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Wartime Farm - Episode 3

Updated Friday 6th March 2015

Our wartime farmers welcome town-dwellers seeking shelter from the Blitz, and prepare for the first Christmas under rationing.

Ruth Goodman Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Lion TV / BBC Ruth Goodman The team tackles the conditions faced by the British farmer in late 1940, when Britain's cities were heavily bombed by the Nazis.

The Blitz resulted in one of the biggest mass movements of people in British history as three million city dwellers fled to the countryside. To make outbuildings habitable as refugee shelters, Alex and Peter resort to the age-old craft of making tiles by hand - which means camping out for two days and nights in freezing cold to tend the tile-making kiln.

They are visited by a 94-year-old conscientious objector who was conscripted as a farm labourer because he refused to fight on religious grounds.

Ruth gets involved in the work of the Royal Observer Corps who often enlisted farmers in the work of spotting enemy planes. Alex and Peter also learn how to set up 'decoy fires' to lure German bombers off target, a project known as Operation Starfish.

With December approaching, the team look forward to celebrating Christmas, 1940-style. People were understandably eager to put the horrors of war behind them - if only for a day - but this was the first Christmas under rationing and compromises had to be made. Alex looks at Government solutions to the national 'toy shortage', whilst Peter discovers that soap had become the nation's favourite Christmas gift.

With turkeys few and far between, Ruth cooks up an alternative - known as 'mock turkey' or 'Murkey' - made from apples, onion and a dash of sausage meat, with a pair of parsnips for legs

Wartime Farm - Episode Three is first shown on BBC Two and BBC HD on Thursday, 20th September 2012 at 8.00pm. For further broadcast details, and to watch online where available, please visit







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