Thursday, May 24, 2012

December 6-12, 1940

The scarcity of turkeys this Christmas saw those sold at Swindon market reaching a top price of £3 6s as Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, announced a price control on this yuletide favourite.

Prices for turkeys bred and reared in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and English counties other than Norfolk, not exceeding 18lbs were to cost 2s 8d per pound, and those over 18lb were fixed at 2s 6d, Swindon shoppers were informed.

“In 11 out of 18 areas in this country people have not taken notice of the guidance we gave,” said Lord Woolton, “therefore the price of turkeys will be controlled.

But if turkeys were in short supply, mutton certainly wasn’t, as indicated by a photograph taken at Swindon’s Christmas market.

Meanwhile a Food Education Week was planned to help Swindon housewives make the best use of available foods and to avoid ill health as a consequence of a wartime diet.

A meeting at the Town Hall organised by the local Education Committee in conjunction with the Ministry of Food was well attended with February 3 chosen for the week long campaign.

Mr Stanley Hirst, Swindon’s Director of Education, said that the wartime cookery classes held at various town centre venues had proved successful and that it was felt the time was appropriate for a more intensified campaign.

Mr H.C. Asterley, a representative of the Food Ministry, said the food campaign had a direct bearing on the war effort. He estimated that during the ensuing year the campaign would save the importation of nearly 300 tons of food locally.

The East Street Co-operative Industrial Society’s bank in Fleet Street saw long queues as customers arrived to draw their dividends.  During the peak period 760 people withdrew £1,130 in an hour.

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