14th May 2019

Guild Care service users and care home residents in their 80s and 90s have come together to reminisce about the clothes they wore during the Second World War with 18-year-old art students from the METs Northbrook College.

The project was set up to  encourage members of the local community to recall items of clothing that they had worn when they were a teenage or a young adult during the war and then compared that with what youngsters of today wear.

It has now inspired part of an exhibition War and Clothes which is currently on show at Worthing Museum.

The group of six involved in the project are residents at Guild Care’s Caer Gwent care home and customers at its Guild Care Centre at Methold House. Some of their own work is now on display alongside other pieces of art made by the students which was inspired by their words and memories.


Rita, who attends the Guild Care Centre at Methold House and whose late husband was a Royal Sea Marine in the war, said she still remembers wearing petticoats, corsets and stockings. She also recalled how the length of skirts got shorter and shorter during the war due to the shortage of material! Although in 1947 the fashion was for long skirts returned again. She added: “We used to wear the same outfit over and over again, rather than buy new things all the time like they do today. We also used to make many of our own clothes. Women even used to get married in dresses made out of parachutes in the war – it was all about recycling.”


Jean and Brenda, who are both residents at Caer Gwent, spoke of how they wore beautiful evening dresses when they went out to dance and particularly liked the waltz.

One Northbrook student admitted to the group that she and her friends were bucking the ‘throwaway’ culture of many young people today and regularly borrowed clothes from each other.

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