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The War Years

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


~Lynda~ Report 15 Feb 2008 15:20

Please add your memories.

I know that in the war years that certain products were scarce, so what did people use instead of the normal products e.g what was used instead of sugar, soap & other scarce products?
Also once those things came back in abundance did you hoard them, as my aunt used to hoard soap, and my friends mother hoarded sugar, because they both said they never wanted to run short of these things again.


Mazfromnorf Report 15 Feb 2008 15:25

My mum loved the war years and said they used to share and recycle every thing in fact she still melts soap together .to make a new bar her drawers are full of flattened tinfoil and breadbags folded. carrots were used to sweeten cakes and rosehips .makes you think though

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 15 Feb 2008 15:48

well you had a ration of sugar for each family member so it was used with care. Mum used to keep every small piece of soap left and moulded the pieces together to get another larger bar out of it . she used the same soap all the time so it wasnt a mixed bag.

carrots were used as a sweetener too in cakes and Christmas Puds. my mum made all her Xmas puds and they were steamed in a steamer for at least twelve hours and were rich and black. she used to use Guinness and stout in them as well.

We were a big family of eight kids and mum had lodgers too to make ends meet.
Don't recall her hoarding anything after the war BUT i do remember when we at last used toilet paper altho was San Izal and a bit rough but at least you didn't get newsprint on your bum!!. I remember tearing up newspapers to wipe size pieces that were hung on a string on a nail in the outside lavvy. and this was still in the 1940,s i came home from evacuation in Jan 1946 and we still used newspaper then for lav duties and for a few years after



ButtercupFields Report 15 Feb 2008 15:52

Lemons, Lynda. For some reason my mother used to store lemons...never quite worked out why. BC


Mazfromnorf Report 15 Feb 2008 16:03

love hearing how they used to save the rations for weddings and do's etc they had dummie iced cakes which hid the plain cake underneath . I think we have a lot to learn now cos obesity was rare in them days

Jessie aka Maddies mate

Jessie aka Maddies mate Report 15 Feb 2008 16:04

My MIL stored everything - from food to clothing to ..........anything, when she passed and the house was cleared it was amazing how much she had hoarded


Susan719813 Report 15 Feb 2008 16:09

Hi Lynda,


Reading your post just made me sugar was rationed, how did they make whiskey, beer etc without sugar for fermentation? especially as alcohol would not exactly have been a necessity



Harry Report 15 Feb 2008 16:10

We had a tin of grade 1 salmon which my mother kept during the war and for many years after - she kept it for a special (rainy) day which never came.

Grade I salmon was pretty unobtainable in the war years and was the rich pink type you buy now. The other grades were pretty awful lightest pink.

Snoek was a fish foisted on us during the war. I liked the powdered egg the government used to supply us with, but hated their orange juice - and cod liver oil.

Happy days


~Lynda~ Report 15 Feb 2008 16:14

I know that stockings were in short supply, and that a line was drawn on the back of the leg to mimic a seam, someone once told me that the line was drawn with soot from the chimney, wonder what happened if it rained!!

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 15 Feb 2008 16:21

i think industries had a bigger allowance than domestic households so as to keep the businesses going , their output tho must have been reduced and only allowed their business to tick over.

I really think tho we were all healthier for it .it was unusual to see overweight people.

I HATED tho with vengeance Whale meat that was on our School dinner menu even in the late 1940,s i went to Grammar school in 1948
and we had it on the menu . and frogs spawn ie tapioca pudding !!


♥Athena Report 15 Feb 2008 16:22

One of my great aunts was a real hoarder of food and toiletries - her cupboards were always stocked to the brim of tins and packets (dozens of the same thing).

I used to love going to visit her because she had so much stuff it was like a shop. She used to say you never know when something is going to be rationed. I didn't really know what that meant when I was a kid but now I realise it's 'cos she'd been through both world wars - the first as a child, the second in her late twenties/thirties.

Thing is - I find myself doing the same thing now and I've not experienced war rations so no idea why I do it!

My family and friends think I'm a bit strange for having at least 12 rolls of loo paper, rows of washing up liquids, various tubes of toothpastes and handwash, dozens of shampoos, stacks of tins of just about everything ... I just blame Grt Aunt Lizzie for instilling this hoarding need in me LOL!


(oo-er just thought you might think my house is piled high with stuff like a rubbish tip - no, no, everything is all stacked neatly away out of sight LOL)


MacTheOldGeezer Report 15 Feb 2008 16:38

Re-cycling is not new.

We recycled everything during the war

Food scraps (what there was), potato peelings and other vegetable waste went into a dustbin on the roadside to feed Pigs

Old Iron, Steel and specially Aluminium were recycled via the Rag and Bone Man on his cart, the kids were avid collectors because you could sometimes get a Goldfish if you gave him enough.

Even the ashes from the fire were collected

Paper that was not cut into squares for the toilet were put into another Dustbin

So, We had 3 dustbins in our part of the road

What were in short supply
Ciggies - people would be off like a shot if they heard that a shop had them in, even if they could only have 5 at a time, a lot of cigarettes were packed in 5's in those days
Sweets - 2 ounces a week was the ration
Decent Meat - The good meat went to the Butcher's favourite customers (usually those with money), animals lungs were rfeely available.
The others had the 2nd class meat and offal
Some fruit - No Oranges, Bananas or other fruit from abroard, we were lucky we had two small trees in our garden but the apples didn't last long

I could go on listing stuff all night, but I have to go out soon



Deanna Report 15 Feb 2008 16:38

I don't remember ever being without.
Probably due to the fact that my mother was such a good housekeeper.... as most women were in those days.

I do however remember her making us (my sister and I) a little jam tart on a saucer. the ingredients was so difficult to get, she must have had enough to do us a little treat.

When she went to cut it in half for us... the whole saucer broke in half.
My mummy sat on the floor and cried for a long time....
I was 4. How many tears did our mums shed when they felt (wrongly) that they had let us down?
God bless them.
Deanna X

Mick in the Sticks

Mick in the Sticks Report 15 Feb 2008 16:44

Rationing continued well after the war into the 1950's.

I remember when my father was demobbed after the war, he bought three bee hives.With the honey these produced he could barter for virtually anything.

I also remember the first time I ever had any sweets due to rationing, I was seven years old. My mother gave me a tube of refreshers which I showed off in class to a schoolfriend. The teacher immediately confiscated them. The very first sweets in my life, gone just like that. I tearfully told my mother about this during the lunch break and later in class that afternoon, the classroom door suddenly burst open to reveal my mother framed in it.

She just marched up to the teacher and demand her sons sweets in front of the whole class. I think the teacher must have been in a state of shock as she meekly handed them over and my mother simply turned around and walked out of the class without saying another word.

I remember at the time I wished the earth would open up and swallow me but fortunately, nothing happened and the teacher never mentioned my sweets again.



badger Report 15 Feb 2008 16:52

My missus still has a tin of her mums powdered egg in the cupboard from 1942,don't fancy trying it though.she still has an old ration book as well.Fred.

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 15 Feb 2008 17:08


I still have my old Grey identity card with its ref DIVG 269-4

That number was the used as part of my National Health Nos when the NHS service started.

My sis only recently threw away her old Red Mickey mouse gas mask cos it had got rotten and sticky,I remember being envious of her gasmask cos mine was a grown up black thing and I wanted a Mickey Mouse one. I was born 1937 and she was born 1939


Krystyna♥ Report 15 Feb 2008 17:08

I have a lovely 3 book set of Marguerite Patten's called The Wartime Kitchen.It has loads of recipes from the war years and tips on how they coped, with added nostalgia. The diet in those days are so much healthier too. Not that i'm old enough to have experienced it, but it's so informative and have even tried a couple of the dishes.



Mazfromnorf Report 15 Feb 2008 17:12

There is a recipe for alcohol using potatoes some where my dad called it sherry it was good but cant find the recipe at mums


~Lynda~ Report 15 Feb 2008 17:14

I found this on a website.These are some of the goods that were rationed per person a week, meat bacon cheese and tea seems a small amount, but 8ozs of sugar seems quite a lot, perhaps more people had very sweet teeth then?
Meat - between 1s. (5p) and 2s. (10p) a head a week
Bacon - 4 oz. (113 gm) to 8 oz. (227 gm) a week
Tea - 2 oz. (57 gm) to 4 oz. (113 gm) a week
Cheese — 1 oz. (28 gm) to 8 oz. (227 gm) a week
Sugar - 8 oz. (227 gm) a week.


Mazfromnorf Report 15 Feb 2008 18:13

They made clothes out of parachute silk too it was quite a luxury.I also like the stories about drawing stocking seams on your legs that must have been hard to do