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Growing up in Northumberland during WW2

by BBC Scotland

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Archive List > Rationing

Contributed by 
BBC Scotland
People in story: 
Olive Wright
Location of story: 
Greenside, Northumberland
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
24 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Jean Sharman on behalf of Olive Wright and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was fourteen when war broke out in 1939 and I was living in Northumberland in a small village called Greenside. We didn’t see much of the conflict but I do remember the blackout. Coupons governed what we bought. There were a lot of shortages. You never saw fruit and if there was anything in stock word spread and queues developed quickly.

I always remember when anybody was getting married there was a scrounge around for food for the guests to eat. When there were babies around they always got more than anyone else. There was always a scrape to get coupons together for a pram.

Sometimes when people saw a banana for the first time they ate it whole with the skin on! Chip shops used to sell fish patties instead of whole fish when there was a severe shortage.

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