Incredibly, in July 1946, the Labour Government decided to ration bread. It has been said that it was not necessary and there was something of a furore about it. Tens of thousands signed a petition on behalf of the Bakers’ Association. Their office was on the west corner of The Strand and Waterloo Bridge Road. I was there when the petitions were delivered. They had barely enough room to hold them.
I, with some friends, was embarking on a canoe trip down the River Lea and the Thames to the North Sea. We needed to take bread with us. We decided to buy four large loaves, before rationing started, and store them in canvas bags. These loaves were white bread which were, once again, being baked instead of the wartime National Loaf. We set off on Saturday 6th July, and we were still eating the bread on the following Wednesday. Without the canvas bags, the loaves would have been stale by Monday morning.
Rationing of bread lasted for two years, but, finally, we could get back to white sliced bread, paper-wrapped which had been absent since the start of the War.
Next chapter: Chapter 25: Military Cuisine