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The British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Sharron Report 3 Mar 2013 23:17

Do they come out like Nuttall's?

They look interesting.

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 3 Mar 2013 23:06

Found this for you Sharron.......sorry no flour......but this seems about right.
Remember them on the slab in the pantry cooling all cut up in lumps.

Wartime Mintoes

2 level tablespoons of Sugar,
2 level tablespoons of Golden Syrup,
1 teaspoon of Peppermint essence,
5 Tablespoons of Powdered Milk.might need extra also try using baby milk

Put Sugar and Golden Syrup together in a pan, and bring to the boil over a gentle heat, stirring all the time.

Once bubbling continue to boil, still stirring until all sugar is dissolved. About 5 mins on gentle heat.

Remove from heat, and stir in the peppermint and the 5 tablespoons of dried milk.

Roll into pencil strips on a surface dusted with icing sugar. (The mix should be stiffening, but just pliable.)

Snip the strips with scissors. ( You can alternate the position of the strip 90° clockwise then anti clockwise between snips for a suitable “humbug”/satins effect)

Store with a dusting of icing sugar to avoid sweets sticking


Sharron Report 3 Mar 2013 22:42

Tell me about mintoes please.

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 3 Mar 2013 22:32

Ann,...we made dens in the woods too .played marbles,skipping ,hopscotch ,tag,whip and top etc.
Talking to my friends granddaughter and her partner last week and he said did you get in touch with friends?.....I said we made plans and had places to meet,he couldn't believe we didn't have a house phone.
Also people weren't so spread about,but young ones these days have phones they're looking at all the time and find it hard to understand.


SylviaInCanada Report 3 Mar 2013 22:21

we lived in a cotton mill town ........

....... front door opened straight onto the pavement, and the backyard was tiny.

No-one had a big garden anywhere around, and the back yard only had a very tiny bed where something could be grown.

So we had to make do with what was available in the shops.


AnnCardiff Report 3 Mar 2013 22:13

oooo - my Mum used to make mintoes too :-D :-D

I was never bored - in the summer out over the fields all day, making dens in the woods, playing in the brook - wonderful

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 3 Mar 2013 22:01

When we picked fruit like damsons,blackberries etc my mum got sugar instead of jam which was allowed,so we were able to have bread and jam and make jam tarts.
She made mintoes with dried milk,peppermint oil,flour etc.

We made almond paste for the top of Christmas the dried fruit had been saved for the cake.....with Madeira cake crumbled up and almond essence.

We undid hand made knitteds,washed it put it in hanks and knitted new jumpers etc.

I've shaken the cream off the top of the milk in a jar for ages to make a little knob of butter.
We made dressing table sets on a frame with nails in cotton and sometimes silk and spent hours knotting each section into a pattern and then cutting it out and brushing the fringe.

Funny when you start thinking of how we used to spend our time,but can never remember being bored.

I could go on ...don't get me started!!


AnnCardiff Report 3 Mar 2013 21:29

our grocer where Mum took th ration books was pretty old and his eyesight was not too good so when Mum had collected the weekly rations, she would get a piece of cotton wool and some Milton and dab at the marks which showed the rations had be taken and then we got them again - everybody had some tricks

next door had stacks of chickens so occasionally Mum would lay a trail of corn from the field into our kitchen - stand behind the door with a hatchet and bang - and before they took the chickens in at night, one of them would be out evening meal!!!


AnnCardiff Report 3 Mar 2013 21:25

you must have been rich Mr Daff - elastic bands!!!!

our diet was supplemented with the pheasants, rabbits, hares and pigeons my Dad shot - downside was spitting out the lead shot - used to have a row of pellets around th edge of the plate when we'd finished

Dad shot a hare once and when Mum went to clean it she found out it was pregnant - she told Dad off but he said he had no idea as it wasn't pushing a pram when he shot it

we knew where there were crab apple trees and damson trees and all the best blackberries - mushrooms by the score in season - I still go out looking for them


JustJohn Report 3 Mar 2013 21:24

All of this was about 10 years before I can remember things first hand. I was told bits, but it is great to hear these stories at first hand from so many of you.

I did some research 13 years ago into the history of a coal mining village in South Yorkshire. And discovered some harrowing reports of what life was like from the 1925 Strike till early 1930's. The NUM (Union of Mineworkers) funds ran dry in 5 weeks, and it was meagre savings, family help or nowt. It was soup kitchens, stealing farmers veggies and eating anything with a backbone for protein and not asking what it was. :-(


SylviaInCanada Report 3 Mar 2013 21:15

I think my Mum and Dad were probably better off during the war that they were afterwards.

They married in 1928, and Mum was able to stop working ....... much to the distress of her employer! She was a highly experienced velvet weaver, one of the "elite".

She stayed at home right through the 30s, and through the war.

Dad was in Restricted Employment from 1939, initially in the London area for the first 6 months or so, then back in our home town. I only wish I knew what he did! It was never talked about afterwards.

By then they had 2 children, but my brother left school and started work in 1943/44 ............... at the age of 14.

Dad was able to buy a little car around 1942 or 43

There was then a little Depression after the war ended ............... all the servicemen came home, restricted employment ended, and it was difficult to find a job.

Dad was out of work for about 6 months ....... the car was sold, Mum had to go out to work, finding herself a less-than-fulltime (but more than half-time!) place working in a high-class Ladies and Children's dress shop in the home town. She worked there until the day before she died in 1961.

Even though Dad then got quite a well-paying job ..... they never seemed to have money to spare and often struggled, even though I was the only one at home and not earning. And that struggling continued even after I'd left home.


Sharron Report 3 Mar 2013 20:44

My aunt always used to complain about the neighbours who had pigs, which I think might have been before the war. Her mother would send all the scraps to the neighbour and the children would take them along.

All my aunts siblings seemed to come home with a few sweets as a thank you but every time she went she was given a bacon sandwich.

OH and I always wonder who would come off better if there was another war.He would I think,he's a chef so would be cooking somewhere. Me,well,I would be in a shipyard,welding!


SylviaInCanada Report 3 Mar 2013 20:25

Then there was the whole ethos of "make do" ............

.......... nothing ever went to waste.

Adults' coats, skirts etc, were made over into clothes for children, then altered for younger children.

the material might eventually be used for cleaning, or handed over to the rag and bone man

Parachute silk, if you could get hold of it, was not rationed, and many brides wore wedding dresses made of parachute silk

My brother was a trainee draughtsman from 1944 on, learning to do technical drawings in an engineering company ................ in those days they used a blue material for their drawings which had a fabric base (??cotton or linen).

Most draughtsmen used to take used and unwanted pieces of this material home ................. when washed, it turned white, was lovely and soft, and made wonderful hankies

My brother married in 1952 .............. and his wife was a whiz at adapting her worn-out or no longer fitting skirts into clothes for her daughters. She couldn't make an outfit from scratch, using a pattern and new material, to save her life, but she sure knew what to do to adapt! She was born in 1930, and grew up through the war.

I found it quite funny in the late 1980s and early 1990s when recycling became popular ......... my daughter would come home form school with all these "new" suggestions to help save the environment .......................

we had done all of them during the '40s and '50s, and were still doing a lot of them, although she had not really realised it!

Re being healthier ...............

.......... one other thing that might have contributed to us being healthier in those days, was that we ate smaller meals!

The standard meal size when I was having cookery lesson in the 1950s was much smaller than we now expect to eat.

Wasn't it something like 2 or 3 oz of meat (or other protein) per meal?

Then it crept up to 6 or 8 oz .....................

when we lived in Texas in 1967/8, a standard steak in a restaurant was 12 oz, large steak was 16 oz, and a giant steak (or "get it free if you can eat it all") was 20 or 24 oz

I was gob-smacked when I was served my first steak!

and the servers were not too happy about bringing an empty plate so 2 people could share!

We moved up to Canada in 1968 ....... and the standard size of steak in a restaurant was 8 oz


MrDaff Report 3 Mar 2013 20:22

Remember the post-War limitations - just :-D Even so, frugality continued throughout the 50's really.
Camp coffee was my Nan's favourite, and became a 'treat' for me when I was young.
Also remember going out with a sharp knife and a paper bag collecting nettles, dandelion leaves, wild parsley and mint; blackberrying along the railway embankments; picking up crab apples ((and scurmping a few better varieties :-D), and all these were used to enhance the diet.
One thing not mentioned so far - not a lot of people had fridges,let alone a freezer. Everything was kept in the larder, in our case on thick slate shelving. Anything opened was covered with a tea-towel or paper, held in place by string or, if lucky, and elastic band !!


Mauatthecoast Report 3 Mar 2013 20:03

Agree with all the comments about food & rationing during the war,and I also loved rabbit pie :-)

I remember Camp coffee was drunk (by the grownups). Dried egg was often used to make cakes..and it can still be bought in some supermarkets...Tesco I think.

Our mothers were marvels in the kitchen/home,nothing was wasted and even now I can find more than one use for most items.
We learnt at our mothers' knee, after often hearing 'waste not want not'! and "if you don't eat up all your dinner? we'll send it off to Africa!"

Sweets coming off the ration is a whole new story..... :-D

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 3 Mar 2013 19:42

I have heard others say exactly the same Brenda. All in all, the war time diet probably was healthier than today's....generally speaking of course :-)

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 3 Mar 2013 14:41

Just.a Thought........we didn't see many obese people during the war and we all survived on the rations probably healthier than a lot of the diets folk are on today.

We didn't have to have reminders about 5 a day... We had that and more!

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 3 Mar 2013 14:38

When sweets came off the ration the response was so overwhelming they couldn't keep up with the demand, They went back on ration so the manufactures could up their production and get the sweets in the shops.

I remember at aged 16 c 1953 being so glad to get sweets that every sat after being paid on Friday I would spend a shilling of my wages and scoff the lot. Greedy moo


Merlin Report 3 Mar 2013 14:24

I had an Uncle who kept Pigs ,used to take peeings down to him (After keeping some for the Chickens) bringing back Pork etc,then swap it for things that were under the counter.Did,nt do too bad,Its amazing what went on during the war,most people grew their own veg,not many went too short.**M**.


ChrisofWessex Report 3 Mar 2013 14:15

Bread went on ration after the war. I can remember that sweets were on ration until about 1951/2.

Mum had a small cupboard stocked with tins (no blk market she would not have condoned that when her OH and five BIL were in Merc hant Navy).

We had porridge for breakfast. Always a cooked dinner and sometimes a cooked tea. She baked and cooked, I can recall the pigman calling for swill. Also she used the potato peelings to damp down the fire.

Strangely enough OH only asked me last week what a hay box was. I was able to enlighten him.

We were all healthier in those days. No fizzy drinks, thirsty - drink water. No fast foods except fish and chips (never went on ration) and of course limited sweets.

As for starving children in India - I was fed up hearing about them!