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About Ration Books

During the last century the world suffered two global wars which, amongst other things, caused serious food shortages in the UK. As a result food was rationed and a ration book was given to each household to limit the amount of food that any one person could buy over a period of time. Today, ration books from World War II are hugely popular collector’s items and rare ration books from the First World War are extremely coveted.

After WWII rationing continued into the 1950s and a huge effort was made to encourage Brits to grow their own fruit and veg and come up with clever ways to make food go further.

Although it wasn’t carried out until after the war, one of the most controversial foods to be rationed was bread. Traditional white bread was replaced with ‘The National Loaf’ made with coarse wholemeal flour and to make matters worse, bakers weren’t allowed to sell their bread until it was a day old.

During the war other goods like clothes were also rationed and women were limited as to the type and amount of material they purchased. As a result skirts became shorter, clothes were more fitted and some women went to extraordinary lengths to get their hands on fabrics, such as using silk from the parachutes of shot down soldiers.