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...in reality it was a morale building publicity stunt

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I have come across the idea (conspiracy theory?) before that during the War iron railings were collected and then not used. The version of the story I heard years ago was that it was dropped into the North Sea. Today in a local history book I saw this caption that states as a fact that railings were  "supposedly to build spitfires, but in reality it was a morale building publicity stunt".


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What do people think?

Anyone come across this before?

Why does the occasional house still have pre-War railings - did some people not go along with the mood of the time?

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Unitedite Returns

I am sure that I have read about this particular subject before, although not on this particular understanding.

From what I recall having read, and from what I recall having been told by my parents, that at the onset of WWII, that the government did initiate a MASSIVE scrap recovery programme that was initiated essentially to salvage everything and everything that might have contributed to the war effort.

This recovery programme covered anything from iron railings, as mentioned above, through old newspapers, and books, old car tyres, old pots and pans, and church bells even. [is there not a scene in one of the early Dad's Army series which revolved around the recovery of the town's church bells?].

More, or less, anything that could be salvaged for possible recycling and reuse was recovered.

School children, boy scouts, girl guides, community groups - anyone was encouraged to "do their bit for the war effort"!

Unfortunately however, as with most hastily organised, though best intentioned schemes, there were some serious flaws, as much of what was recovered, was not really recyclable.

I seem to recall from what I was told, was that once someone with some actual knowledge of steel processing looked at some of the recovered materials, that much of it, in particular, the cast-iron railings, was of such low grade, as to be unrecyclable.

I also seem to recall being told that much of that material, once discovered to be unusable was buried in old quarries and such.



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Old rider

As a child the coping stones of the walls around the older houses in the area had the remains of the iron railings still set in lead in the top of them. My parents were of the same opinion that the metal recovered from removing the railings was a waste of time as the iron could never be used in anything. Father worked in the steel industry.

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