Food rationing was introduced at the start of World War 2, everyone had to register with the Ministry of Food, 

which I believe was situated on the top floor of The Town Hall. 


Each person was issued with a ration book, and then had to register with a particular grocer, there was no going round looking for bargains, you had to go to the shop where you were registered.  The food allowances were meagre by today's standards,

The Basic Rations

The average standard rations during the Second World War are as follows. Quantities are per week unless otherwise stated.

Food rations

  • One shilling and 2d (approximately 1pound 3 ozs of meat, sausages and what we call offal wasn't rationed.
  • 4 oz ham or bacon.
  • 3 pints of milk per week or 1 packet of dried milk per month
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 oz margarine
  • 2 oz fats or lard
  • 2 oz tea
  • 1 egg per week or 1 packet of dried eggg
  • 2 oz  jam
  • 3 oz  sugar
  • 1 oz  cheese - vegetarians were allowed a larger cheese ration in lieu of meat.
  • 3 oz  sweets
  • 2 lb onions
  • plus, 16 "points" per month for tinned and dried food.

Clothing coupons

  • 66 “points” for clothing per year, in 1942 it was cut to 48 and then to 36 in 1943.(e.g. 2 points for a pair of pants 5 points for a man's shirt 5 points for a pair of shoes 7 points for a dress and 26 points for a man's suit Clothing rationing points could be used for wool, cotton and household textiles. People had extra points for work clothes, such as overalls for factory work. No points were required for second hand clothing and fur coats, but their prices were fixed. Before rationing lace and frills were popular on knickers but these were soon banned so material could be saved.
  • 16 oz (454 g) of soap per month (household soap, beauty soap, and soap flakes, but not shaving soapI believe that it was something like 2oz of cheese and butter for example, maybe we were allowed a couple of rashers of bacon and I can remember that as a child I was allowed 2 eggs per week and grown ups were allowed 1 per week.  My mother always gave me hers, Bless Her!, 

she believed that I needed it more than she did.  My aunts were registered at Brady Websters on Swift Street, Barnsley, and once a week, a lady called Mildred used to go to their houses to take their orders.

My mother was always a co-op person, so we were registered at the Sackville Street Branch of The Co-operative. 

 There were so many units in the ration book for the limited type of food which could be obtained.  Bread units were called "BU's", my mother used to give the sweet coupons away because, she couldn't afford to buy sweets, it never occurred for her to sell them, which was strictly illegal anyway.  

Some of the coupons were removed from the book depending on the type of food, otherwise the books were marked by the shop assistant, that you had had your ration for that week.  

I wonder how many can remember dried egg, UGH, 

although we were glad to eat it at the time, 

it was mixed with water and a glutinous substance would appear, 

when it was cooked which was like chewing rubber.  

Rissoles were my favourite, these were mixed from powder too, 

and I always saved the biggest until the last. 

After we moved Burton Grange, we registered with the Co-op at Cundy Cross, but my mother fell out with the Manager when he kept breaking promises to let us have our coal ration. 

I think that the Co-op were agents for the coal merchants too.  

It was a regular saying, I am going for my rations, and I think to this day, some very elderly people use that word "rations", instead of shopping.  Vegetables were in short supply too, I can remember Mrs Oxley 

who lived on Churchfield Terrace, obtaining an onion, 

and the day that she cooked, I stood with my 2 cousins, 

outside her back door, getting the aroma of it, 

just like the Bisto Kids we were.

Full food rationing ended in 1954, 

although there was a great deal of "black market" trading, 

which we did not know much about.  

Funnily enough it has been often said that people were healthier during the War because whilst food was scarce, 

we were provided with a well balanced diet.


music ~ "A Train"


Furniture and soft furnishings were rationed too, the government arranged for "utility" furniture to be made, this furniture was adequate but very plain to look at.  Newly weds were given a number of "dockets" to buy the basic essentials.  Each piece of furniture cost a certain number of dockets, depending upon the size of the item.  To denote that a piece of furniture or softing furnishings were utility the following symbol was stamped on the item.


If newly weds were lucky enough to find their own home (many went into lodgings, due to the housing shortage), they were allowed a basic allowance of household goods.  They were issued with an authorisation to purchase a few essential items.

The use of these permits was restricted to your local area.