Unfortunately not the end of the war, but the cessation of hostilities except in the Far East,hence VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY
Excuses first...the collection of photos and document we had put aside for the VE celebration is unfortunately, thanks to the lock down, beyond our reach, so we have to make do with what ever is e-mailable or available on the internet. Luckily Peter did have a few pictures in his archive and I of course put together a list of those for whom VE Day came too late.

We would however like to receive copies of any suitable photos that you may take on 8th May of your, or your neighbours', endeavours to celebrate despite the current circumstances. They will after all become local history on Sunday 9th May.

First off, a photo of the VE Day street party in Lowther Street. We recognise ( on corner of table nearest the camera) Jean Bonham (front right) and her sister Avril (2nd left) but that is all at the moment. Jean and Avril are studying their Mum's copy of the photo and will be giving me a lot more names some time soon. If some of you old 'uns can give us other names, please give Tony a bell on 663343.

Photo by Margaret Banks, courtesy John Banks. That is his sister Susan (little one nearest camera).

Looked through several street parade photos we do have but closer inspection revealed they were of 1953 Coronation events. We could cheat and use photos gleaned from the internet, Most of you viewing this website would probably be unlikely to realise that we had cheated, but we would know that we had done so, therefore we have ruled out that option.'
We do have a few wartime shots, and will not go into the High Street bombing again at this time.

Visiting Wellington bomber, 2 days before war was declared..Members car park to right of photo
2 from John Hamlin's book "The Royal Air Force at Newmarket

The air field in 1942..Rowley Mile stand top right

No more of this..Dr.Barnardo boys, at mask drill at Warren Towers
these two from the Society's book "When Newmarket went to War"

No, not a concentration camp, and look, no social distancing

The same lads bedding down for the night in the cellars at Warren Towers

This fellow had a bed room all to himself, Nearco at Beech House Stud

"only in Newmarket !!"

VE Day was not the end of this

rations for one adult per week
Vegetables and fruit were never rationed but some were very difficult to obtain. Offal and sausages likewise were not rationed but very difficult to come by. When eggs were allocated, children got 3 per week and pregnant women got 2.
Restaurants were not rationed BUT in the British Restaurants ( ours was in what is now the theatre in Fitzroy Street) which were virtually community kitchens, the price was a maximum of 9 pence (£1 today's price) and only one portion of meat , fish, eggs, or cheese. In private restaurants the limit was three courses only and maximum of 5 shillings.
In addition coal, petrol, clothing and soap were rationed and after the war, bread was rationed. Even potatoes in 1946-47

Incidentally how many are aware that the town was extra busy that day, it was the 1,000 Guineas day. It was recorded that the Stewards retained their hats and the bookies were no more generous than usual
That in itself helped the street parties. In those days many folk took in lodgers on race weeks, even cramming their own family into less space to get the lodgers in. This of course gave the opportunity of "stocking the cupboard" without using scarce ration coupons. This meant rationed food could be found for the street party and the "presents" from the guests were available for keeping the family going that week. It meant there was a bit of competition to put up those who worked in the kitchens, bars and restaurants at the race course!

In those days every one who had the space kept chickens or rabbits. We had dozens of rabbits in the stables, no idea how many of my pets finished up in a pie. Keeping chickens was the only way to be sure of getting eggs. If we were lucky enough to get more than needed immediately they were kept in a bucket with I think it was isinglass to preserve them.
it was something of a shock when bread was rationed in 1946 for a couple of years. Then, in 1947 even potatoes were rationed after a particularly bad winter in 46/47 and no one at the time dreamed that food rationing would not totally end until 9 years after the end of the war.
Rationing of coal even helped the Kingsway take customers from the Doric, both cinemas getting the same ration of fuel despite the fact that the Doric was a very much bigger place. For a household I think the ration of coal was 2.5 ton a year, that is about 50Kg a week. Of course that will be totally meaningless now that so many houses do not even have a fireplace. In those days many still used coal fired ranges for cooking and hot water so it was critical for many families.In fact it was still rationed until after I joined the RAF, not until June 1958.

go to Roll of Honour or back to SITE MAP