Leeds nostalgia: June 1947: Food shortages and horse dies after bolting

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Rationing continued long after the war ended, as supplies of staple foods were still short, as reports in the Yorkshire Evening Post from this week in 1947 reveal.

Among the products in short supply were new potatoes. One market trader who said they had some customers who took 20 bags each said it might not have more than a ton in total.

Meanwhile, traders were expecting a rush on strawberries and fruit, which were set to be rationed from the following week. One makeshift notice read: “Your last chance. Controlled next week.” Most of the strawberries and cherries and suchlike were going for between 2s and 3s 6d (being slightly cheaper from barrows just outside the market), while the ‘controlled’ price from the following week was set to be 1s 7d per lb.

The report went on: “The market has plenty of spring onions at 8d per lb and peas between 10d and 1s 3d, while kidney beans are 1s 6dto 1s 9d per lb.”

Fish supplies were said to be adequate and the game row was said to be well stocked, with wood pigeons going for 4s apiece and rooks for 6d.

In a completely separate report, there was a story of a horse, which bolted and died after smashing itself into a wall.

The horse was drawing a Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society milk wagon but bolted at the end of Belle Isle Road, Hunslet, careering down the hill and “dashed into the wall at the corner of Moor Road. It was killed by the crash.”

The report said the driver of the cart, L Brunt and his assistant, when the horse was apparently frightened by the noise of passing traffic. It managed to miss both lanes of cars and pedestrians. Scores of milk bottles were thrown into the road and smashed, while the cart was lightly damaged.

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