Make Do Monday – Cod and Tomato Fish Cakes

This week on Make Do Monday we are sharing a savoury recipe. Although these fish cakes are more potato than fish, the proof is in the eating as they are very tasty!

Lindsay says they are best served with boiled new potatoes and carrots.

Ingredients for 6-8 fish cakes:

1 onion

1 large tomato diced

1.5 lbs of cooked mashed potato

8 oz of fish flaked and cooked

Salt and pepper

2 oz crisp bead crumbs.

1 egg (optional)


1. Start by dicing the onion and tomato, put both in a pan and fry until soft.

2. Blend with the cooked potatoes and fish, making sure it all get mixed together.

3. Season to taste.

4. Divide into 6-8 rounds, you can coat the cakes in egg to get the breadcrumbs to stick if you like, but in war time and eggs being rationed it would probably have been considered waste of an egg .

5. Bake on gas mark 5 until crisp .

image1Please share your wartime recipes and make do and mend tips!

Also I thought I’d remind you that we are running a competition on The Dig for Victory’s facebook page where you can win two signed books by James Holland who is a guest speaker at the show. Share a WWII homefront story from your family history here!

Workshop Wednesday – Tractors, Trucks and Kitchens

With the weeks to the show counting down, we’re racing ahead on multiple fronts down in the workshop….

On the Staghound Armoured car (Which made it’s debut at last year’s show), Jason has been making great strides forward. All the welding has been completed on the hull, it is hoped to get the interior blasted and painted white by the end of the month. Also pictured are several items being trial fitted, such as the hydrovacs.

Meanwhile, a shuffle-around in the yard allowed us to get a spare Bedford RL cab up onto the shelf. The freshly-repainted Austin Gipsy fire pump and Bedford TL timber truck came out into the sunshine for a rare photo opportunity. Into the corner went the Crossley tractor unit, another vehicle in the restoration queue.

Willys Jeep ‘The Little Lady’ is awaiting the return of the body tub. Jon has welded up the cracks in the bonnet (which were causing it to flex)

We removed the windscreens on the Bedford QL Tipper, allowing us to get at the rust on the cab front and apply a coat of primer.

Now, onto the sets! This year, we need to build a kitchen display area for the home front marquee. Handily, this bar was perched on a shelf in the sawmill. After a clean and some wood treatment, it looks perfect for the job.

More set pieces from ‘The Imitation Game’ have been dug out of the stores, to serve as the floor and walls. Should look good!

We have also started preparing the handmade picnic benches for the show, by giving them a coat of oil. Need to make a few more, though!

Finally, Pete has taken one of the old Ferguson tractors under his wing, and got it running and driving for the first time in years!




Workshop Wednesday – Sun, Rust and Sets

A productive week! Here’s a round-up of what’s been going on in the workshops…

The old rusty metal platform atop the Ops Room has been removed at last. This was made of two very heavy aluminium checker plate sheets on a steel frame, which had succumbed to the elements. Using the land rover and tractor as mobile stepladders, we were able to remove it all.

Big news – The Little Lady Jeep’s engine/transmission is in! Eddie and Herb have got it mounted, just needs plumbing in and wiring up.

Rich and Harry have been trying to get the LP2A carrier to run again so it can feature at this year’s show. The engine cowling was removed to allow access, exposing the V8 engine underneath.

Progress on the Bedford QL Tipper continues, the dashboard and binnacles are being cleaned up and new wiring added…

… while the cab front and interior are ground back to remove peeling paint and rust. The damaged and patched front wheel arch has been hammered out, too.

Also – set building! Saturday was a beautiful day, allowing us to further reduce the enormous pile of leftover blast wall, and in the process build two pillboxes and a special project for the children’s trail… See if you can guess what it is!



Make Do Monday – How to make a headscarf

Have you got some scrap fabric lying around at home? Why not turn it in to a scarf and brighten up a bad hair day.

DIGITAL CAMERAAt last years show I learnt from the Blitz Buddies 1940s fashion show that hair snoods and headscarves were not just fashionable, they were also practical and protected women from getting their hair caught in machinery at work. Until I’ve figured out how to crochet a hair snood/net I thought I’d share this easy pattern for a scarf!

hairsnoodImage source

Apart from a sewing machine you will need:

  • a piece of fabric of your choice which is approximately 90×20 cm.
  • some cotton thread
  • a pair of scissors
  • some pins and one hand sewing needle

DIGITAL CAMERA1. Start by cutting your scarf, either against a folded edge or two pieces of the same length. Cut the ends on an angle like the picture below.

DIGITAL CAMERA2. Pin your pieces with the right side together and stitch about 1 cm from the edge all the way around your raw edges, leaving a hole of about 5 cm (see pic below).

DIGITAL CAMERA3. Remove all of your pins and turn the scarf outside in. Use the end of a pen or knitting needles to get your pointy ends neat and give the scarf a press with an iron on low heat.

DIGITAL CAMERA4. Now thread your needle and close the hole that you left with some stitches along the edge and your are done!



DIGITAL CAMERANow learning how to tie it, is another challenge!

photobyharoldMlambert,jpgImage source

Workshop Wednesday – Lots to do…

The latest developments from the Shopland Collection workshops…

Mike’s been busy removing the 2014 dates from our tank signs, just a few more to go…

Eddie, Herb and Harry have been working on the Jeep engine, now fresh in a new coat of paint, with the transmission fitted and in green. Ancillaries are being cleaned of old paint and grime and refitted.

Rich has removed the QL Tipper’s mess of a wiring loom to rebuild it. The truck was previously fitted with a diesel engine so the wiring is something of a hybrid. Meanwhile, Mark and Corwin have been grinding and painting the wheels and parts of the body.

Just ten weeks to go to the show and plenty more to do!

One unusual movement was 2.5 tons of gun barrel around the yard. This is destined for the 4.5″ gun currently in the workshop.