REV RON GREENALL: Recalling age of fashion on ration
Clothes coupons and clothes rationing was introduced in Britain on June 1,1940.
You needed coupons as well as cash before you could purchase most items of clothing.
The production of the items themselves were also governed by many regulations including the restriction of pocket size and banning turnups on men’s trousers and the length of skirts and no frills on ladies underwear.
A man’s suit needed 22 coupons while his annual total allowance was 20.
This wartime restriction has been aptly described as, “The age of fashion on ration”.
By 1947, the austerity was ending and the elegant taking over in fashon, but the utility sign, my first picture today (above right), still stayed on many items, including furniture, for some time.
Now to my second picture, which is of a Blackpool Tower made of Meccano.
The Mecanno factory in Binns Road, Liverpool, had been completely turned over to the manufacture of war material .
Pre-war sets and parts of Meccano were at a premium, some as scarce as a hen’s tooth.
By 1944, how we envied those youngsters who had enough parts to build Blackpool Tower as shown in my second picture, from those pre-war parts
As I have written above about wartime clothes rationing, my third picture today needs no further comment, except to say the austerity brought out many household treadle sewing machines which had not been used for many a year.
My next picture is of Maurice Barker, a friend of mine from Bilsborrow showing me his old scout shirt which he still has intact. Often the two of us have chewed the cud about scouting.
He was a member of 1st Ashton St Mark’s scouts while I was in 13th Preston St Thomas troop.
We had both worked on the initial preparation for the Waddacre scout camping ground and other such activities.
Look carefully at his scout shirt and you will see his King’s/Queen’s Scout Badge – I never got to this position.
With local fairgrounds taking place at this time in many parts of our readership area, I use another picture you sent to me recently.
It is of the Silcock Chair Ride on Preston Flag Market in 1937.
You describe it as, “A bit of a scary ride but give me no other details”.
No doubt you memories will bring back more details of this.
For my last picture from you today I return to the centre of Burnley.
It is of a steam tram, but there are many other details worthy of note in this picture including the people, shops, and other vehicles on the road.