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 Post subject: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 15:41 
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Google cannot seem to get me a straight answer on this :(, so I'm hoping someone on here might remember being at boarding school when rationing was in force, or have an older relative or friend who does. I know that meals at day schools were off the ration, and that that's when/how school dinners became popular, but I can't believe that boarding schools were allowed to provide three (or more) meals a day off ration. But collecting up all the ration books for all the pupils and staff, getting 250 or so sets of rations every week, and then giving them back again for the holidays and collecting them up again at the start of the new term sounds like a logistical nightmare. Any ideas :D ?

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 Post subject: Re: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 18:18 
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I started boarding school in 1951. I *think* but am not sure, that we handed over our ration books along with our Health Certificates at the start of each term, except for our sweet coupons, which we were allowed to keep ourselves so we had them when we went to the shops. I recall more than one person mislaying theirs and being 'stuck' with only buying those things like packets of sherbet powder with licorice sticks (anyone else remember those??) and similar items, which were not rationed.

I have no recollection at all of how we got the books back at the end of each term, so perhaps they were put into the envelope we were given containing with our report card, blank health certificates to be brought back next term, and any letters. I can't say I remember when meat etc. came off the ration, but I remember the jubilation when sweets finally did - I think they were the last thing, weren't they?


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 Post subject: Re: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 18:37 
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Elder in Ontario wrote:
I recall more than one person mislaying theirs and being 'stuck' with only buying those things like packets of sherbet powder with licorice sticks (anyone else remember those??) and similar items, which were not rationed.


Yep, I remember them well, Elder, and all the other lovely stuff, such as ice lollies, we could buy for 1 penny in the small sweet shop near my junior school, around 1951-1958. No one believes me today! :twisted:

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Last edited by MaryR on 15 Feb 2018, 18:38, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 18:38 
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My memories are not quite as clear as Elder's. Although I was at boarding school before all rationing ended, I can't actually remember the procedures that were followed. I do know that we rejoiced when meat came off ration, so we must have been affected in some way whilst at school. And even more rejoicing when sweets were finally released.

But thank you for the question Alison because it led me to a most enjoyable afternoon! I have just been trawling the digitised magazines of Cheltenham Ladies College for the years 1939-1953 (when I arrived there) and it has been a fascinating process. Although there was not a single mention of rationing throughout the 13 years there was a mass of stuff about the effects of the war and what the girls did. I know it's off-topic but I thought I would put it here to start with anyway...

Just a selection: growing vegetables and in particular potatoes - the playing fields were to a certain extent turned over to this. Hay was also grown and harvested.

Hens and ducks were kept by some of the houses to bump up the rations. Learning "war-time cookery" is mentioned several times.

The amount of knitting that was done was staggering. I should think by the descriptions that several regiments were well-supplied with woolly garments.

Most impressive were the amounts raised by the College National Savings Club - over £40,000 from 1940-47 and enough to fund at least one Lancaster bomber (£25,000) a tank, and a naval launch (£2,500) plus other things.

The Guides saw to it that they were well-trained enough to put out any fires and render adequate first aid.

In 1942 a plea was put out to old girls for their felt hats so that they could be repulped and remade in order to issue new girls with hats....

There are passing references to the restrictions imposed by the blackout. The item that intrigued me most was the mass exodus of "all the maids" at once from one of the boarding houses. Whatever could have caused that? But undaunted, the girls and house staff rallied round and all was well....

And how is this for a bit of GO in the early wartime news of old girls:

AB recently made an exciting escape from Denmark where she was training at Silkeborg Physical Training College. The College was taken over by the Germans, and she and two other girls escaped by swimming at least five miles to Sweden.

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 Post subject: Re: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 23:26 
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Ration books were handed in to schools generally.

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 Post subject: Re: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 00:41 
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My mother was at boarding-school during the War, and she says that people's butter and margarine rations were put out in separate pats, one for each girl. I can't remember what else she has said about it - I don't think it impinged very much, they presumably gave in their ration books at the start of each term and let those responsible get on with it!

I do remember, though, the biology teacher at my own boarding-school, a generation later, who had been there during rationing, if not during the War itself, saying how hard it had been when she had to require girls to eat everything on their plates - no room for individual likes or dislikes - as otherwise they would not be getting enough calories.


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 Post subject: Re: Rationing at boarding schools
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 08:48 
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Thanks, everyone :D .

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