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The War Years

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Mazfromnorf Report 16 Feb 2008 13:00

So would you just chop it all together and blanch it or sweat it off before it went in the pie .my mum makes Bread pudding still out of the left over cakes biscuits hanging about as well as bread


Mazfromnorf Report 16 Feb 2008 13:11

Sounds lovely i shall have a go at that suppose you could use leftover veg .It was mainly cake and scones but she has put in digestive type bisciuts.she soaks it all together as you would thebread


MacTheOldGeezer Report 16 Feb 2008 18:26

I remember 3" of water and only once a week, we used to put Soda Crystals in the water to soften it, if we were short on soap we might put a little washing powder in, the soap we used was mainly the old blocks of Fairy

Someone mentioned Bananas

My first sight and taste of a banana was early 1946 when my brother came home from India where he had served in the RAF
On the way back the Troopship stopped at Durban in South Africa and he bought a big bough of Bananas, they were very small, about 4 - 5" big and they were still green
He put them in the airing cupboard and I was allowed NO more than one a day as they ripened, I couldn't wait for each day to pass, to me they were the food of Gods
I think the first cargo of Bananas came to Britain in August 1946 but it was a long time before they became widely available, I know that I was the first lad in my town to get the taste of them, and I was NOT allowed to give any to my friends

Sometimes we would get a few Eggs and to make them last we put them in a bowl of liquid to preserve them, I am trying to remember the name of it but my memory is being affected by my Alkaselter disease
I used to use it in the 50's when I worked on Stratocruiser aircraft at Heathrow, we used it to paint over the asbestos bandages around the exhausts and it set solid
I knew it would come the liquid was called Waterglass (still available), I used it to paint a bandage around the exhaust of the narrowboat I had 6 years ago, another name I think was Isinglass

Be back for a few more later



Harry Report 16 Feb 2008 19:20

Never saw a banana till a returning serviceman brought some for all the children in the street.
Unfortunately, the war had affected his head and he used to go outside and rant and rave.
He had to be locked up and died not long after in a mental asylum. (his poor mother)

Terrible end for a war hero. To me, he still is the man who brought us bananas.

Happy days


Bobtanian Report 16 Feb 2008 19:35

Mac!!! this is it I think!

Traditionally, eggs were stored in a solution of waterglass (sodium silicate). (This is not to be confused with isinglass, a product for use in winemaking). A solution of waterglass is made up in the ratio of one part sodium silicate to nine parts of water and placed in a large container.

Traditionally, an earthenware crock with lid was used, but a high-density, food-quality plastic bucket with lid is a good alternative. Only clean, fresh, undamaged eggs with no surface cracks are stored. These are placed in the solution, and added to each day until the container is full. The solution should cover the eggs completely.

With this method, the eggs will keep for up to six months, enough to cover the period when fewer eggs are laid. When you come to use the eggs, remember to smell them as you crack the shells in case any have gone off. (Anyone over the age of fifty will remember that this used to be standard practice with all eggs). Some eggs may have had undetectable hairline cracks when you put them in.

Although waterglass was once easy to buy, it can now be difficult to locate, although some chemists may order it for you. In my view, an even better way of storing eggs is by refrigeration, a method that was not available to poultry keepers of the past.


Craftlady Report 16 Feb 2008 19:37

you talking of pigs, my parents kept a few pigs during the war and as you know all livestock kept had to be reported to the ministry of food as well as anything that was slaughtered, well, one day my Dad and his brother slaughtered one of our pigs in preparation for a soon to be family wedding feast, the next thing I saw was the pair of them struggling up the stairs to hang the pig's carcase in the roof of the attic ...only I wasn't suppose to know, I was only about 5yrs old at the time, however, one day there was a knock on the door and Mum answered it to two stoney faced officials and before anyone had a chance to speak .... I rushed out in great excitement and told them ......'We gotta pig hanging upside down in our attic and he's DEAD' my poor Mother fainted on the spot, it was her saving grace, as no questions were ever asked about it but I believe it could have resulted in a serious prosecution and it would've been my fault for opening me big gob!


~Lynda~ Report 16 Feb 2008 19:40

I have read through this tread with great interest, thanks to all who have posted, I have enjoyed reading all of the contributions, I am sure others have to.

Jean (Monmouth)

Jean (Monmouth) Report 16 Feb 2008 19:43

Dont you think we had more fun as children in those days? I feel quite sorry for the young today with no useful interests like the gathering of food and fuel and being able to play anywhere. There is an excellent book out called We'll eat again, and the recipes are mostly quite edible. Some things were still on ration when I married in 1955, and I still have a skirt that I made while at school, because I couldnt afford a New Look garment. There was no such thing as a Bridal wear shop, you made your own, used your mothers , or got a dressmaking friend to make one. I made my own on the barrack room sewing machine, a white dress and jacket, standing on a table while afriend put up the hem. Jean

Jean Joy

Jean Joy Report 16 Feb 2008 22:20

I have enjoyed reading this thread.
Thank you

.•:*:•. Devishly Angelic Juliecat & Panda..•:*:•.

.•:*:•. Devishly Angelic Juliecat & Panda..•:*:•. Report 17 Feb 2008 00:24



Mazfromnorf Report 17 Feb 2008 04:52

Has anyone been to the eden camp in the north it is a museum on the war well wrth the money.the cafe has traditional food too .I think the country folk faired better than the townies food wise .did the wild food such as brambles have to be accounted for ? maz


YorkshireCaz Report 17 Feb 2008 07:43

We have been to Eden Camp, could spend all day there, the bombed out street nearly freaked me out.You could never get a better idea of the war years anywhere else, and what about the street of shops, if it's still the same, it was years ago we went.

Caz xx

Staffs Col

Staffs Col Report 17 Feb 2008 08:32

Yes I have visited Eden Camp and was very impressed, another place well worth a visit if you in Cornwall is Flambards, although it has fair rides and may be considered for the youngsters it also has full size reproductions of streets as in Victorian Village and Britain in the Blitz and both are housed under cover


Sandra Report 17 Feb 2008 08:49

My mum knows a lovely lady who collects recipes and bakes 'war' foods.(She's from somewhere in Yorkshire)...I think she goes/went to local rallys and shows to demonstrate.

I remember her telling us that liquid paraffin! was used in cake recipes as a substitute for butter.

It sounds absolutely disgusting!

Great thread! Ive really enjoyed reading this.



Peterkinz Report 17 Feb 2008 08:57

Whisky and beer are made from barley - can both be made without sugar - mind you the wartime beer was fairly weak



GinaS Report 17 Feb 2008 11:23

Hi Colin (Staffordshire)

I do not have an Atlas - I will be in Bodmin in April, where is Flambards, would love to visit.



ChrisofWessex Report 17 Feb 2008 12:00

War Musem in London had a shelter which you sat in and then the air raid began. I had pure panic set in and yet I was a young child at the time. air raid over and you walk through the bomb blasted streets hear the shouting etc. If it brought it back to me - shows it was realistic


Deanna Report 17 Feb 2008 12:08

This is such a nice thread. I have just been through and read it... so many additions since I added to it.

I still have mine, my mum's and my sister's identity cards.

I also remember at the age of 10 (1950) being given a coupon and a threepenny bit to buy a bar of toffee on the way to school.
It can't have been daily, but the fact that it was such a treat runs in my mind *as daily!*

Deanna X


GinaS Report 17 Feb 2008 12:14

Good one Laura.

Interesting topic, Lynda - brought back some memories. Would make a good book.

My late mum would buy old coats in the 50's and unpick them, have the material cleaned and make a childs coat for one of us.
I was 14 before I had my first shop bought coat. Mother handed the shop assistant a white five pound note and was given a penny change!

When we got new shoes that had leather soles, these were immediately covered with a piece of rubber, so they would last longer. Nearly all the homes had a shoe last for repairing shoe's.

Woollen and cotton socks were darned using a wooden mushroom and the hole filled in by weaving.

My daughter read this thread and is fascinated with the stories, and recognised why I always keep a stock of tea, sugar, tinned foods and toilet rolls.

Mum used to leave soap outside in the warm weather, said it lasted longer than freshly bought ones.


AnnCardiff Report 17 Feb 2008 12:14

I still have my old identity card too. It says on it "do nothing with this until you are told". I used to love those dried bananas we used to get during the war and the day in school when we were all given a shiny red apple donated by Canada. Dried eggs made fab omelettes. With regard t chickens, Mum used to lure a neighbours chickens into our house by laying a trail of corn into the kitchen. Once in she would be behind the door with a hatchet and wham!! before the chickens were in at night said chicken had been feathered and cleaned and was in the oven.!! hope none of them are reading these threads!!