Britain was at war between 1939–1945. During this time life was difficult, especially for people and families living in cities like London. Even though many children were evacuated and many fathers were away fighting, for the people who remained living in London, the fear of injury and nearby destruction was a constant threat. It is perhaps no surprise that when the war ended, and families were slowly reunited, communities pulled together to celebrate the end of the war and to start to re-build their lives.
In Ruby’s world, people are out and about tidying up the streets and starting to re-build numerous buildings that were destroyed during the Blitz. It was a long and difficult task and, to this day, many buildings and areas have never been rebuilt.
The London Blitz
The Blitz was a truly terrifying experience; many people endured frequent air raids by enemy bombers and had to act quickly to protect themselves. In Ruby in the Ruins, Mum does not want to go down to the air raid shelter, and chooses to wait out the air raids at home.
Many other families chose this option, and would seek protection by hiding in cellars. Another option was for families to head to makeshift shelters in their gardens, some of which were provided by the government. However, the conditions in these shelters were often cramped and cold. Many families sought shelter in nearby Underground stations or in surface shelters in open spaces like parks. When the planes had gone, the sirens would sound the 'All Clear' to tell people that it was safe to come out.
After the War
On 8 May 1945, Londoners and people all around Britain celebrated Victory in Europe Day. Even though there had been food rationing during the Blitz, many houses pooled their rations together so that they could have street parties, where men, women and children had picnics together.
Some people decorated their houses with bunting and flags, while others made party hats or took part in parades in the capital.