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Birmingham City Council

Rationing 1940-1954

 weekly rations in the 1940s

Rationing started in England on the 8th January 1940.

The image above represents a weekly war-time meat, cheese and butter ration for one person. Many of life's necessities and luxuries were rationed to help the war effort, Ration Books were issued for the purchase of bacon, butter, sugar, meat, flour, sweets, chocolates, jellies and cheese. If you wanted vegetables, then you grew your own. In addition to food rationing, petrol was rationed until May 1950. Clothes were also rationed, coupon books were introduced around the beginning of the war and only removed in March 1949. Even after the war ended rationing on some items continued for several years, all rationing was finally ended on 4th July 1954.


Libraries Photo Archive - 1940s
Photographic and other Special Collections in Central Library
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive