"Food rationing started on 8th January 1940 with four items, bacon
butter, margarine and sugar. The amounts allowed per person were:-
bacon or ham 4 ounces, (ozs) sugar 12ozs and butter and/or margarine
four ozs. In July the butter/margarine ration was increased to six
ozs but cooking fat and tea were added to the list of rationed items.
Meat became a restricted food with each person having only one shilling
and ten pence (nine and a half new pence) worth of meat per week.
Offal was not rationed and therefore very much in demand.
As the war progressed more and more food items were
rationed or restricted by a points system. Those foodstuffs included,
to name a few:- jams and preserves, tinned fruit, biscuits, dried
fruit, eggs and cheese.
Expectant mothers, children and invalids fared better
in this respect. They were allowed:- 7 pints milk for expectant
mothers, 14 pints for infants, 3 1/2 to 7 pints for children and
up to 14 pints for invalids. Expectant mothers and children were
also allocated up to 18 eggs per month. Children were also allowed
orange or rosehip syrup and cod liver oil.
Imported food items like bananas and oranges disappeared
and things we take for granted today, sweets and chocolate, were
controlled by a coupons system.
Restrictions were placed on restaurant meals and
there was a fixed price of five shillings ( 25p) per meal on these.
The Ministry of Food set up communal kitchens which were soon were
given the name British Restaurants. These supplied good, nourishing
and inexpensive meals to the general public. These were a great
asset to a town like Hastings from which so many wives had been
On the kitchen front women showed great ingenuity is finding ways
to extend and enhance the limited food supplies. Savoury pies were
given a potato crust instead of pastry to economise on fat and flour,
(the potato and all other home-grown vegetable came into their own
in wartime) small quantities of grated cheese were added to home-cooked
scones to share out the family ration, and butter was whisked into
warm milk and then left to set to make spreading more economical.
Many housewives had their own little culinary secrets
which they traded with family and friends. The wartime homemakers
worked wonders to keep the nation healthy and they deserve the greatest
credit for this".