The front cover of a food ration book for 1953-1954.
The British government introduced food rationing in January 1940.. Only a few foods such as sugar, butter and bacon were rationed at first, but more were included later as imports were disrupted by German U-Boat attacks on British ship convoys. Each person in the country was given a ration book, containing tokens which had to be handed to the shopkeeper when purchasing certain foodstuffs. Additional allowances were given to groups considered to have special needs - for example, children were entitled to extra orange juice, and nursing mothers received more milk.
Many people were better fed during the Second World War than before, as rationing and price controls allowed the less well-off easier access to foods with high nutritional values, while the consumption of fats and sugars was curtailed by shortages.
After the war, bread was rationed from 1946 to 1948 and potatoes for a year from 1947. Sweets were rationed until 1953. Rationing ended in 1954, when meat was finally de-rationed.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Box 10 - personal documents, Mr Isbister
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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