All posts tagged Rationing

Fri Jan. 21 8.15. a.m. [1944]

Yesterday we received receipt from first Income Tax we have ever paid £1.6.9. I am not sure that we haven’t as many of the amenities of life as F. Smith who pays £100. After this if we pay any it comes off the weekly pay from C.G. [Coastguards] I believe.

Russians are progressing at a great rate and we seem to be steadily going forward. I think we are going “according to plan” there which is I think to keep as many Germans busy there as possible. Planes went out last night between 5 and six and were gone a long time, a lot more seemed to return this way than we heard go out tho’ it may be that they were flying lower. I think it was Berlin that was bombed again. They had not been for some days because of fog. I expected it was going to clear when they commenced to go out last evening. The whole sky looked as if mosquitoes were flying there, not thickly but perhaps we could count a dozen at a time spread over the sky, but all coming at one steady pace that looked slow, but they came in sight in the West and were over the sea in so short a time that they must have been flying swiftly. Once a fighter sped over at a tremendous speed.

New 50 and 100 ton planes are in preparation for Civil flying, it may be 1950 before the 100 ton planes are ready, they may not be jet-propelled but there seems to be a hint of an even newer method. Jet-propulsion is talked of for ships now. Oh, I remember, in civil flying, safety and economy come before speed and 200 miles an hour is reckoned the maximum for passenger planes to fly with comfort to passengers. Great planes are being used as transport planes now, they carry 4 jeeps or other motor vehicles, and will be used as passenger planes after the war. Now that the “civil flying maggot” has bitten the money makers, I can’t see the war lasting many more months.

I am sorry for a lot of the boys who have to go to coal-mines, not alone because of the work, but tho’ some of the miners homes are amongst the best in the country, some are very different, and boys used to refined homes are bound to suffer in mind and feelings if not in body. I hope they will be kind to them and that the boys will be as reasonable as they can, but at present the billeters seem all out for making money out of them, and naturally the boys are upset as they had no choice of Services or pit but were sent there “willy-nilly”. When they have paid for billets etc they have less than Service men and no clothes provided. Coal and coke is already to be raised to 3/0 ton from Feb 1st. We had three more bags yesterday. I thought I had only one but Per[cy] said 2 and left three as some people don’t take all, tho’ we aren’t supposed to do that. Rene doesn’t burn all hers but she is here most days for dinner and often bakes with me. I must try to be more careful with it. I dried most of my clothes by the fire but used wood, slack, and coke.

Packed up my Xmas parcel for [sister] Em L last night, rather belated owing to our illnesses. I saw in paper yesterday that the Preserve ration can be used either for jam or sugar until further notice, so we may be able to get a bit more in hand for jam-making season, as we still have a few lbs of home-made jam. The canned fruit is so nice Rene and I have planned to can it with syrup next year if possible and to can as many large plums as possible tho’ damsons are very good. Bottled fruit has kept well this season tho’ apples have not. We had a blk-currant pie last week made with bottled fruit and they had kept perfectly. They were sealed with mutton fat, which if properly done and made air-tight is as good and easy a way as possible.

Fruit is packed in narrow necked jars and placed in oven, when hot, boiling water is poured over carefully so that no air is left in if possible, a tap or two will bring any bubbles to surface. If plums, skins should just crack, but not a failure if they don’t. Then pour about ½ inch hot mutton suet fat on top. Water should come to and into narrow part of jar. Cover with paper and screw lid.
P.S. After fat is cold pour another thin layer over.

F. Smith, here, was almost certainly Fred, cousin Amy’s husband.

Percy Ranson, niece Ciss’s husband, was the coalman, as usual.

‘Receipt’ (which appeared in the margin) was probably the traditional use of the word, meaning ‘recipe’ or ‘method’.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Sun. Jan. 9. 8.30. P.M [1944]

Dull morning, turning to drizzle at dinner-time then to steady rain. Still raining at 8.30. It has been damp and chilly, but not bitterly cold. Saw a bus load of H.Gs [Home Guards] come by this morning. Jean went to Chapel, said about 15 soldiers were there, they are a lot of them Welsh. Some have already gone on leave. Jean said Tom said a few words of welcome to them, he was preaching next Sunday and would have some Welsh tunes for them to sing. Father took Spence to Louth Hos[pital] to-day so Jean (who has a cold and did not go in rain to S.S. [Sunday School]) and I went in car to Rene’s and had tea with her and came home with Father after he had brought Mrs Spence to her house. He had a cup of tea, but came home for his meal as it was so wet and soon dark. We had canned Vic[toria] Plums with egg custard for tea. Very nice. “Bill” was distinctly annoyed because we took up all the hearthrug. The kitten is grown very big and is very playful. Rene let me have ¼ tea as I am quite out. New period starts tomorrow. Tinned Herrings, Pilchards and Mack[erel] need less points. We are not very fond of tinned fish, except salmon and do not care for that very often. It needs too many points to get much of it now. Sprogg still has a cough and Jean is doctoring him with Tibs. Doesn’t seem to ail much but doesn’t wash himself much and looks very grubby. Jean and Father both seem to have a slight return of their colds. I do hope Jean will be able to start school.

Charles came yesterday to see if Father could fetch Ke[ith] and Ma[rion] from Sk[egness] Stn. at 8 p.m. but he has not enough light and was on watch too. C[laude] Evison could not either so don’t know what they would do, take a taxi I expect. They had just sent a telegram in the morning. It is early for another. I do hope he [Keith] is not on Draft Leave so soon after losing Raymond. I am afraid there will be a lot have to go soon now. Russians are 10 miles over Polish border now and pushing on. Tonight Stuart Hibbert [Hibberd] reminded us that the end of the German War did not mean the end of the war as a whole and that we should still have a tough job to conquer the Japs. Somehow we seem to push this distant war out of our minds as much as we can, forgetting that covering it up does not alter the fact of its serious existence. I hope Ron does not have to go out there, but then I don’t want him to come home just now either. We do not know what to wish for them. It is best to leave it, and live from day to day, thankful that so far he is spared. Oh, if it were only all over, and no more “wars or rumours of war”.

‘Spence’ was believed to be Mr Spence whose wife was previously mentioned (see 2 Feb 1943).

Stuart Hibberd was a well known BBC radio announcer.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Thursday August 26 8. 30 a.m. [1943]

Had a busy day yesterday, after Father had gone on watch at 8 and Jean to school, Bet[ty] Elston brought a telegram to say Mrs Dawson would arrive at Sk[egness] Sta. at 5 p.m. instead of 10.30.a.m. so I took it to the W.Bx [watch box] to Father then went to tell Mr P[arish] he need not go up at 10 to relieve Father. Called at Hall’s and got the 2 oz butter owing from last week (they were short) and brought this week’s fat ration too, thought I would be sure of it, as Sat, when I usually get it is the last day of week and they do get short of butter sometimes. True, if it is plentiful I sometimes get a little extra but that never balances a short week as there is never too much in these days of rationing. Jean says I won’t have any butter for next week but I shan’t start of it except a little to-day as Em. L [Emily Lewis – sister] is coming to-day. Expect she is going back to Amy’s tonight but she may be stopping. Father went out to try for a rabbit for dinner, last night, but did not get one. I wanted him to kill one of ours but he thinks they are too small. “Lady” has a family but “Sara” has proved a disappointment once more. The lazy beggar has only had one family this year and is as fat as butter and must weigh 8 lbs.

Yesterday I got a telegraph form to send a message to Ron. They are stock phrases, but it will cheer him to get it from home. Jean and Father have each chosen one and I must choose one. Price of sugar is to go up soon by 1D a lb making it 4D which won’t exactly ruin us as we only get ½ lb a head weekly. Still a penny here and another there add up to a larger amount very soon. I left Father to pay grocer, coalman and baker yesterday when I went to can fruit at Mrs Faulkner’s per the W.I. The baker had not been when I returned but Father was surprised at the small amount of change he had out of £1, and the few groceries plus 2 bags of coal all there was to show for it.

[Aside: Canning fruit.] The canning was very interesting. I had not seen it done before. Rene, I and Elsie G[rantham] had 18 cans between us. We did E[ff]‘s as she was busy, it being harvest time. We put 14 lbs Vic plums in 10 cans and the rest damsons (wild) and brambles (wild). First we wiped plums and picked the damsons and brams over then packed tins full, cutting large plums to make them fit at top. We did not stone them and did them in water not syrup, so we can use our sugar for jam. Boiling water is poured over (cans have owner’s initial and P. D. or B. scratched lightly on. If you scratch too deeply it goes through coating of tin (very thin) and rusts. Then they are placed on machine, after putting lid on of course, and a handle turned until tin is free. This seals them, then they are put in copper of boiling water and boiled 20 mins or until end of tin bulges (pears and apple 30 mins) then taken out into a bath of cold water, lids go back to a flat surface in cold water. They are then taken out and dried and are ready to store when tins are cold. Tins cost 3D each and we paid 9D each for machine and woman. Also we paid Mrs F 1D each for copper etc, which I think was not enough. Miss Drewery the machine worker said her mother was paid 3D a head.

Miss Emily Drewery, the receptionist for Mr Moulton, the dentist, in Skegness, was probably meant here. She may have lived in Huttoft at that time but was later in ‘Ivy House’, Sea Road, where Miss Lister (see 27 Jan. 1942) had lived.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?