Can I take you back in time?

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Post by Tan on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:06 am

Naturally I am 55 and there are a lot of things from my childhood that I remember from a child's point of view and also from watching my Mum and Grandma using various items around their home, I have been told a lot of stories about various things that they used, and what they went through!.
Somethings though stick in my mind, but un-answered, so if I may ask some things maybe you would be kind enough to reply and add as many memories of when many of you were younger bringing up families as well, infact anything on this line I am sure would be very interesting for many of us to read, and also for you to look back on with various memories of your younger days and life too!..

I have heard of the ration books, were they given to everyone? and how were they given, did you need to pay for them and how often were they given?.

Also I have heard about these things that I will add now!.
Powdered Eggs, what were they like to taste, and were they only used in say baking cakes, or could they be made into a form of Eggs on Toast.
I imagine that as mainly home baking was done, was there an abundance of flour, or was that on ration too, as I heard that sweets and chocolates were!.
Did children come home for dinners or did they have food prepared at school?.

During the war when men went off to fight how did the ladies manage, I heard that many did actually take over driving the buses etc and keeping the wheels of so many mills etc turning, but how was it for many when they also had no wage coming in from their husbands, maybe you were given weekly monies from them to help in the day to day running of your home life, but how was it really for many, was it scarey that every time a knock came at the door, with the fear that your loved one wasn't coming home?.

Feel free to say how it was for you, and your family, as looking back in time like we all know does make many people see just what they went through, and just how they managed!..

Over to you!... Very Happy


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Post by June on Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:40 am

I remember ration books. They began in January, 1940, continuing until well after WWII ended, and each person had one which had to be registered at your local shop. The basics to begin with were sugar, butter flour etc. and other foodstuffs were added later. Fish & chips were not rationed.

You had to present your book at the shop where a token stamp from the book was used plus the cash for the goods.

Each shop was allocated enough rations to fill the needs of their registered customers.

I still have mine with a few coupons in it Very Happy

I remember hearing talk of powdered eggs and think they were probably used in baking.
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Post by Tan on Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:55 am

Thankyou June!..Just say that you had used up the tokens for say one item that you really needed, were you allowed to use someone else's if they said they weren't going to be using theirs?..

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Post by June on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:02 am

Yes, I seem to remember people swapping coupons for things they didn't use or giving them to others.

Many women did take over the jobs that the absent menfolk did, especially in farming...known as the Land girls. Most young children went into nurseries that sprung up everywhere.

We went home for dinner at Primary school as my mum was at home but we stayed for dinner at senior school because my mum went out to work then. That was after the war though as I didn't start school until 1949.
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Post by Tan on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:06 am

You were a little baby then when the war ended but I expect you would have heard a lot as it would all still have been so very fresh in your parents/grandparents minds!..

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Post by June on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:09 am

Yes, in my early years, there was still a lot of talk about the war and of course, a waste-not-want-not attitude which, understandably, persisted with many all of their lives after the years of rationing.
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Post by Tan on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:17 am

Yes I remember there was never allowed to be anything left on plates even when I was growing up!.
I remember my Grandma putting butter on bread and scraping much off too, also making 'Bubble and Squeak' to use the left overs of vegetables etc up!..

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Post by June on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:20 am

Yep, all leftovers were used up and nothing was thrown away. A good policy too as it sets you up for life and you are better able to weather hard times if you should come upon them later in life Can I take you back in time? 723149
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Post by Tan on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:24 am

Yes so true June and we all learned how to appreciate a lot too, nothing came easy, but a lot was valued!..

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Post by Nev on Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:26 pm

Like you Tan I am a little too young to remember everything, but I do remember rationing was still happening when I was a youngster, I cannot remember exactly when it finally finished, but mother was over the moon about it at the time.
I can only go by what mother told me but she said that she worked at Mullards in Blackburn during the war, helping make the transmitter valves for the bigger radio transmitters that the forces needed. After the war she left there and went into weaving as that was still a big employer in those days. She did have a few years off work when I was born in 1948, but went back to weaving later.
Before she met my dad and got married she was a teacher, that was when a married woman couldn't stay in teaching and I believe she went straight to Mullards as that was when war broke out, Some of it is a bit sketchy though as it is now a long time since these things were discussed. It is nearly twenty years since mother died and memory is not that good for the details any more.

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Post by Tan on Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:49 pm

Yes I bet that they were all relieved when the shops started to get all the foods that maybe hadn't been available and everyone could slowly get back to normal, it must have been so hard to adapt to rationing, and maybe took a while for it to sink in that once more they could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak!..
I know my Mum and Grandma were evacuated to Bolton from Jersey, and they shared living with other families in large houses in Bromwich Street, and they shared the kitchen etc!.
When they were finally told they could go home they were given the option to stay, many went back as did my Mum and Grandma but some stayed!.

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Post by June on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:55 pm

Is that the reason you came to be living in Lancashire Tan ?

Like Nev's, my mum worked in a munitions factory when war started, filing bomb tails! She married in 1942 and then had me in 1944 so she left the factory then, which she hated, having been a country girl.

Those were definitely not 'the good old days'. After having me and then my brother 15 months later, they also had to house an evacuee from London. Very hard times for a young married couple.

The good old days for them came after the war.
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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:30 am

There was a collection of reasons for coming to Lancashire June, mainly as I was accepted from a few job applications and from my Mum saying how she really liked Bolton and the surrounding areas, then naturally on house hunting this home seemed perfect, for easy access to for Manchester where I was to be working as on looking for homes there it seemed to large for us all as being used to a small island that would have been hard to get used to!.

Yes I had heard that some from Jersey and Guernsey were sent to live with families, very kind many were too, but like you say it must have been hard on many!..

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Post by Cat on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:04 am

Can I take you back in time? PIC_0908
Heres my ration book.
Yes iv'e still got it.Can I take you back in time? PIC_0910
a page to get your Meat, Eggs, Fats, Cheese, Bacon, Sugar rations.

I can't remember how much we were allowed.
Probably about 2 ounces a week.
A bit different to-day.

I can remember my sister and i were evacuated to a little village called Campsy Ash in Ispwich.
My mum packed our clothes in one suitcase so we didn't get parted.
We were only there one week. My sister wrote home and said we got up in the middle of the night
and had to run down the street to the air raid shelter.
My dad came at the week end and took us back home.
At least our air raid shelter was out side the back door.
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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:12 am

How lovely Cat, that you still have your Ration Book, wow, 2ozs per week, no wonder butter/margarine was put on and scraped off..
I never thought of asking how long my mum was in Lancashire but I think it was for a while though!..

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Post by Cat on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:23 am

Re your ? about dried egg powder Tan.
What i can remember, it was used the same as an egg.
I suppose a spoonful measure = 1 egg.
It was mixed with water or milk put in a saucepan
and it came out like to-days scrambled eggs, you had it with fried bread or toast.
We were lucky though as my dad kept chickens.
Until christmas that was.
I found out later in life, thats what must of happened to my Cynthia chicken. Sad
One of the neighbours used to clean the chickens insides out, and the reward for them was to keep any eggs they found inside them.eeerrrrr.
A real luxury for them at christmas,
,
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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:26 am

Aww!..Bless your Cynthia Chicken. Sad .xx

That's good then that the egg powder could be made into a meal like that, did it taste 'eggy?', as even at times now when eggs are bought they don't taste of egg, more so with the poor chickens being all cooped up and not free to peck around and roam!.

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Post by Cat on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:05 am

Although times were rough then, i always say we eat better then than we do to-day.
Sensible meals.
There was always breakfast,weren't allowed out until we had some.
Always a cooked meal at dinner time.
Then bread and jam,or of cause the good old dripping,would they eat that nowadays, and a slice of cake, cup of tea at tea time.
Then usually a biscuit and a drink to go to bed with.
There was no snacking in between meals, there wasn't anything to snack on.
Some days if we were lucky, my mum would put potatoes in the oven next to the fire at breakfast time and they would be ready at teatime.
Then she would do us a bread pudd'n
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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:17 am

I do so remember there was never many times in my mind that I wanted nibbles inbetween meals as the wholesome foods I was given kept me going until the next meal, and I can't remember many foods that were out of a packet or frozen, not that frozen food was around a lot at that time!.

I remember my Grandma Minnie ( I had spent a lot of my childhood with her as my Mum wasn't too well at times, sadly with depression) there were lots of lovely meals with thick Pastry on the top and such tasty casseroles too!.

I was fortunate that I never remember being hungry inbetween meals, and enjoyed going to bed after a nice supper too, plus the lovely winter warming Porridge before going to school!.

These days many seem to be given money in a morning and they raid the shops on the way for sweets and crisps, these won't keep them going until dinner time which invariably is sandwiches and biscuits, no wonder many are so lethargic and are prone to sleep so much!..

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Post by Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:35 am

As I am one of the older ones, I can remember when we were all issued with ration books. My mother went to collect them from the town hall when we were in school. I was seven when the war started.

We each had a screw top jar and there was a bigger jar for cooking. It was my job to share out the sugar each week. One spoonful for each of the four of us and two in the big jar for cooking. The whole ration was shared out by the spoonful. Then we could choose whether we wanted sugar on our breakfast cereals or in our tea. Not both.

My mother kept a strict eye on the butter too, it was scraped on the bread and then off again. There were no tubby children during the war.

I remember when they came round with gas masks too and we all had to be fitted with them. They were in various sizes and toddlers had a Mickey Mouse gas mask with ears on it. We had to take our gas masks to school with us and if we arrived without it - we would be sent back home to fetch it.

Most mothers stayed at home so we went home for our midday meals. They didn't have to go out to work until the youngest child was seven, unless they took in evacuees. My mother was excused work after I was so ill but had to work after I turned ten.

Women were given the option to get a job of their own choice but if they didn't do that, then they were sent into factories.

Children used to go to school with a front door key on a string round their necks. Often when they came home it was dark and many were nervous to go into an empty dark house. So the mothers who had younger children used to look out for those children whose mothers were at work. We were all very friendly and wore cast off clothes from older children to eke out our clothing coupons. If you wore size three shoes you had extra coupons issued because up to size three were less coupons per pair.

There is so much I can remember that I don't know where to start.
I remember having to get a bus ride into town and then queue for potatoes. Dried bananas came out during the war - they were really chewy.

We used to invite American and Canadian servicemen home to share Christmas with us. They always brought great big tins of fruit and we hadn't seen anything like it for years. They loved to share a family Christmas and we were always grateful for the extra food they brought when they came.

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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:44 am

Such memories here Poppy, thankyou so much for sharing these with us, so interesting too!.
I like the thought of the children having those mouse masks as I am sure they would have been scared at seeing the masks that were intended for the adults so it must have made them feel better somewhat on having those to wear that I am sure brought a smile too and they would have eventually got used to them, and understanding their importance!.
Dried Bananas must have been hard to get used to then, and I bet the real ones tasted like gold when finally they were back in the shops!.
When you mention about the limitation on sugar, would in a sense helped greatly as like today so many foods that youngsters snack on are sugar based, the more they eat the more their body's crave that sugar, and not healthy at all really, so to not have had much sugar would have helped a lot I guess in them enjoying the savoury meals that were on offer!..

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Post by Captain Nemo on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:00 am

This is lovely and thankyou for all this first hand information its priceless, i only know what my parents really told me he was a Londoner and they were bombed to blazes but he and his Brother were called up on there birthdays Dads brother was shipped to Burma and nobody heard of him for years and Dad was into the Army he was trained as an Armaments Artificer and spent a lot of time on Aac aac sites before being shipped to the far east ,he was placed on Orkney in the Hebrides for a while and the folks there hated having the troops there but with scapa flow and it being strategic it had to be defended but there was no rationing on the island so when he did get any leave he would load himself up with mostly cheese and cured meat to take home to London to his folks in the towns and cities folk suffered more in the countryside folks were already living from the land so food rationing wasnt such a hardship ,
While on Orkney it was suggested that the soldiers get involved with the community and on one occasion Dad had been doing some repairs to this guys home and as a thankyou the old man offered Dad a drink so Dad drank it and soon after seemed to wake up in the guard room stoned drunk, he wasnt charged as he said it was one small glass of wine the guy had given him and the old man had done this before he was brewing his own booze from potatoes its called Potcheen and is very strong , but it was when a farmer was struggling and they took his tractor into the Re me workshops and didnt just repair it they rebuilt it and gave it back to the farmer well he said from then on they couldnt do wrong there and the word was out and they had there own repairs plus all the islanders bringing allsorts to get fixed Very Happy
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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:06 am

Was there a lot of foods that weren't on ration?..
I imagine like has been previouslt said that many people grew their own vegetables and tasty I reckon too as there wouldn't have been all the chemicals that are now sprayed on all the crops!.
Also I expect that Cobblers were in great demand too in continually needing to be asked to repair shoes that more than likely cost a bit to buy new ones, and many would have been handed down!.
There is a Cobblers not too far from me, he must do well as he is still here and I noticed he had his shop when I first moved here, but I expect many just throw them away when they look a bit worse for wear!.
I remember my Mum and Grandma darning the mens socks to keep them less holier than thou, hehe, and knitting a lot, plus buying material to make me a lot of lovely dresses!..

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Post by Tan on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:11 am

So interesting Captain and funny too about your dad being worse for the wear on the drink!..hehe..
My Dad's family wanted him to go into the Army, but he wanted to be a Merchant Seaman, so he deliberately made a hash of the maths test, much to the amazement for his mum that he failed that, she knew though and asked him did he do that deliberately and he owned up as he was and still is brilliant with maths, he then applied to be a Merchant Seaman and got in!..
He was trained also to de-activate the mines in the sea, only one person was allowed to work on one mine as god forbid it blew up then one life was lost not a lot, he naturally did many and is still here to this day, he and his mates had been very well trained though!..
Dad was a child in the War and I think he was about 12, when many of the boys were allocated certain homes for them to go and check on the families there, when the air raid siren went off to say that all was clear!.
I imagine it must have been so very scarey when everyone was emerging from the air raid shelters in wondering just what it will be like, how much damage etc they would see!.

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Post by June on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:56 pm

I remember being scared when I heard the air-raid sirens as they kept going off long after the war.

We used to look forward to food parcels arriving from my great aunt and uncle in Australia and they once included toy koala bears for me and my brother.

Wonder what happened to Tiger Nuts which we loved then?
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