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"We want not only the big man with the plough but the little man with the spade to get busy this Autumn........

Let "Dig For Victory" be the motto of everyone with a garden"

Rob Hudson, Minister of Agriculture, October 1939.

Dig for Victory poster

Before the Second World War started Britain imported about 55 million tons of food a year from other countries. Understandably, the German government did what they could to disrupt this trade. One of the main methods used by the Germans was to get their battleships and submarines to hunt down and sink British merchant vessels. The farmers were only producing 30% of the Countries food.

The government introduced the Dig for Victory campaign that called for every man and woman in Britain to keep an allotment.

More correspondence was being received in Rishton on the 4th January 1944, when the Council Clerk reported correspondence from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries concerning the Dig for Victory Campaign 1944.

Lawns and flower-beds were turned into vegetable gardens. Over ten million instructional leaflets were distributed to the British people. The propaganda campaign was successful and it was estimated that over 1,400,000 people had allotments. 25% of the necessary vegetables were produced in allotments.

All over the Country lawns were dug, and potatoes, cabbages, carrots and beans were planted. Public parks were given over to grow wheat, and road verges railway embankments, golf clubs, tennis courts, roofs, and even window boxes were put to work.

Dig for Victory Poster

People were encouraged to keep chickens. Others kept rabbits and goats. Pigs were especially popular as they could be fed on kitchen waste.

The plan had worked. By 1945 around 75% of the Countries food was being produced in Britain again.

Two plots on the Hermitage Street Allotments were let to the Youth Committee for Food Production and instruction in gardening under the supervision of the Council Gardener on the 13th February 1941.

To read about the Rishton Horticultural Society, please follow this link.

References

Council Minutes

Dig for Victory webpage

Do You Remember - Memories of our Yesterdays. Published by Readers Digest 1989.