambivalence within advice on health and hygiene towards soil as healthy and wholesome, or dirty and dangerous. Here the only female seen in the poster is keen to keep clean and check her appearance, whilst the man collects the manure.

For further information, try the following titles and exhibition:

David Kynaston, Austerity Britain 1945-51, Tales of a New Jerusalem, (Bloomsbury, 2008)

Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Austerity in Britain: rationing, controls and consumption, 1939-1955, (Oxford University Press, 2000)

The Garden Museum’s current exhibition entitled ‘War and Gardening’ runs until the 5th of January 2015. This exhibition uses images and artefacts from the First World War, and focuses on the seemingly incompatible but actually close relationship between war and gardening. See http://www.gardenmuseum.org.uk/page/1/Home.

To get involved in research on the links between gardening and war, why not visit http://www.parksandgardens.org/projects/gardening-in-wartime.

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