Web Page No 2468
23rd April 2018First Picture: National Dried Milk
Second Picture: My ration book
Third Picture: National Orange Juice
Forth Picture: National Cod Liver Oil
Post War Memories
We must all remember having the distinctive tins of National Dried Milk around at home. This was full-cream milk that had been roller-dried into a powder and then artificially fortified with vitamin D. It was intended for feeding to children at a time when milk rationing was still in operation. It was also convenient for mothers.
At first, it was available only to children under 1 year of age; later 2 years. The National Dried Milk scheme had been announced by the autumn of 1940; by then, doctors and nutritionals were debating how it should best be served to infants and whether full-cream was indeed the best Product for them.
The storage and distribution of National Dried Milk across the country was contracted out to a company called SPD. You needed ration coupons to purchase it with and it could only be got at chemists. There was a proviso, though, which housewives learned to watch for: once the tin at the store was past the "Not for consumption after..." date, it could be sold off to anyone and was off the ration, providing a real windfall to the lucky average shopper. A half-cream version of the Dried Milk was introduced in 1941 but it is the full fat version that is mostly remembered.
Well after the war, National Dried Milk was still being sold right through until mid-1965, though by that point, it only accounted for 12 percent of milk sales. People on welfare could purchase it at subsidized prices, but there was a limit to how much you could buy at these prices. Everyone else could buy unlimited quantities at regular prices.
In the mid-1960s, a 1 lb. (450g) tin sold for 4/-, or 2/4 at the subsidized price. National Dried Milk was finally discontinued in 1976, when there was no longer any point, as people were opting to purchase the special infant formulas that had started to flood the market instead.
Many people in their Second World War, and post war, memoirs confuse National Dried Milk with "Household Milk" which was a dried skimmed milk for general consumption; National Dried Milk was dried "full cream" milk aimed at feeding infants like you and me.
One unforeseen benefit was that after the tin was emptied it was very handy for storing nuts, bolts, screws and washers. Every shed or garage had at least three of these on the shelf. However, one very surprising use was developed by my father in law. In the early 1950s they lived in Newcastle upon Tyne and in the greenhouse attached to the house he nurtured a superb grape vine with sweet black grapes on it. Come the picking season he would harvest bunches of grapes, wrap them up carefully and place them in a Dried Milk tin. This he would seal and wrap and post off to his mother in Ringwood and apparently, they always arrived in prime condition.
All children under five were allocated cod liver oil; those under three got daily milk (fluid or full-cream dried) and orange juice as well. Our mothers would collect the bottles of cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice, both of which were provided by America, at the local clinic or "Welfare Centres" that were especially set up to monitor public health. I remember that the orange juice was sticky but tasted wonderful but the cod-liver oil was absolutely disgusting. No matter how much I complained my mother made sure that I took it.
Clearly the refusal to take cod-liver oil was widespread, as it soon became available as 'cod liver oil and malt', this became a totally acceptable brown sticky substance that tasted like toffee and had to be spooned out of a large jar, this was a totally different matter and made the medicine popular and once we were at school, there was free milk, but I have spoken of this before.
To obtain all these essential ‘goodies’ mother had to present my ration book which can be seen at the top of the page.
Just one other thing that comes to mind is that my mother, being an ex-nurse, insisted on me swallowing a large spoon of ‘opening medicine’ to keep me ‘regular’ every Saturday morning. Yuck!!!!!
Keep in touch
I admit it, I love Jelly Babies, Sugared Almonds, Pontefract Cakes and Turkish Delight. Rarely do I indulge myself but the memories live on! I remember taking huge containers of Bassetts Allsorts to Australia where my sister in law craved them. She said that they don`t taste the same in Australia. Lots of lovely things there but nothing like British sweets. Last night as I was about to switch off the TV I saw the sixties pop star Jess Conrad on a programme about older stars in Las Vegas. He is still a nice looking man but there he was struggling to open a cereal pkt. He said his wife did everything for him and how he misses her. I found that very sad, especially when I remembered seeing him at the Guildhall in Portsmouth.
On this day 23rd April 1960-1965.
On 23/04/1960 the number one single was My Old Man's a Dustman - Lonnie Donegan and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top-rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the week was 1500 killed in Iranian earthquake.
On 23/04/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top-rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/04/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/04/1963 the number one single was How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top-rated TV show was Labour Party-Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/04/1964 the number one single was A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top-rated TV show was Liberal Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was the head of Denmark's Little Mermaid was stolen.
On 23/04/1965 the number one single was Ticket to Ride - The Beatles and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top-rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.