Pupils step back in time at Gunsgreen

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A GROUP of pupils from Eyemouth Primary School took their studies on the Second World War a step further recently by testing out a range of WWII activities at Gunsgreen House.

The children, from primaries 5-7, were given the chance to experience first hand the difficulties faced by families struggling to live on limited rations in the War.

The idea for the Second World War activities at Gunsgreen was suggested by local enthusiasts, Naomi Kenny and Val Knowles. Ably assisted by Val’s husband, Alan, they set about creating a wartime kitchen and sewing room in the basement.

They brought with them lots of original artefacts, having done a great deal of research about how people baked with limited rations and how they stretched out their clothing allowance by mending and making do.

Dressed in 1940’s costume as Jessie Dougal and Peggy and William Crombie of Gunsgreen House, they welcomed the pupils, who must have felt they had stepped back in time.

In the kitchen Jessie encouraged them to sample beetroot jam and carrot cookies and to help mix a vinegar cake, all of which tasted delicious, much to everyone’s surprise.

Peggy showed them how to turn a sheet, bind together worn towels to make them last longer and measure and weigh in yards and ounces. The pupils then had the chance to recycle wool for jerseys, and to make pot holders out of scraps and toilet roll out of newspapers.

The morning was voted a great success by pupils and teachers alike and the wartime activities will be offered to other schools as part of Gunsgreen House’s education programme.