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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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An Interview With My Gran

by bananarama

Contributed by 
bananarama
People in story: 
Chrissie ( interviewee) M Gran Mrs feildsend
Location of story: 
huddersfeild
Article ID: 
A2818749
Contributed on: 
08 July 2004

How Long Were You Rationed For???

Most things were rationed until 1945 because al the ships had been blown up by torpedo’s on the crossing over to England. Engineers had to build new ones rapidly so we were able to import foreign foods, especially bananas, I never saw one of them for years on ends, I got a few oranges occasionally, form the few ships that did make it over here. But meat was rationed until 1964!!! We need special for coal milk and sugar as I was one of five children and we needed extra.

What did and what didn’t you get?

We got very small amounts of everything, ¼ of a pound of merge, if you used that on your bread you wouldn’t have any for the rest of the week. We got 2oz of butter, 1 egg per person, some things you couldn’t get, I never saw a banana or cake throughout the ration season, gravy was a complete no — go!!

Any methods of making things last longer?

Yes I saved the last bits of soap and squidged them all together to make new ones. We used soap flakes and water in a holy baccy tin for washing up liquid, it lathered rather well actually!! Eggs we only got once a week so we used them all a once on a Sunday as a huge shed load
Of pancakes or omelettes or something of the sort, we didn’t use much oil, we used water for most of our cooking, and mainly to drink, we couldn’t have much tea or coffee as they were imported from foreign countries, the mobile butcher down our way got arrested for given random people free joints of beef and ham, we were all rather disappointed when he got put inside.

Were you evacuated?

No, I was the oldest of five children and it was my responsibility to help my mother and father, all of my other siblings were evacuated to the country but came back several weeks later as they hated the family that took them in, they said they were treated appallingly, my little brother john said they used to whack them over their behinds with wicker carpet beaters but I don’t know if that was true or not.

If you weren’t evacuated what did you do?

Not a great deal really!! I used to sit in my bedroom and watch airplanes being shot down in the distance, on even came to the next town to ours, it was really scary! I thought it was going to hit us! It was shot down and plummeted vertically towards us but the all of a sudden it went all funny and coiled on fire on the other direction, it landed about two miles away from us, the houses were absolutely destroyed apparently, total devastation, and havoc. I also has to make friends with the London evacuees, they were so scared, some of them only 3 years old bless em’, its wasn’t very nice, always crying, worried about their families in London.

What did you do after the war?

Just before the war ended I got fed up with my mother bickering all the time, I burnt a hole in my birth certificate and joined the land army girls underage, but don’t tell anyone important I don’t want to be arrested, it would kill me!!!

What did your brothers / sisters do during the war?

My sister and her mates blew up the gas cooker when they were secretly making cocoa one night, the gas blew the cooker up and she got knocked out, all the windows got shattered, the next-door neighbour ran down the road screaming “ I surrender” as she thought it was a German night raid. My brothers fought Chinese pirates in the Yangtze River, that’s all I knew they did; I couldn’t give you great detail.

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Land Army Category
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Rationing Category
Bradford and West Yorkshire Category
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