Rationing & Restraint

The threat of food shortages during the war lead to the introduction of regulated  rationing, with different amounts allowed for differing commodities, e.g. Meat, Eggs, Fats, Cheese, Bacon. Ration Books were issued to every household and the tokens used to obtain the rationed amounts from local shops.

An indication of the severity of the situation after the war comes from the fact that many of the rationed amounts became even less after the war, before they were gradually eased and finally lifted in 1954, nine years after Victory.

Petrol and clothes were also rationed and again the rationed amount allowed for petrol in 1946 was a third of that allowed during the war itself.

Shortly after VE Day, in August 1945 The Lincolnshire Echo records how even a celebratory event could cause a brush with the law. A local farmer was fined £10 with a guinea costs for having slaughtered a lamb without the necessary license and using the 27 lb of the meat to hold a feast for 40 of his friends at the Black Swan following the Horncastle June Fair.

The prosecutor described the slaughter and consumption of so much meat as “a thoroughly bad and serious case” in view of the food shortages. The local farmer commented “What I should like to know is where they got their information from”!!

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