THE CO-OPS GOT BANANAS
(A memoir of growing up in the post second world war north,
by Hunter Davies. Then click on picture for manuscript)
Despite the struggle to make ends meet during the tough years of warfare in the 1940s and rationing persisting until the early 1950s, life could still be sweet. Especially if you were a young boy, playing football with your pals, saving up to go to the movies at the weekend, and being captivated by the latest escapade of Dick Barton on the radio. Chocolate might be scarce, and bananas would be a pipe dream, but you could still have fun. In an excellent social memoir from one of the UK's premier columnists over the past five decades, Hunter Davies captures this period beautifully. His memoir of growing up in post-war North of England from 1945 onwards, amid the immense damage wrought by the Second World War, and the dreariness of life on rationing, very little luxuries and an archaic educational system, should be one that will resonate with thousands of readers across Britain.
In the same vein as Robert Douglas's Night Song of the Last Tram - A Glasgow Childhood and Alan Johnson's This Boy, Hunter's memories of a hard life laced with glorious moments of colour and emotion will certainly strike a vein with his generation
Note from Tom: I lived in Yorkshire and then Plymouth during the same era, while rationing was still strictly in force, but bananas were not rationed. I remember my delight when my mother also bought bananas, and I regarded them as especially for me.
My father would also buy food on the black market, but we were once burgled while we were living in a 'haunted mansion' backing onto the slums on the Beverley Road, The police tracked down the burglar and when they burst into his home, he was tucking into one of our ham joints, He got two years, but my father was let off with a jovial slap on the wrist.