Wednesday, November 16, 2011


English Ration Book 1953/54

letter 'R'


The Ration Book, of a friend of mine, from fifty years ago.
The Second World War was over then, as my readers surely know.
It began in nineteen-thirty-nine and ended in forty-five;
And the British were very grateful that they were still alive.
But their gratitude evaporated when rationing went on.....
And on.......... and on...... and on.........until their patience was all gone.
Take note of the date on the ration-book that you see up above,
And you will quickly realise what I am speaking of!
I was a teenager in those years, but there were no pretty dresses,
No parties, and no fripperies, certainly no excesses.
Meanwhile the American Marshall Plan was helping the defeated;
Germany and Japan were helped! How much better they were treated!
While poor old Britain, a 'Victor', had to manage on its own.
That's when it stopped being a Super-Power; how abject it had grown.
With most of its cities rubble, and its factories destroyed
It had to cope. It's no wonder the populace was annoyed!
America was booming, the 'defeated' were O.K.
But Britain was struggling on its own, day after day after day.
I didn't think much at the time; it didn't mean much to me;
I'd only ever known rationing, and never prosperity,
But my parents were always bitter about the end of the war;
We'd stood up to Hitler on our own and now we said 'What for?'
It wasn't till the Swinging Sixties that Britain got on its feet.
Sometimes Victory is a hollow word, much more hollow than Defeat.

This is a parody from my melodrama 'The Golden Heart'. Seth has 'inherited' a gold-mine, plus the innocent daughter of the previous owner! He cannot, however, find the fabulous Golden Heart nugget, which he has promised to his wife, Queenie. Here, she nags him for it.



Well, have you got it Seth, my dear?
You promised you would bring it here!
No doubt the mine is ours by right,
But the value of the mine is slight.
 The value of the nugget, though,
Is worth more than all the gold below.
Show it! Show it! Right this minute!
You promised me that you would win it!
I can tear your life apart
If I don't get that Golden Heart!

(To the tune of The Dark-town Strutters' Ball')
Gonna get that treasure and you can't deny me!/ I've been dreaming of it oh so long!/ You know I'm right not wrong,/ And I'm aware of all that it can buy me./ I'm so sick of looking poor and shabby./ I am pretty and I must look smart,/ So, honey, please get on your bike!/ Get me what I really like!/ Get with it, baby, and get that Golden Heart!

You're a honey and you love me dearly./ Please donate a lot of currency!/ You know it's meant for me/ And I mean all I'm saying, so sincerely./ All I need is lots of golden bangles!/ With some help I'd be a work of art./  So, sweetie, please don't wait around;/ You've got to cover lots of ground!/ Get with it, baby, and get that Golden Heart!


photowannabe said...

Awesome writing. Well done. I remember looking at my folks ration books as well as my inlaws. It certainly was another time of history.

Chronicles of Illusions said...

I don't think we can ever really understand what that must have been like - great post

Roger Owen Green said...

I never knew the RATIONING went on for so long. I wonder how we'd fare today under similar conditions.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Maude Lynn said...

I had no idea that rationing went on that long!

Anonymous said...

thats a piece of valuable history in ur hands ...

Pheno, ABCW Team

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Once in my teens, we had a ration for kerosene, We used kerosene for cooking, and there were long queues.

Scriptor Senex said...

Having been born inn '49 I remember sweets were among the things still rationed. And they remained rationed for quite a while. It didn't stop my teeth from falling out quite quickly!