WW2 Rationing

World War II rationing began with bacon, butter and sugar on 8 January 1940, and lasted until 4 July 1954, when restrictions on meat and bacon were finally lifted. Fourteen years of making do and becoming inventive with the food, that was available.

The government realised that they were importing 50 million tons of food by marine conveys. This dropped to 12 million as the German U-Boats (the Wolf Packs) began attacking the Atlantic conveys with great loss of life and goods. Food shortages were to become the norm for the population.

National registration began with everybody being issued with identity cards and ration books.

BUFF                     Adults

GREEN                  Pregnant or nursing women, and children under the age of five. (These groups got first choice on food supplies)

BLUE                      Children aged 5 to 16. (Made sure they got fruit, a full meat ration and half pint of milk daily).

A typical weekly allowance (for an adult):

Bacon/Ham                                                        4oz

Other meat or two chops

Butter                                                                   2oz

Cheese                                                                 2oz

Margarine                                                           4oz

Cooking Fat                                                         4oz

Milk                                                                       3 Pints

Sugar                                                                     8oz

Preserves                                                              1lb (every two months)

Tea                                                                         2oz

Eggs                                                                       1 fresh (and dried egg)

Sweets                                                                   12oz  (every four weeks)

Imagine trying cooking with these ingredients. Thankfully, bread was not rationed. Neither were fruit and vegetables. Many people grew their own in back yards and on allotments, as well as keeping rabbits and chickens for extra meat. Much public land was used for the use of growing of these, including parks and cricket pitches.  People were encouraged to ‘Dig For Victory.’

People had to register with local shops, there were no supermarkets at this time, only small individual shops. So queueing and shortages were common and a part of wartime life as people travelled between shops searching for their allowances. Once they had collected their goods, the items would be crossed off by staff or ripped out of the ration book, so that they couldn’t be used again.

Tinned goods, dried fruit, cereals and biscuits could all be obtained via a points system. People living in rural areas found it easier to obtain items such as eggs and butter.

Because of shortages, people ate out if they could afford it. There was no rationing but the menu could be a bit limited. Workers often ate in the works canteen for the same reason.

Rationing allowed everybody to have equal amounts in a time of restriction. It allowed those of lower income to be able to get food, and to stop the practice of hoarding. Even so there was a well-used Black Market for those who wished to use it.

Items such as clothes, soap and petrol were also rationed for most of the war. People accepted what was required of them, and though they missed much. There was food and they became very resourceful and inventive. Recipes can still be found online or in books.

If you would like to try your hand at some wartime recipes, look at our book, Dig For Victory



RAF Slang

 RAF Slang Challenge

How well do you know your World War II RAF slang?

Have a look at the lists below.  Can you match the slang words to the definitions? You could even challenge someone to compete against you.

When you think you have got them all right, open the document at the bottom for the answers- no cheating!



Piece of cake

Second dicky



Square bashing


Gone for a Burton

Meat Wagon




Queen Mary



Brassed off

The drink

Heat wagon

Tail-end Charlie



Happy valley

Fruit salad


Goggle Goblin


Touch bottom




Silver Sausage

Lady bird

Tangled up in soup

Use you loaf



Pull your finger out




Enemy Aircraft

Unidentified Aircraft

Order to take off quickly

Order to return to base

Notification that a pilot is beginning his attack


Ribbons with the medal

Nickname for a Wellington Bomber


Use your brain/think about it


Aircraft to which gliders were attached

To make a crash landing

To be lost


To attack

Training or drill

A Barage balloon

The sea

WAAF Officer



Fire Engine

Life Jacket

Nickname for a Mosquito bomber

Elementary Training/Flying School


To chat/talk

Astrodome on Aircraft


Crash Landing

To bomb heavily

Hurry up

Hurry up

To obtain illicitly

Reserve pilot on an aircraft

Aircrew nickname for the Ruhr Valley, Germany


Night-fighter pilot


Chemical toilet on an aircraft


How do you think you did? You can find the answers here

RAF Slang Challenge- the answers!

Find out more about RAF Bomber Command and the people who supported them on our online Digital Archive

There are new blogs uploaded regularly and a wide range of topics already discussed on our blog page.

Alice’s Potato Scones

Potato scones

Alice’s Potato Scones

Alice, one of the IBCC’s Duke of Edinburgh volunteers, has put together a blog post all about VE Day, including a delicious recipe for potato scones. 

The  75th anniversary of VE Day is rapidly approaching – the 8th of May having been a time of great celebration amongst the allies of World War Two ever since 1945. It marks the day of celebration, and recognised national holiday, after the announcement that the war had ended with Europe was broadcast to the British people on the radio on the 7th of May 1945.

Fun Facts about VE Day 1945:

–    Queen Elizabeth (Princess at the time) described it as being ‘one of the most memorable nights of my life’.

–    In New York, 15,000 police officers were needed to control the celebrating crowds.

–    VE Day did not signify the end to the war, as the allies were still fighting Japan. VJ Day on August 15th (1945) celebrates the day Japan surrendered.


During the war, supplies including food and fabric were rationed heavily and people were not free to buy whatever they desired. A typical weekly food allowance for 1 adult during the war was:

  • 100 grams of bacon and ham
  • 2 small chops of other meat
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 50 grams of cheese
  • 100 grams of margarine
  • 100 grams of cooking fat
  • 1.5 litres of milk
  • 250 grams of sugar
  • 50 grams of tea
  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams of sweets


  • 1 packet of dried milk per month
  • 450 grams of jam every 2 months
  • 1 packet of dried egg per month

A child would be allowed half of these ration amounts.

Potato Scone Recipe

Potato scones

A recipe you could try to make in celebration of VE Day 75 would Potato Scones. These would have been a treat for people to make out of their rations, and would have been eaten in the 1945 VE Day celebrations, as rationing carried on until 1954.

Recipe: Makes 8 scones


  • 170g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 110g mashed potato
  • 60g butter
  • 30g of caster sugar (if you would like sweet scones)
  • 4-5 tbsp. milk


  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Mix  plain flour with  salt and  baking powder.
  3. Add the mashed potato to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix in butter until well combined (use of hands may be necessary). Add caster sugar if you are making sweet scones.
  5. Add 4 – 5 tablespoons of milk and mix to form a soft dough.
  6. Roll the dough out to about 1cm thick.
  7. Cut the dough into circles or triangular wedges and brush the tops with milk or egg.
  8. Bake them at 180 degrees for around 15 minutes.

Happy baking!

Find more fun activities to help you through quarantine on our blog space

There is a range of free downloadable activities here

Are you on Social Media? We are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, follow us to find out the latest International Bomber Command Centre news first!

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits are a sweet biscuit popular with the Australia New Zealand Army Corps during WW1 and 2 and they remain popular today in both countries. There are conflicting reports of how Anzac biscuits supported the war efforts, some sources say wives and girlfriends sent these cookies to their husbands and lovers because the ingredients didn’t spoil and therefore would still be edible when received. Whereas other reports suggest that these biscuits were sold at village fetes and fairs to raise money for the war efforts. Either way there are delicious, addictive and a perfect partner for a cup of tea or coffee…

What’s more, they are surprisingly easy to make!

Anzac Biscuits


(makes 36, approx.)


2 level tbs golden syrup

5oz margarine

4os caster sugar

3oz rolled oats

2oz desiccated coconut

4oz plain flour

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbs hot water

2 oz sultanas


  1. Heat oven to 170 degrees C (gas mark 3)
  2. Grease and line baking tray with parchment
  3. Melt syrup, fat and sugar in a large pan over low heat
  4. Remove, stir in oats, coconut and flour
  5. Dissolve bicarbonate of soda in hot water and pour over sultanas
  6. Add sultana mixture and leave to cool for 5 minutes
  7. Roll mixture into 36 balls and place on to baking tray (make sure they are well spaced out)
  8. Bake for 20 mins until golden brown
  9. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove to wire rake
  10. Put the kettle on, your feet up and enjoy!

We are constantly adding new and interesting content to our blog. Find out more about Bomber Command and those who supported them, our volunteers, the journey of the IBCC, craft ideas and more on our blog space.

Are you on Social Media? We are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, follow us to find out the latest International Bomber Command Centre news first!


Happy baking!

Errol W. Barrow

Errol W. Barrow


In November 1940, 12 men left Barbados on a boat and sailed all the way to England to join the RAF. Errol W. Barrow was one of the men on that ship, he joined Bomber Command. 

Where in the world is Barbados

Errol became a navigator and completed 48 operational bombing missions (this was very brave, members of Bomber Command had to complete 30 Ops before ‘standing down’ and becoming an instructor). By 1945 Errol had risen to the rank of Flying Officer and was appointed as personal navigator to the Commander in Chief of the British Zone in Germany.

Barbados Second Contingent at the Baggage Warehouse prior to joining the MS Maaskerk:
Back row: C.P. King, J.S. Partridge, A.A. Walrond, J.L.L. Yearwood, M.R. Cuke, E.W. Barrow
Front row: G.D. Cumberbatch, A.P.C. Dunlop, H.E.S. Worme, G.A. Barrow (Errol Barrow’s cousin Gordon Barrow), A.O. Weekes, B.F.H. Miller.

Why do you think Errol left his home in Barbados to join a war in England?

After the war Errol went to university and studied Law and Economics. He was a very good politician, he actually led Barbados to independence from Britain! After that he became the first ever Prime Minister of Barbados.

 In 2005 the postal service in Barbados made special stamps that celebrated the men who left the Island to join the RAF in World War 2. This is Errol W. Barrow’s Stamp. Can you see he is wearing his RAF uniform and there is a Lancaster Bomber in the background.


Errol' Stamp

Your Turn!

Why don’t you have a go at designing your own stamp to celebrate a member of Bomber Command using the template below? There were lots of really brave people who suffered and served with Bomber Command, the ones that lost their lives are remembered on the IBCC Losses Database. You could find somebody with your surname on there and make a stamp in their memory.

Stamp template

Did you know…  Percy the Pilot

62 nations came together to fight with Bomber Command during World War II

People came from every single continent in the world! There were men from Mexico, Poland, New Zealand and Germany, women from Russia and even a dog from Czechoslovakia!

Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page to hear about the new Learning Blogs first!

More information can be found here:

Errol Barrow – Statesman, Prime Minister of Barbados, RAF Navigator World War II
The Beautiful Blonde in the Bank – F/L Andrew Leslie Cole AFC RAF

Operation Gratitude

We are recruiting you for Operation Gratitude, to join us in our fight against loneliness. Can you to write a letter or make a card to a veteran to let them know they are not alone in these challenging times?

You could:

Write about your day
Share your Favourite Jokes and stories
Draw a picture of where you live
Draw a picture of a Bomber Crew
Make a VE Day Card
Write about your hobbies

Don’t forget to include your first name and age inside the card so we know who you are! Then pop it in an envelope with another blank, stamped envelope and post it to:

Operation Gratitude

International Bomber Command Centre
Canwick Avenue

If you can’t get to a post box, why not email your work to learning@internationalbcc.co.uk

Know Your Aircraft

How well do you know your World War 2 bombing aircraft?

During World War II, Bomber Command aircraft flew more than 364,500 operational sorties (when they were sent on bombing missions by the RAF). In order to do this they needed lots of different aircraft that were good at lots of different things!

Aircraft- Percy the pilot

One of our fantastic volunteers at the IBCC has made a game to help you learn all about the different aircrafts. You can play it by clicking here. Whats your favourite aircraft? You can have a go at making your very own with our toilet roll aircraft craft below.


Toilet Roll Aircraft

Somewhere in your house there is almost certainly some empty toilet rolls. There are 100’s of different ways you can use a toilet roll to make something uber cool, today we are making ours into aircraft!


You might have all of these things around the house already, if you don’t you can always replace the items with something else you can find the house that does the same job. You need:

  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • PVA glue
  • newspaper (cut into squares)
  • pencil
  • a pen that you can draw on plastic with
  • toilet rolls (one might be enough, but you might need more)
  • string
  • cardboard (an old cereal box would be perfect)
  • an old margarine container or something similar
  • paint
  • paint brush

What you need to do

First, take your toilet roll, cut little slits in it to help you shape the roll the way you want it. When you have shaped it, fasten it in place using little bits of masking tapes. If your plane needs to be longer, you could make it longer by using another toilet roll- make sure you fasten it in place with masking tape.

Aircraft 1 Aircraft 2











Then you need to think about your nose. Aircraft noses come in lots of different shapes and sizes, the Fairy Battle is quite pointy and the Lancaster is round. I made a cone out of cardboard for mine- but you could cut a ping pong ball in half if you wanted a rounder nose. Make sure you leave a hole in the middle, this is where the propeller will sit.

Aircraft 3

Before you attach your nose, you need to make you propeller. Use a pen to draw the shape of the propeller on the margarine container lid and cut it out. In the centre of the propeller make a little hole with a pair of scissors, you might need an adult to help you here.

Aircraft 4Aircraft 5









Thread the string through the hole and make a little knot in the end to keep it in place. Then thread the string (the end without the knot) through the hole in the end of the nose and pull it through. Now you should be able to spin your propeller! Look at the pictures for help if you get stuck.

Now, make sure you keep hold of the end of the string, fasten the nose in place with masking tape making sure you don’t stick the tail of the string down just yet. When the nose is in place, pull the string so the propeller is secure and fasten it to the fuselage (the body of your aircraft) with more masking tape.

Aircraft 6propellerAircraft 8










Ok, it’s time to think about your wings- how else will your plane take off?! Draw the shape you want your wings to be and add an extra centimetre on the end that will meet the body of the plane. Then cut them out. Fold a crease about a cm away from the end of the wing (the extra bit you added earlier) and attach it to the plane, where you want it, with masking tape. Put a little extra tape on the other side to keep it securely in place.

Aircraft 9 Aircraft 10








To make your wheels, draw around a bottle top and then draw a triangle on top of it. On top of the triangle draw a square (look at the photo if you need help). Do this twice and the cut them both out. Fold over the square on top and use the tab to stick the wheels to the planes wings. You can use a card support between the wheels, like I have, if you need to.

wheel shape

wheel attachmentAircraft 13








For the tail, draw and cut out the horizontal part as a whole and the vertical part with an extra cm on the end like you did with the wings. Cut a slit in the tail end of your plane and slot the horizontal part of the tail in place. Fasten the vertical part of the tail by folding the end and securing it with masking tape.

tail 1 Aircraft 15 tail









There you go! You have the shape of your plane! You can add what ever you like to this to make your plane exactly like you want it.

Aircraft 17


To make it nice and strong with a smooth surface to paint on, we are going to cover it with paper mache (my favourite!). The best way to do this is mix PVA glue and a little water in a tub, you only want the glue to be a little thinner than normal. Then using a paint brush paint the plane with glue, a little bit at a time and stick down the newspaper. Cover each bit of newspaper with glue using your paint brush. Cover the whole aircraft using this technique and leave it to dry. This could take a few hours.



Once it is dry you can paint it using most paints. Have you seen any RAF nose art before? you could decorate your plane in the same way!

This is mine, it is Fairey Battle and I made it look a little evil with the nose art.

Aircraft finished

When you have made yours, why not send a picture to learning@internationalbcc.co.uk? We would love to see it, and might even feature it on our social media page!  Don’t forget to give us your first name and age.

Check out our Facebook page here

We have lots of other fun activities on our education page, you can find them here


IBCC’s WAAF Top Trumps

HWendy of the WAAFi there! I am Wendy, nice to meet you! During the war I was one of the many wonderful woman who made up the Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), they were the women who supported the RAF in World War II. I was a Wireless Operator, I used my head phones to listen for messages and signals.

Woman did lots of different and important jobs in the WAAF, you will be able to find out all about them with my WAAF Top Trumps. To play the game print off the top trump cards and cut them out– if you haven’t played Top Trumps before- that’s ok! The rules are just below.

Whilst you are playing, why don’t you get your friends and family to think about answering these questions:

1. Why do you think women were not allowed to be in the RAF during World War II?

2. Why do women get paid differently for all the different jobs?

3. Do you notice anything else about the jobs women have?

Happy playing!


Click this link to find my special WAAF Top Trump Cards You’ll also find some other fun stuff to do here too.


This version of Top Trumps is best with two people, but the more cards you make, the more 
people can play!

To start the game, shuffle and deal all the cards face down. Each player holds their cards so
that they can see the top card only.

The player to the dealer’s left starts by reading out a category from the top card (e.g. 
Pay: 3d) The other players then read out the same category from their cards. The one with the
best or highest value wins, and that player collects all the top cards, including their own,
and moves them to the bottom of their pile. It is then their turn again to choose a category
from the next card.

If two or more cards share the top value or data is not available for that particular subject
then all the cards are placed in the middle and the same player chooses again from the next
card. The winner of the hand takes the cards in the middle as well.

The person with all the cards at the end is the winner.


What job would you like to do in the WAAF? Why don’t you make your own identity card? Follow the link for a template WAAF identity card


Extra Task!

During World War II women and men wrote a lot of letters. Often they had to live a long way away from their families and friends so that they could do their jobs. They missed their loved ones a lot whilst they were away working so wrote lots of letters telling each other what they were doing and about all the exciting new skills they were learning. Why don’t you imagine you have just joined the WAAF and write a letter to your family or your best friend to tell them what you are doing?


When the centre is open again we have lots of fun activities for schools and children visiting. You can find out more about them here 

Our online archive has lots of cool women’s stories, you and your children can discover them here


Mary Ellis’ Story

There were many incredible women who supported the war effort. Mary Ellis was one of many women who flew with the Air Transport Auxiliary. In honour of Woman’s History Month, here is Mary Ellis’ story so you can share it with your children. Mary Ellis when she recorded her oral history for the IBCC Digital Archive

I’m Mary Ellis and I made it to the grand old age of 101!  I even flew a Spitfire when I was 99! During the war I was one of the women in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). We moved aircraft around airfields, brand new out of the factories most of the time.

I first went in an aircraft when I was 10, I think. It was marvellous! I loved every moment! I can still remember the feeling of the wind rushing through my hair for the first time and how the ground looked from so high up, like a patchwork blanket of fields and roads. When I got a bit older, 12ish, they realised that I was really not very good at hockey, so the school actually let me have flying lessons instead! That was rather wonderful. I had got my pilots’ licence by the age of 17.

Well, then the war broke out and civilian flying stopped. I thought that was it, I didn’t think I would ever be able to fly again. I turned my attentions back to the animals on our family farm and tried to avoid the tea parties and tennis games my mother was constantly trying to drag me to.

And then, one day, a voice came on the radio “…are you a qualified female pilot? The Air Transport Auxiliary need you to help with the war effort. Don’t delay, apply today!”

I think I really did jump for joy! My mum said she shouldn’t think it was a good idea, but I signed up anyway. This was my chance to really contribute to the war effort and I wasn’t going to let a few little tennis parties get in my way!

Oh, it was all so exciting. To begin with, we spent the days flying really low, learning as much of the countryside as possible, I could see the leaves on the trees and the hairs on the backs of the cows. This was really important because we would have to navigate completely on our own just using our knowledge of Great Britain. There wasn’t even a radio on board so we couldn’t talk to the ground at all. Completely on our own! Our job was to deliver the aircraft safely, so we could land wherever we liked. When flying conditions were bad, we were to land the aircraft and wait until we were clear to fly again.

I really loved my time in the ATA. We had so many adventures! Flying without a radio was a challenge, half the time the bases had no idea we were delivering an aircraft so we just had to fit in, you know, fall in with the other aircraft circling the base and land when you could!

I had a bit of a near miss one day, I had just landed my spitfire and was hurtling down the runway when I looked up, to my surprise there was another Spitfire tearing towards me! Without a moment to lose I quickly turned my rudder, hoping the other Spitfire wasn’t going to turn in the same direction, our wings only a hair width apart! It was a miracle we survived. Well, it turned out that the other pilot was also in the ATA, we had completely missed each other when circling the runway and landed from opposite directions!

Having a woman in the air was a real shock for the RAF Airman I think, women had very few work opportunities before the war. A woman at university was almost unheard of, and now the ATA was paying men and women equally to do the same job! Once I was delivering this magnificent, medium weight bombing aircraft called a Wellington to an airfield. I had elegantly breezed down the runway, taxied around half the airfield following the escort van, unclipped my parachute, adjusted my hair and jumped gingerly out of the sizable aircraft to be greeted by a rather large herd of RAF personnel. Well, they obviously did not have anything better to do with themselves than stand and stare like gormless goldfish! I asked very nicely to be taken to get my chitty signed

“Yeah, just a minute miss, were waiting for the pilot” was the response I got. I blinked.

“I am the pilot” I replied! Well they didn’t believe me. They actually had the nerve to search the Wellington looking for a man that I was hiding on board! I think they were in awe; it takes at least 5 men to fly a Wellington but I did it all by myself!

Spitfires were my favourite to fly, they did exactly what they were asked with no questions. We were only told to get the aircraft to the base safely, we could land wherever we liked, and we had no time restrictions. I would chase the clouds, breaking the cotton wool fluff with my nose, causing them to scatter and giggling with delight! The aircraft looped the loop and flew upside down; I loved the feeling of the blood rushing to my head. If I was flying near a friend’s house, I would fly really low and make my tail wiggle to say hi. Cor we had some fun! The freedom was like nothing else.

Once, when I was in the air, I looked to my left and there was an aircraft with a distinctive Swastika marked on the side and I saw the pilot give me a cheeky grin. That was a shock! I had no guns to attack him and I couldn’t tell anyone he was here, but man did I want to wipe the grin off his face! Without really having time to think I frantically flapped my hands at him and told him firmly to go home! But he just kept looking at me with that silly grin on his face. It was my blond curls he liked I think; I never did wear a helmet, it really did nothing for my hairstyle.

Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games. I came back to my billets one day to find a rather sombre atmosphere, my friend in the next dormitory hadn’t come back. The weather that day had been bad, low clouds, rain and high winds; she had been lost amongst the rubble when her aircraft crashed into a hill. It was a sobering moment indeed. Our CEO told us not to fly for two days, that is all we got- the war wasn’t waiting for anybody.

You know there was times I didn’t want the war to end. I had my dream job! But of course, we were always on the look out for future employment- desperate not to leave the freedom of the skies behind. I was lucky, in the end I was approached by a farmer to be his personal pilot. Eventually I, Mary Ellis, became manager to an entire airfield on the Isle of Wight. That’s where I met my husband and spent the last of my days, in my house by next to the airfield.

Our Digital Archive holds the stories of lots of incredible women during World War II, including an oral biography from Mary Ellis, click here to discover more .

Are you interested in visiting the centre with your school? Find out more about our varied and inclusive education offer here.

Sweethearts in the Service

Sweethearts in the Service

Last weekend at our Crafternoon, in honour of Valentines Day, we explored Sweethearts in the Service and made Sweetheart brooches.

Sweetheart brooches first became popular in World War I. Men who left home to serve their country would leave their loved ones a badge with their regiment or service crest on it. The badges were given to mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and brothers. Anyone whom they loved and were leaving behind. The badge let them know that they would be in their hearts whilst they were serving.

The Craft

Today, at our Crafternoon, we made Sweetheart brooches inspired by the ones boys in the RAF left their loved ones in World War 2. There was some pretty amazing creations and some fantastic use of glitter. Some of our creative crafters gave their brooches to their parents and some of them kept them for themselves.

Couldn’t attend today? Why not try the creating your own sweetheart brooch at home? All you need is:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Shiny card
  • Glitter
  • Different coloured paper
  • Anything else you have in the house!
  • We printed RAF insignia to stick on too!
  • Safety pin
  • Sellotape

First, you need to decide what shape the base of your badge will be, we had circles, squares and hexagons! We also cut out and decorated extra ‘wings’ to add to our base – the wings show that the wearer’s sweet heart was in the RAF.

How you decorate your badge is completely up to you, often they would be encrusted with gems and have ‘RAF’ in the middle. When you have finished and all the glitter is dry, attach a pin to the back with a little bit of Sellotape and give it to your Sweetheart to wear with pride!



We would love to see what you have created, why not take a picture and send it over to our Learning Officer, Jess on learning@internationalbcc.co.uk

The IBCC have free Family Fun Day’s and Crafternoons throughout the year, to find out when our next one is and discover our other events click here.

If you can support the project’s education and community programmes further through a donation please click here

Ex-Straw-Dinary Structures

Team Joseph and their Techni-coloured Ex-Straw-Dinary Structure
Unfortunately this team was disqualified for using too many straws!

The IBCC hold a free, family fun day every school holiday throughout the year. Last week our theme was Ex-Straw-Dinary Structures. For the fun day we took inspiration from our very own extraordinary structure, the Spire and the 2nd anniversary of the Centre’s opening.

The Ex-Straw-Dinary Structures Competition

Attending families were given a mission to build the tallest, self supporting tower out of limited materials. This required teams to put down their digital devises and exercise their oral communication skills. As a result, we were blown away by their creations.  There were strong structures and floppy structures, beautifully decorated bases and pirate flags. What’s more, one or two families should be commended for their ingenious cheating techniques!

Team Joe and Me were our winners. Their structure measured a towering 273cm and on top of this, it stood up all by itself!

Team Joe and Me, congratulations!

William, one of our super star volunteers designed his own award, the William Award and would like to make a special mention to the following teams:

  • Annie and Daddie
  • Joseph Morton
  • Tallis

It is not too late to challenge your family to build an Ex-Straw-Dinary Structures. All you need is:

  • 50 straws
  • Sellotape/ masking tape
  • Cardboard for the base
  • Half a thin newspaper (we used the Metro, but other papers are available)

Why not take a photo when you have built your tower and email our the Learning Officer, Jess?

Other Activities

Alice’s Peg Plane craft was another activity that was very popular on the day. Alice is one of our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers and she designed and led her own craft activity on the day. Our regular collage table was also set up, this is always popular with a queue of children waiting to get stuck in. Outside, the fun continued; a specially designed trail was available to help participants find out more about the Spire and explore the grounds- this was for those who were brave enough to face the weather!

The IBCC have free Family Fun Day’s and Crafternoons throughout the year, to find out when our next one is and discover our other events click here.

If you can support the project’s education and community programmes further through a donation please click here