Barn now available for Hire
The interior of this newly refurbished Barn and surrounds now incorporate some unique artefacts from World War 2, in particular displaying rural life, the work of the land army and the challenges the country faced in becoming self-sufficient in food.
These themes, underpinned by community cohesion and resilience, are increasingly relevant for the current times.
During 2020 we will be taking group bookings for those looking to utilise the Barn and surrounds
For more information & to book please:
“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.” – Sir Winston Churchill
It could be said this statement is as relevant today as it was in 1936, as again we face a period of consequences, a time where we are becoming increasingly aware of how much we’re damaging the planet, by definition the life support system for humanity.
We can learn from the leadership & models of community resilience during WW2 in how we address the challenges that we face today. At Furnace Brook we believe now has to be a time of action. The fascinating artefacts on display are relevant to us not only to learn from the past but also to apply these lessons to what we urgently need to address today.
We’ve banded together before to make big changes, it’s time to do it again.
Increasing self-sufficiency & community resilience
During world war two limited resources led to rationing as well as a number of home front campaigns to encourage citizens to limit their consumption.
These ideas are becoming increasingly relevant again now, in this time of dwindling resources, at a time when the UN states – “the new generation will have to have lifetime carbon budgets almost 90% lower than someone born in 1950.”
With such an ambitious target to meet we will need to learn all we can from the past as well as integrating the very best methods & technologies of the present.
Visit the Barn & see our unique artefacts from WW2. Find out how our grandparents learnt to live low-impact lifestyles, what this can teach us & how these techniques have evolved to what is possible & available for every citizen to reduce their carbon footprint today (& have fun while doing it!)
Make do & Mend
Clothes rationing was introduced in June 1941, this even extended to maximum skirt lengths & no double breasted jackets in order to save material.
People were encouraged to repair & convert existing clothes & materials. Learning to sew can not only save material but also be a fun and creative way of expressing your own style.
In 1939 only 30% of our food was produced here in the UK. During WW2 a major tactic of the Nazis was to target shipping heading for the UK.
An agricultural expansion plan aimed to raise output from agriculture by 60% over pre-war levels. In fact during the course of WW2 the total arable area increased by 50% to 7.8 million: going from the smallest area on record to the largest in just five years.
Based on a 2017 survey the UK produces just under 50% of the food we consume, with countries from the EU producing another 30%. As food imports are likely to cost more post Brexit due to trade tariffs and a weaker pound planning for our own food security has again become a vital issue.
Grow Your Own
OK that’s still the same term, but there are exciting new methods
Abram Games was appointed Official War Office Poster Artist and created this effective poster to encourage people to grow their own food using all available space. The connection between the food grown in the ground and the food on your plate was one the government was keen to emphasise, particularly for those who lived in built up areas and were not familiar with growing their own fruit and vegetables. This was a successful scheme resulting in there were 1.4 million – 1.75 million allotments by 1943, producing over a million tons of vegetables that year.
Unfortunately today there are only estimated to be 330,000 plots across the UK with a further 100,000 people on waiting lists, which can sometimes be decades long.
However people are finding innovative new ways to grow their own using “all available space” including:
Growing in underground tunnels
The need to change the public’s attitude towards waste and portion size was very important when food supply was limited. People were encouraged not to waste food or to take more than they needed.
Rags for Salvage
The artist John Gilroy has featured a dustman leading a figure made of rags for recycling. This poster was designed in 1943 to encourage people to give any fabric material to the rag collector for salvage. Rag could be used to make uniforms and blankets for soldiers. Have you ever made rags from old clothes? Or a rag rug? Making a rag rug is just one fun and easy turn your old fabric into something special.
Save Kitchen Waste
Zero waste lifestyle
‘Save kitchen waste to feed the pigs! Keep it dry, free from glass, metal, bones, paper etc. It also feeds poultry … Your Council will collect’.
Well they don’t collect it to feed to the pigs anymore but many councils in the UK now do food waste collection for municipal composting. What if my council doesn’t provide food waste collections? It’s worth checking your council’s website as many councils provide low cost compost bins or why not:
Make your own compost bin
Not got much room? Try compact hot composting
To find out how we’re applying these principles here at
For more information & to book please: