‘Have you got your ration book?’ WW2 Loughborough as I Remember it #5

14 May 2020

‘Housewives had a very difficult time during the war.  Shopping was a nightmare, with most things being rationed.  A person living alone fared the worst, they were such small amounts.  I remember a grey-looking concoction called cooking fat.  We were allocated two ounces per week.  Many other commodities were in very small amounts.  Anything that wasn’t rationed attracted long queues.’

‘When rationing came I used all our ration books to buy whatever food there was.  If my memory is correct the meat ration was 3 oz for each ration book every week.  I often queued at the butcher’s shop in Leicester Road for tripe when there was no meat.  The shops in the Market Place included Liptons where I bought eggs, one dozen for 2/-.  At Maypoles you could watch the butter being patted into shape; you could have 2 oz for each ration book every week.’

‘I remember rushing out of work to wait with hundreds outside Woolworths as the word had spread around the town that the store had some bars of soap.  After half an hour I managed to buy some shaving soap and a packet of hairgrips and some ‘Dinky’ hair curlers and a snood.  These were very rare commodities and I ran home to show my mum.  Treasures indeed!’

Learn more about rationing here and sweet rationing in WW2 here.

Well-thumbed recipe book belonging to Stella Crammer, who lived at Thorpe Acre. The first edition was published in June 1914.
Photo by Alison Mott

Extract (contributors unknown) from: ‘Loughborough As I Remember It,’ edited by Jean Carswell.  Pub. Leicestershire Libraries and Information Service, 1989.  ISBN 085 022 270 2.

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