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Rationing and Shortages

Nottingham Egg Week

People found many ways to supplement their rations. Despite the best efforts of the government, people with enough money were still able to buy goods on the black market, illegally trading extra food and luxuries.

Dig for victory poster showing a child digging
Dig for Victory Poster
The government used national campaigns, such as 'Dig for Victory', to encourage people to grow their own vegetables and recycle. Throughout the country, people often came up with local ideas too. In Nottingham people ran an 'Egg Week', asking citizens to donate eggs to Nottingham General Hospital, so that they could be pickled for future use.
Poster shows a girl wearing a blue dress and a white hat and apron.  She is carrying a basket of eggs and there are chicken at her feet.  The poster reads "Nottingham General Hospital EGG week".
Nottingham Egg Week Poster
Also in Nottingham, Boots Beeston Co-operative Pig Club allowed employees to team up to rear pigs using household food waste. In return for collecting pig swill and doing cleaning duties, members received a piece of the meat when the pig was slaughtered.
Booklet cover reads: "Boots [Beeston] Cooperative pig Club.
Beeston Co-operative Pig Club Booklet
The end of the war in 1945 did not mean a return to normality. Rationing of many goods continued well into the 1950s, as the below post-war ration book from 1953-4 illustrates. Rationing of food did not finish until July 1954, when meat and bacon finally came off ration.
Ministry of Food Ration Book in the name of Joan F. M. Brown
Front Cover of a Post-war Ration Book



Employees - workers at a company
Encourage - try to make people want to do something
Pickled - preserved in vinegar or brine
Recycle - to reuse something instead of throwing it away
Slaughtered - when an animal is killed for its meat
Supplement - to add to