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World War 1 Children's eCookbook Produced by University of Worcester Design Students

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Recipes for jam, hotpot and pancakes are all included in a new World War 1 eCookbook produced by students at the University of Worcester.

The e-book, titled WW1 Food Fight, is already going down a treat at schools in the region and at local libraries working with children’s groups.

Students on the University’s Graphic Design & Multimedia course were challenged to design the book in an engaging way as a ‘live brief’. One of the aims of the project was to get primary school-aged children interested in food and learning more about WW1 history and the challenges of cooking on the home front.

The brief was set by Maggie Andrews, Professor of Cultural History at the University, as part of the Voices of War and Peace project, marking the centenary of WW1.

“Maggie has been a great client for the students and I to work with,” said Senior Lecturer Andy Stevenson. “I think it’s fair to say that both students and staff alike have learned more about the fascinating history and challenges of the home front during the WW1 era along the way.

“Recipes included in the eBook were all based on genuine home front recipes of the time gleaned from Maggie’s research. They included a meatless stew, an eggless sponge cake and a baked jam roll. There are also activity sheets and games for schools and children’s groups to engage with in the book too.”

He added: “This has been a really popular ‘live’ project for students studying Children’s Book Design on the University’s Graphic Design and Multimedia course. This area of study on the course has been developed around our own experiences as a staff team while working within children’s publishing for companies such as Ladybird Books and Dorling Kindersley Books.

“Staff helped to create children’s reference and educational books and we now work those and other key industrial experiences back into the teaching in this area along with students’ academic learning.”

Professor Maggie Andrews said: “It (the eBook) has gone out the Droitwich library who are really thrilled with it and are now using it with school groups. The eBook's also going to used by similar school groups down in Hemel Hempsted and it'll be in use at Pershore Library for their WW1 event too.”

The initial student brief also resulted in various spin-off projects and events. One such project was via design student James Burton, whose cookbook artwork was also used on giant WW1-themed banners for a Heritage Lottery-funded WW1 project based in Gloucester.

The student-designed .pdf eCookbook is now in circulation in the region and can be downloaded by the public for free at: https://goo.gl/ENpW9Y