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15 October 2014
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Bananas after the War

by Crispvs

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Archive List > Rationing

Contributed by 
Crispvs
People in story: 
Bernard Heale, May Heale, Katherine Heale, Grenville Heale, Charles Heale
Location of story: 
Stelling Minnis, Kent
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A8153237
Contributed on: 
31 December 2005

Bananas are said to be the most popular fruit in the world today. During the war though, as imported perishables, they were impossible to get and most children did not see their first banana until after the war.

Some time in 1946 the greengrocer came to vist my grandparents and told them that he had been able to get hold of a few bananas. He said that he was offering them first to families with small children as the children would never before have had the opportunity to taste a banana. He also said that due to the small stock he had he was only prepared to sell a single banana to each family, to ensure that nobody missed out.

My grandfather was very fond of the taste of bananas and like everyone else he had gone without it for seven years. He enthusiastically agreed to buy a banana, hoping that none of his children would like the taste, thus allowing him to eat the banana.
He took the banana inside, accompanied by my mother and uncles and with much ceremony, very carefully peeled the banana and cut it in two, cutting down the middle from end to end. He then cut one of these halves into three short sections and gave one to each of the children, hoping that they would not like the taste and would allow him to eat the remaining portion. However, they did like the taste and following a stern look from my grandmother my grandfather sadly cut up the remaining portion and gave the pieces to his three very eager children.

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Message 1 -

Posted on: 31 December 2005 by CSV Solent

Being born in London in November 1938 I could not remember having tasted bananas before or during the war. My mother used to make up for this by "making" bananas from parsnips.

When the war was over and I had the pleasure of trying a true banana for the first time I was bitterly disappointed for they did not taste at all like the real thing! Joking.

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