Beware the SQUANDER Bug!


With the obvious shortages faced by the people of the British home front, any form of unnecessary wastage be it food or materials, was deeply discouraged.

Reminders to 'make do' and NOT to squander were commonplace in the form of posters, newsreels and pamphlets. The menacing 'Squander Bug' was one character introduced to denounce blatant waste.

An Image of a Poster Encouraging People not to Take the Squander Bug with them when going Shopping

Lord Woolton reminding civilians in one of his many broadcasts to the nation.

“If you are only eating what you need

and not what you like and as much as you like,

then you are helping to win the war"

Squander Reminder Posters

An Image of a Poster Reminding People that in Order to win the War, Food was NOT to be Wasted in the Kitchen!

A 'Churchillian' reminder that in order to win the war, food was NOT to be wasted in the kitchen!

An Image of a Poster also Reminding People not to Waste Food in the Wartime Kitchen!

Another reminder NOT to waste food in the wartime kitchen!

'Is Your Journey Really Necessary?'

With petrol rationing having also been introduced resulting in fewer private motor cars on the road, a greater reliability in public transport evolved.

With bus and train systems already severely restricted and undermanned, the general public were asked to consider whether or not they needed to use public transport and to bear in mind those who might need the transport more. Born from this concept was the 'Is your journey really necessary?' slogan.

An Image of a Poster Reading 'Is Your Journey Really Necessary?'
An Image of a Poster Reminding People to Walk Short Distances and Leave the Spaces on Public Transport for Those who Need to Travel Longer Distances

PICTURE: A reminder to walk short distances and leave the spaces on public transport for those who need to travel longer distances.

After all, nobody wanted to be branded a TRANSPORT HOG.

"You wonder why we make a fuss

If George decides to take a bus

but look again and you will see

that George aint all that George should be.

He's only got a step to go

a couple hundred yards or so

while others further down the queue

have far to go and lots to do.

When George gets on we often find

that other folk get left behind.

He pays his fare and rides the stage

and off he hops and see the rage

and seeing this gives George a jog

'Perhaps I'm Just a Transport Hog'"

Making Do

With the scarcity of so many everyday items during World War Two, Britons were encouraged to become much more self-sufficient and make greater use of the materials they had.

The phrase most associated with this British wartime drive for self-sufficiency was 'MAKE DO and MEND'.

Some of the ingenious ways of how people got by are shown below.

An Image of a Poster Encouraging People to 'Make-do and Mend'

  • Making wartime JEWELLERY from old beer bottle tops, cup hooks and corks

  • Supplementing a shortage of CLEANING MATERIALS by crushing egg shells for use as a scouring compound and cutting squares out of old stockings for use as dishcloths

  • Using the dregs of cold tea to clean WOODWORK

  • Varnishing the soles of CHILDREN'S SHOES to prolong the foot-wears life

  • Cutting up old Mackintoshes to make BIBS for babies.