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Labour of love nudges memories of the war

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

  • Redruth author Catharine Ince, editor of Life in Cornwall 1943-46.

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A REDRUTH author has released a new treasure of memories from the wartime using extracts from the West Briton archive.

Catharine Ince, aged 76, was inspired to put together the collection of articles by Life In Cornwall In The Early Nineteenth Century, a book which she bought for her late father in the early 1970s as a present before leaving for New South Wales in Australia for a year's exchange teaching.

Over the years she collected all the four books and this motivated her to create her own collection, called Life In Cornwall, comprising extracts from her local paper.

"I enjoyed the books so much that later I thought I would cover periods 1900 to 1920 and 1921 to 1938 in the same style.

"But I didn't realise how over-ambitious I was and what a massive job it was so I decided to try the Second World War."

The first of the two books, covering 1939-42, was published eleven years ago and now the second part has been published, covering the period from 1943-1946.

The book will spark the memories of those who lived through the war years and explain how life was lived in those days. It also includes many activities Ms Ince said were suppressed by the Government and therefore did not appear in the papers.

These are the locations of where the bombs fell, where the RAF stations were, the use of seaports, work of the police, the Home Guard and ARP personnel.

Here are a few samples of the type of extracts published in the second publication.

Correspondence – Pasties and Rationing: "Sir, I should be much obliged if Mr WE Rowe of Kerrier Rural Council, would let country housewives know how he manages to live only on his rations. If the housewives had more fat allowance they would not trouble much about pasties."

Correspondence – Ice Cream: "Sir, I see in the West Briton that Lostwithiel Food Committee are afraid that lots of dried milk is liable to go bad owing to the fact that there is little demand for it. All this powder could be used if the ban on ice cream was lifted for the summer months. It seems unfair that a total ban is placed on ice cream, which used to be the greatest luxury a child could get for a penny."

A Holiday at Home: "Restrictions on travelling included many people in Cornwall to spend the Whitsun holiday exploring the pleasures of the countryside near their homes. Children who found a pond or a stream in which to dabble seemed to wish nothing better."

Nowadays Ms Ince does some voluntary work but her first love is her dogs.

She has bred and shown them in the past, starting in 1961, until recently. She now keeps two Manchester terriers as pets.

The book is normally priced £11.99, but is available for the special price of £10.99 to West Briton readers. To take advantage of the offer, send a cheque payable to Country Books, to Country Books, Courtyard Cottage, Little Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1NN.

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