Furniture and Fixtures

The drawings to the right are examples of utility furniture that barracks in Tweedsmuir Camp were furnished with. Each piece, comprising a beech wood frame in-filled with hardboard panels, was stained brown and varnished.

Since traditional jointing methods such as dovetails, mortice and tenons, butt hinges and the like were used in their construction, it is unlikely that the furniture was flat packed.

The bedraggled steel frame in the first photograph below was once a single bed. The legs folded underneath a heavy, right angled frame to which was attached a network of springs. On top of this lay a 140 mm deep horsehair mattress.

Remains of a canvas field bed are shown in the next photograph. Designed to be used for temporary sleeping arrangements, its structure would have included a beech framework and six pairs of steel hinges with a canvas fabric sewn over the two side sections identified by red arrows. The missing half of the bed would have been a mirror image of the components present in the photograph to the right.

The field bed would have been similar to the one shown in the third photograph.

It is more than likely that these beds would have been erected in situations when an unusually high number of men were present at the camp.

The fixtures used in Tweedsmuir Camp were similar to those of today except that they were designed in the 1940s for utilitarian installations. Below are five examples.

Above left is an example of an electrical junction box. To the right a piece of reinforced privacy glass that was used to glaze lavatory windows.

After more than sixty years, the cystern cover, which is made from cast iron, is in worse condition than the brass door handle.

The two photographs above are of a light shade made from pressed steel. It is finished in a blue enamel on the outer surface and white enamel on the inner surface.

Some barracks were furnished with elaborate coal burning stoves as illustrated by the two panels in the photograph to the right. Made from cast steel, the exhibit depicts a decorative appearance that contradicts the utilitarian nature of design evident in WWII products.

You can see more examples of products from this era at the Tweedsmuir Camp Exhibition, which is located at the Rural Life Centre, The Reeds Road in Tilford, Surrey.