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Ramsgate War Time Tunnels

Rations day 4 (year 3)

Well, what a day that was. This morning I was tied to the kitchen, baking bread and rolls and cooking dinner for tonight and this afternoon I was transported back in time to 1940 and life as it would have been in Ramsgate for 300 families living in the war time tunnels. There’s never a dull moment on rations week, I can assure you!

So, back to this morning when Bryn decided to have toast for breakfast instead of cornflakes, this put my bread supplies dangerously low and so I decided to bake some more for lunch today, as our plans for a trip to the café had also changed, and we also needed some for our picnic tomorrow.

As the bread was baking, I thought I would get ahead of myself and cook tonight’s dinner as well. We were supposed to be having cottage pie, but when I went to get the mince, I discovered that there was, in fact, no mince - only veggie sausages! So in true Home Front style, I decided to make do and instead I made what I can only describe as “Sausage Surprise!” The biggest surprise for me was that it was actually really delicious, although Bryn wasn’t so impressed.

The reason that all of our plans changed today was that we were booked on a tour at 2pm in The Ramsgate War Time Tunnels, and what a tour it was. We have never been there before and I had no idea of the network of tunnels beneath the town which were constructed in 1939, to protect the people of Ramsgate from bombing.

Our guide was incredible and his knowledge of every aspect of life in the tunnels was impeccable. We learned about how 300 families set up ‘homes’ in the old Victorian railway tunnel and how they would shelter in the tunnels beneath the town during air-raids. They had Christmas dinners down there, a busker who played the violin, a hair dresser a medical centre and lots more. It was essentially a town beneath the town.

Subterranean life was not an easy one, it was cold and damp and smelly, but they were safe from bombs and would be able to return to the surface and their homes (if they were still standing), in between raids. I have no doubt that hundreds of lives were saved by these ingenious tunnels. If you ever have the chance to visit, I would highly recommend it – book in advance, it gets busy down there! Click HERE for the link!

Tomorrow is our last day on rations and it’s a bit of an odd one, because my daughter is going to feed a sloth at the zoo for a late birthday treat before we go on our picnic! As I said, there’s never a dull moment on rations week. See you tomorrow!

Bryn’s thoughts:

Breakfast: Toast with butter 10/10

Lunch: Freshly baked roll with margarine and cucumber 10/10

Dinner: Sausage Surprise! 8/10, I didn’t like the mashed potato, but I ate it and it filled me up.

Today I had fun down the war time tunnels in Ramsgate, I especially liked it when we had to go across the mats in the flooded part of the tunnel.

I had no idea that there were tunnels beneath Ramsgate and I didn’t know about any of the history. I learned about the railway that took tourists to the seaside through the Victorian tunnel too. They used that tunnel in 1940 to house families in bombing raids.

I liked reading the graffiti in the tunnels from all of the people who have been there.

I am looking forward to our picnic tomorrow, we have got cake and ginger beer!

This blog was first published on 1st August 2019 on our old website.

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