Leeds nostalgia: October 1947: Rationing leads to run on tinned bacon

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We’re so used to being able to have what we want when we want it these days but spare a thought for your grandparents, or those who lived 70 years ago, because in October 1947 rationing was a way of life.

Imagine, for example, being told you were only allowed one rasher of bacon a week... and that was for a married couple. The 2oz rasher ration was to be introduced from October 19, while the 1oz-per-person ration did not quite cover a small biscuit, according to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post on October 10.

Housewives, however, had it ever so slightly better, in that they were allowed to buy two weeks’ worth of rations together. And all of this meant that there was a run on tinned bacon and ham, which was selling at 2s 8d. Some of this stock came into London but it was almost immediately bought up, with no further deliveries expected.

The bacon ration was halved in mid-October 1947 because of a strike by bacon packers in Canada, upon which Great Britain relied for some of its supplies.

Meanwhile, the Government indicated it might be considering rationing potatoes, which caused much alarm, not only among members of the public but also among farmers and distributors.

Meanwhile, more than 40 fed-up residents in Kirkstall and Armley signed a petition calling on the council and the Government to do something about “showers of grit” from Kirkstall Power Station.

Madge Arthur, of Haddon Avenue, even wrote to the minister in charge, enclosing a packet of grit from her garden. She said it was “like rain” when it fell. She was not alone. Other residents across the area had similar stories.

The power station, built in 1930, had been the subject of complaints for years.