People who talk about austerity today have very little idea what it really means. In the fifties, we all knew what it meant. Check out the link and discover more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/4/newsid_3818000/3818563.stm
Rationing came to an end in 1954, having lasted 14 years. Any child growing up during the years 1940 to 1954 had a very limited diet and very little food intake. Adults too went hungry. Check the old newsreels, you’ll see that no one was overweight. Fashion models of the days show off the waspy waist styles because women had much more prominent waists then – though it seems a strange way to describe something that was not there! Perhaps you get my drift anyway.
Toys were far fewer, made of metal or wood and lasted very well indeed, which was just as well because children had far fewer toys then. The garish plastic toy did not exist, nor did excessive spending at Christmas. A stocking that filled up with a tangerine, some nuts and possibly a bar of chocolate was enough to bring a smile to a child’s face. Towards the end of the fifties, annuals were popular as Christmas gifts. The Beano, Dandy, Eagle, Hotspur and School Friend Annuals all did well and provided hours of good reading.
We all went to church on Sunday, some morning and evening and getting Confirmed was a rite of passage. It was entirely possible that young people who went to church spent a lot of time eyeing up members of the opposite sex of their own age, but it was fun to flirt silently across the pews.
Saturday was filled by walking to town to buy food in the market stalls lit by big hanging lamps that hissed and whined. Stand close enough to them in winter, and you could get warm. Then it was walk home with bulging bags, or queue for ages and hope to get on the bus when it arrived. There was always the possibility of bumping into a friend or relative or making a new acquaintance. Weekdays were filled with School and Work. It was a much simpler life, without the frills of today. But I remember it, the bits I do remember, as a happy time.