Rationing in England

Color-coded by Age

"... we could get an egg once a week, and meat was almost inaccessible. "

I had a green ration book because of my age. My brother had the blue, and my mom and dad had white ones. And I was able to get orange juice on mine, and we could get an egg once a week, and meat was almost inaccessible. My dad would buy some black market once in a while, but everything was rationed. Milk-- well milk was not. I'll tell you that. We had a milkman milk the cows around, but everything else was rationed.

With the children-- with the green ration book, you had more access. You got an egg a week, sometimes two if they had it, and you would get the orange juice. And I'm trying to think-- the government gave us cod liver oil which we had to take every day, and it was liquid, and “Parrish's food”1 I think is what it was called – it was like a liquid vitamin. That all was given to younger kids, but what my brother and my mom and dad had access to-- I don't know. She did the cooking, so I really didn't pay that much attention. I just knew that, you know, sometimes we were hungry, but most times we were not. My mom was very good with what she did.

Tea,what juice they didn't get, vegetables that we didn't grow we had to use ration books for, but my dad had a garden, so we grew a lot. My mom did a lot of pickles, and stuff to keep us going. But yeah-- everything was rationed. In fact, when I left England in '54, meat was still hard to get. It wasn't rationed, but it was hard to come by. So yeah, but everything we had was rationed.

My dad, he would grow potatoes, and green beans and-- we call them green peas-- the little English peas, and that kind of stuff. And then my mom would pickle a lot of stuff, so we did all right vegetable-wise.

We had Spam. (Rolls eyes). And it was kind of-- it was called “snook,” and-- but it was just like Spam over here, and which I will not eat. (Laughs). And we had canned salmon once in a while. We had a lot of fish. Being an island, there was plenty of fish, so that's what I basically was raised on-- was fish.