Papers of Elsie Fyffe

Archive Collection
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 7EFY
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 7/XX24; 7/XXX24
  • Dates of Creation
      Nov-Dec 1941
  • Language of Material
      English
  • Physical Description
      1 OS folder
  • Direct Link

Scope and Content

The archive consists of 4 letters from the Sunday Pictorial and a diploma signed by Lord Woolton, dated 1 Nov 1941, all re wartime rationing. Also typescript of Mrs Fyffe's account of a week's routine in feeding her household of two adults and five children, with a summary of housekeeping expenditure for a week in Sep 1941, and details of each day's meals during that week.

Administrative / Biographical History

Elsie Fyffe (fl.1940) was a housewife during the Second World War. Just after the outbreak of the Second World War, in 1939, the British economy was placed on a siege footing. This meant that all resources from metal to foodstuffs became scarcer and stocks had to be preserved. In 1940 Lord Woolton was appointed Minister of Food, becoming responsible for operating the rationing system, and a parallel public relations campaign to encourage housewives to make the best of what was available. Food Ministry advertisements were regularly placed in newspapers offering advice on conserving the limited amounts and variety of fare available as well as conserving fuel. Propaganda campaigns revolved around making citizens feel that they were contributing to the war effort by following this guidance. It was in this context that Mrs Elsie Fyffe was informed by the Sunday Pictorial newspaper that she was one of the winners of their award for the twenty best housewives in Britain. For this, she was awarded a diploma signed by Lord Woolton and interviewed by the periodical.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Gift after Kathryn Whitehorn's appeal.

Other Finding Aids

Fonds Description (1 folder only)

Personal Names