War & Peace - Adjusting to rationing 1940 - 1954
By Arthur Hall
I experienced two different ways of shopping after the introduction of rationing, and the introduction of ration books. I was now to discover what it will be like to shop in wartime, and eventually, how to adjust to shop when peace arrived.
Wartime shopping started after my Mother received 8 ration books for our large family. After receiving them, Mum then had to decide how to allocate them, as you had to register them with a grocer, and that grocer for convenience, would have to be located reasonably near to home. My Mum finally decided to register 6 ration books with the co-op in Pinner Road situated at a junction with Oxhey Avenue, and 2 with S.A. Brazier’s Dairy in Oxhey Lane, opposite ‘Highfields’ army base. The Co-op would be used for our main weekly shop, and Brazier’s, then a small dairy shop, would be for emergency shopping. These shops will now become our suppliers of rationed foods, which were Bacon, Butter, Margarine, Cooking fats, Cheese, Eggs, Tea, Sugar, Biscuits, and Jam etc., for which we will now have to hand over our ration books to be marked, or coupons removed, against items purchased.
Clothing coupons were valid in any clothes shop. All non rationed items would continue to be obtained from shops in Watford, until we could return to peacetime shopping, when rationing ends.