BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

29 August 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Chocolate Beans and Floral Gums

by Dunstable Town Centre

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Rationing

Contributed by 
Dunstable Town Centre
People in story: 
Margaret Lewry
Location of story: 
Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A7557942
Contributed on: 
05 December 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by the Dunstable At War Team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

We lived in a three bedroom terraced house in Ridgeway Drive in Dunstable at the start of the war (myself, my brother, sisters and parents). We had some evacuees but I can’t remember where they slept! An RAF man called Tom was billeted with us; he used to play the violin but we never knew where he went, when he left home in the mornings.

My father had two allotments where he grew vegetables. He used to ride a big bicycle behind which, he attached a cart. Basically a sturdy wooden box mounted on an axle with two wheels and long handles. He would somehow fasten this behind the saddle to carry his tools and/or produce from the allotment. I used to go with him sometimes to help with the weeding and watering. We kept chickens and rabbits in the back garden at home. Sometimes my sister and I would be sent over the open fields at the back of Ridgeway Drive, to a farm in Houghton Regis to buy day old baby chicks at a penny each. We'd put them into a deep round basket to carry home, where they would be reared at the hearth until they could go into the garden.

I can remember sweets being rationed. My sister and I would go to a shop along the Luton Road on a Sunday morning to buy sweets for the family. My parents hadn’t a tooth between them but my mother always had toffees and my father had mint imperials. I had either chocolate beans which are now called Smarties or my real favourites, floral gums because they were tiny and you were given lots for your allowance.

When outside, we played hopscotch and skipping. We wore gymslips for school; I think my mother bought them from a Tally man who called at the house. Every day when I took off my school skirt, I would put big cross stitches in the pleats of the skirt to hold them in place. I probably wore a lot of hand-me downs outside school, after all I did have five sisters and one brother.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Rationing Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy