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A quarter of tea and powdered eggs.

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21 September 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Joanne Burgess on behalf of Rene and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I lived in Leeds during the war, near to where the football ground is. I remember that everybody looked after each other and that we were lucky our houses had cellars where we sheltered when there were air raids. During air raids we sat in the cellars and listened for the planes going over hoping they would not come over our house. If you listened long enough you could tell how far away the planes were. It was a time when you just accepted been scared.

I remember that tea was a luxury during the war. You were only allowed a quarter of tea a week with the ration books and I liked my tea, that’s what I missed most. Also there was no meat, rabbits were sought after and if a shop in the area got a rabbit, word spread and people queued for it. If the butchers got any meat they saved it for their favourite customers. There were no real eggs, there was powdered egg which was alright, you could make cakes with it, but even that was a luxury.

Money spoke and people with money were better off than those that were poor. Poorer people would sell their tea coupons. However most people just accepted what they had, people were nicer then and looked out for each other. There was a real community feeling.

There was a big black market and people called it the ‘racket’ or ‘buying through the nose’. When the Americans arrived they fetched stockings and nice looking girls were never without stockings then.

After the war we had a big street party to celebrate.

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