In Forties Post....
We look at many aspects of this pivotal decade, with stories from the home front and of those serving overseas, plus a comprehensive list of 1940s’ events and topical news, and reports from the re-enactment scene.
Life with wartime shortages.
As a schoolboy, I was blissfully unaware of the significance of July 3rd, 1954; the day that marked the end of food rationing in Britain. For my parents it meant the end of 14 years of making do, or even doing without.
The first item to be rationed was petrol in 1939, but unlike for later generations, it made little difference for the majority of people in this country in those days anyway. They could ignore that rationing. Not so the following January, when bacon, butter and sugar were rationed. How my mother loved her sweet tea. But when you only had three ounces, and that had to last a whole week, unsweetened tea had to be persevered with. Read more...
Building an Anderson Shelter
The story starts in November,1953, when as a two-year-old, I moved into the ground floor flat of 50 Balham Park Road, in London. It was a narrow three-story Edwardian house with a long garden backing onto the railway embankment of the main line to Clapham Junction and Victoria.
Balham was heavily bombed during the war, no doubt because of the railway line, and we often used to play on the bombsites. The fences between the gardens were all broken, falling down and even missing in places. The fence between us and Mrs Hampson’s, next door at number 52, was made of corrugated iron, badly rusted and there were many gaps.
A young boy’s wartime idol.
One day, when I was five, I asked a fighter pilot how the undercarriage on his Hurricane worked.
“Be in the garden tomorrow and I will show you,” he said.
The garden was of the Three Horseshoes pub in the village of Great Parndon, some eight miles from North Weald airfield, in Essex. The landlord of the pub was my grandfather, Teddy Randall. He had four pretty daughters, the youngest, my aunt Della, was engaged to the pilot, Jock Muirhead. Read more...