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The Kitchen Goes to War


The ‘Kitchen Goes to War’ exhibition explores why rationing was introduced during the First World War, how it worked and how families on the home front were encouraged to ‘do their bit’ for the war effort.

The exhibition was developed with help from pupils from Springhead Primary School in Newcastle under Lyme. Pupils worked with local arts organisation Filament to help design the resource and re-tell the story.

The resource ‘makes real’ the changes that took place in people’s kitchens and diets during the time. It allows us to re-imagine what it would have felt like to experience these changes, in particular from the viewpoint of young people.

It was great to work with local pupils whose views and creative experiences all helped shape the exhibition to make it relevant and appealing to as many children and families as possible. - Sarah Richardson, (Filament)

Two pupils were involved in recording the audio script for the piece - acting out the characters of a brother and sister who talk about their experience and guide people round the kitchen.

Pupils at Springhead Primary School said;

I loved the Kitchen Goes to War because when I was listening I just hoped that it would never end. I loved the music and I loved how they (the characters) were telling us to look in places.

It was amazing and I loved how people can interact with things in the kitchen.

The best part of it was the audio telling the story of World War One.

I really enjoyed finding (out) about the past and how lucky we are.

I thought it was a good experience of what World War 1 was like.

Kitchen Goes to War toured primary schools and library venues throughout 2018 and we are delighted that it will find a new home at the Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton in the new year.


The project was made possible by National Lottery players through HLF’s First World War then and now programme.

Photographer: Jenny Harper Artists: Filament, Designer: April Dalton

Heritage Lottery  Museum & Archive Service Libraries & Arts Service



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