Making ends meet:
During the post World War II period many of us experienced life in the "Make do and mend" era. This was a difficult time for all ordinary working people, where money was tight and goods scarce. Many will remember the daily shopping expedition down to the local greengrocer, grocer and newsagent for essential supplies such as 2lbs of potatoes, a few carrots and perhaps a cabbage - you get the picture. In that period, from the end of the war though until the mid-1960s there was no such thing as a supermarket and all food was bought at either the local shop or the town market. In Nottingham we were lucky to have the Central Market, where farm produce was available alongside fresh fish; although many could only afford the fish as an occasional treat.
Cars were few and far between and family holidays tended to be either the odd day out to Trentham Gardens, Alton Towers (Before the white knuckle rides were invented), Dudley & Twycross Zoos, Newstead Abbey, Edwinstowe for the Major Oak or if lucky, Skeggy or one of the other East coast resorts. Travel to these places was mostly by bus or train. I think most trips in my younger days were taken on 'Skills' coaches and sometimes the train from Daybrook Station. Local parks, such as Wollaton, held occasional fairs and events too. Towards the end of summer and into autumn the travelling fairs became the focus of attention, with the Goose Fair being the highlight of the season followed by numerous local "Wakes" such as Basford, Heanor, Ilkeston, Arnold, Hucknall, etc..
However, I digress; the memories I am trying to convey are those of having little in the way of material possessions and mothers attempting to make a small wage feed a family - remember, there was no benefit system like we have today, you worked or got your pittance of a dole and nothing else but a few pence family allowance for your second and subsequent children. In order to accomplish this they had to shop daily, making every penny count - and by gum, they did anorl! I clearly recall going down to the shops armed with a tanner (6d or 2½p for those who are too young to remember old money) for some spuds and veg! As for health, had it not been for the advent of the NHS in 1948 many more of us would not have survived to tell the tale.
I think my own parents had a big struggle but in my opinion, they did a great job and I wish they were still alive today so that I could tell them so.....