Leeds nostalgia: Ham, horsemeat and cake - it was all about food in 1946

Turn the clock back 70 years and there was plenty going on...

Friday, 20th May 2016, 11:54 pm

Tuesday May 21, 1946: The housing waiting list in Leeds stood at 22,000, with the first batch of new post-war permanent housing almost ready - on the Belle Isle estate.

Meanwhile, over in Seacroft 96 ‘experimental dwellings’ were also nearing completion. Builders, however, said it was not through lack of manpower but resources and building materials that the completion dates, which had been set for March 31, were overrun.

Wednesday May 22, 1946: Interesting that newspapers still hyphenated the words ‘to-day’ and ‘to-morrow’, as in the headline ‘Morrison’s Food Plan To-Morrow’, which ran on the front page of the YEP on this day and alluded to a decision by Lord President of the Food Council, Herbert Morrison to give up 200,000 tons of UK wheat, which he was due to explain to the House of Commons.

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Thursday May 23, 1946: A Leeds man, Harold Newby, a laboured from Harewood, was fined £10 at Wetherby after police officers caught him with an illegal ham. They stopped his car on Harewood Avenue jus before midnight on Sunday March 24 and found a sack stuffed between two seats and inside, a ham. Newby told magistrates: “On a pile of Bibles, I cannot tell you where we got it.”

Friday May 24, 1946: Ilkley aviculturalist Norman P Donnelly pledged to fight a ban on him selling horse flesh as animal feed. Even the butcher next door, Percy Driver, had no objections.

Saturday May 25, 1946: the first convention of the Yorkshire Beekeepers Association caused a buzz of excitement at Leeds Art Gallery.

Monday May 27, 1946: Plastic bags at check-outs may be something of a rarity in our time but 70 years ago people couldn’t even get wrapping for a piece of cake. One YEP complained that cake was being handed over unwrapped in some shops and said, surely, the time had come to wrap it.