Wartime Weddings

Clothes and food rationing had a big impact on weddings during the Second World War. Wedding dresses were passed round from bride to bride. Many brides made do with wearing their best outfits. If a bride were very lucky or had the right contacts she might be able to acquire some parachute silk to make her dress.

Edna & Michael Thomson 27th August 1940
Edna & Michael Thomson 27th August 1940

Food rationing meant that coupons had to be saved up for months to get enough fruit to make a cake and icing was almost unattainable. Cardboard covers made to look like icing would cover a single layer of fruit cake. Petrol rationing made it difficult for relatives to travel.

Wedding of C.R. Wiseman 21st November 1940 at St. Andrews Church. His father, Ambrose Wiseman is on the left. He became Chairman of the board of directors for the Enfield Gazette after Sir H Bowles passed away.
Wedding of C.R. Wiseman 21st November 1940 at St. Andrews Church. His father, Ambrose Wiseman is on the left. He became Chairman of the board of directors for the Enfield Gazette after Sir H Bowles passed away.
Charlie & peg Ball 1942. She is wearing his suit cut down to make a skirt
Charlie & Peg Ball 1942. She is wearing his suit cut down to make a skirt
Leslie & Ethel Crook 20th September 1939
Leslie & Ethel Crook 20th September 1939

Wedding poster aEnfield Museum is presenting a new exhibition to celebrate the myriad variety of weddings that have taken place in the Borough over the years (including war time ones). It opens on Thursday 2nd April at the Dugdale Centre:

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Rationing in the Second World War

Queue in Palmers Green
Queue in Palmers Green

gaz shopping ww2

Rationing was introduced in 1940 and continued until 1954 on some items. Petrol, food and clothing were all rationed. The aim was to try and make the UK more self-sufficient. People were urged to ‘Dig for Victory’ and ‘Make Do and Mend’ to reduce the dependence on imports.

Food rationing started in January 1940 for butter, bacon and sugar. From 1942 this was extended to tea, cooking fat, jam, honey, marmalade, cheese, ham, milk, meat sweets and chocolate. Many foods that weren’t rationed were very scarce. This led to long queues whenever a rumour went round that scarce items were in stock somewhere

Clothes went on ration in 1941 and became more stringent in 1942. The basic ration would have allowed a man to buy an overcoat every seven years, a pair of trousers and a jacket every two years. This became more of a problem as the war went on especially for families with growing children.

Petrol rationing was introduced three weeks after the declaration of war. Each car was allowed between 4 – 6 gallons of standard petrol a month depending on whether they needed their car for work. Motoring for pleasure was frowned upon. Petrol rationing didn’t end until 1950.

Fish Queue, Church Street, Enfield
Fish Queue, Church Street, Enfield
Enfield Town
Enfield Town