22 HAMILTON ROAD. PART 3
No television,no sweets.
By BRIAN LAWRIE
When I look at school photographs of the 40,s and 50s, you see rows and rows of slim kids who by todays standards looked thin almost hungry.One reason for this was our diet.We were the generation that grew up with food rationing as a result of the second world war and the shortages caused by this event. This began in January 1940 when bacon, butter and sugar were the first foods rationed and continued with more foods being added to the list during the war years and finally ending in 1954. Other examples of this rationing were cheese, tea,jam,and sweets (3oz or 80grms per week per person in the case of sweets) Vegetables were never rationed, but in 1946 bread was added to this list and the sweet ration was halved. So we “war babies” as we were referred to had a diet of very little fatty foods except when it came to chips or roast potatoes which were fried in cooking fat but even this was rationed.
My mother had the correct approach to feeding her family. Whatever was cooked was served to all, if you said “mum I don,t like that” she answered “then leave it on the plate” but remember there is nothing else to eat until the next meal. Children being naturally competitive and enquiring will see others eating food they think they do not like and will in many instances will try something particularly if they see their siblings eating and they are not.This very simple approach with no pressure lead to us eventually trying most foods and enjoying them. Did anybody like the taste of their first “beer” or “whiskey” NO we learnt to like it because our friends did.
The other thing that kept us slim fit and healthy was exercise. We walked to school and back home each day,and those of us who had lunch at home made this trip twice. Physical education at school was compulsory up to three hours per week. Break times both morning and afternoon were spent in the school playgrounds,with most boys playing football and girls skipping.Then after returning home from school most of us were again outside with our friends again playing and running around either chasing each other or a ball.
Exercise and more exercise, a good diet, we were happy and healthy.I look back to my childhood and know I was very lucky to have been born when I was, lived where I lived and went to the school I did and have the best parents a young lad could wish.Lucky lucky me.
The photograph shows my parents with their family.Backrow left to right myself,brothers Dick and Ian. Middle row sister Betty, Dad,Mum,Front row brother Alistair,sister in law Sally ( Dicks wife) brother David.Taken in the lounge of 22 Hamilton Rd christmas mid 1950,s