Market Lavington Museum

The price of cooked meats in 1951

At Market Lavington Museum, we have a poster issued by the Meat Trader’s Journal, which dates from July 1951. Although the second world war had ended in 1945, rationing continued and meat was the last food to come off ration, as late at 1954.

We are not sure of the quantities allowed in 1951 but, in April 1945, each person could purchase 4 oz (four ounces, or a quarter of a pound = 113 grams) of bacon or ham and 1s.2d worth of meat per week. (There were 20 shillings in a pound and 2 pence was a sixth of a shilling.)

Some of the items listed, such as sliced, cooked meat and sausages would be recognisable and palatable to many meat eaters today. However, food was in short supply and nothing was wasted. We doubt whether cured eyepieces, pigs’ feet and cow heel would find much of a market in 2021.