Celebrate Mother’s Day with free tea and cake at Take Shelter

Did you know that the way we celebrate Mother’s Day was influenced by the Second World War?

In the UK, Mothering Sunday, the day when people returned to worship at their ‘mother’ church, is traditionally the 4th Sunday of Lent. In contrast Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate one’s mum, is a much more modern tradition. Mother’s Day was introduced in America in the early 20th century and was made official national day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. After the First World War the idea of Mother’s Day was introduced in the UK but it did not really catch on. It was not until American and Canadian troops were stationed over here during the Second World War, bringing the celebration with them, that it became popular here. In America Mothering Sunday and Mother’s Day are marked on different days but here they are celebrated on the same day and to many, the two have become synonymous with each other despite their different origins and meanings.

The lives of women, including mothers, changed greatly during the war. Many saw their men go off to fight or support the war effort, others waved their children off as they became evacuees. For some it was an opportunity to take on the roles left by the men, some learnt new skills, worked on the land and enjoyed new freedoms, while others balanced the family ration books adjusting to the changing availability of food, clothing and other supplies.

During the war many Canadian troops were stationed in Brighton, in particular in the run up to D-Day in June 1944. To remember them and the tradition of Mother’s Day that they brought to the UK, Take Shelter is offering all Mothers, and other important care givers, a free hot drink and piece of cake at their March Open Day on Sunday 10th March. (Please note that this offer is limited to one per family group.)

Please spread the word about our ‘Mother’s & Others’ offer and the story of Mother’s Day carried by the American and Canadian men who came and served here during WW2.

Take Shelter is the volunteer led charity which runs the only school air raid shelter open to the public in the south. Everyone is welcome at our monthly Open Days: If you would like a tour of the shelter, tickets are available from www.takeshelter.org.uk/events but you can also come and browse our WW2 museum and displays and chat to our wartime veterans for free, enjoy a cuppa and piece of cake at Mrs Button’s Tea Room or take away a souvenir from the Take Shelter gift shop.

Black and white photograph of a view looking down a street with party tables set up in the middle. Children sat at the tables wearing party hats with women stood around them.

Street party in Brighton 1945 (courtesy of Brighton Museums)

Canadian soldiers in Pavilion Gardens (courtesy of Brighton Museums)