UK WW2 paper shortage

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by TriciaF, May 2, 2018.

  1. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I was trying to think of the kinds of toys, books etc available for children during the war, and remembered the shortage of books.
    I found this interesting link:
    Typography versus Hitler—The Book Production War Economy Agreement
    Books became precious, and if we were given one for a birthday etc it was passed around carefully among a group of friends. There was always the library, but they were short too.
    As for toys, nothing much except for skipping ropes, balls etc.
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  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    In late 1944 and 1945 my father (who had been medically discharged from the RAF) and my grandfather (his father in law) made toys in their spare time. I believe these were mostly wooden toys such as scooters and rocking horses (very basic designs)
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    At school,exercise books were used on both sides in pencil,then after the book was finished,the exercise book was used again using an ink nib shortage of ink in the ink wells as I remember.

    But as regards newspapers,in the absence of toilet paper,a use was found for newspapers....cannot recall any blocked sewage drains at the time....unlike the problems reported now..

    The Germans suffered from a lack of cotton but found a solution in developing paper for medical bandages.I would think that there was an abundance of forestry in Germany so they must have possessed ample timber feedstock.

    Cannot remember many books available in general circulation at school but my mother's eldest sister always bought me aircraft books for my birthday....pity that they were lost over the years.Our neighbour's son who was from the RAF BEF contingent gave me an official AM pack of enemy aircraft cards which were used to acquaint RAF personnel with enemy aircraft identification purposes....a treasured possession at the time.
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  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    HC Deb 23 July 1940 vol 363 c574574
    §7. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore
    asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will issue instructions that the use of paper will be confined to a minimum in transmitting orders to, or demanding reports from, units of the Local Defence Volunteers?

    §The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Eden)
    Instructions have recently been issued for all possible economy in the use of paper and in the volume of returns called for in respect of all Army units and establishments. These instructions will apply to Local Defence Volunteers.

    §Sir T. Moore
    Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that Local Defence units have neither typewriters, typists, pens, ink, nor paper except those supplied by themselves, and that therefore this suggestion particularly applies to those units?

    §Mr. Eden
    The hon. and gallant Member cannot be more anxious than I am to reduce the amount of paper that the Army is called upon to use.

    §Mr. Stokes
    Is the Minister aware that an ordinary Regular battery has to make no fewer than 25 returns per day?

    PAPER ECONOMY. (Hansard, 23 July 1940)
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  6. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Newspapers - torn into little squares and hung on a string next to the toilet - not many people had mains drainage so it didn't matter. My Grandma used to call that place the netty.
    I expect newsprint in general had some priority, to keep people informed . I have one from 1944 which is densely printed, nothing frivolous like the current DM.
    I wonder how the Germans managed, they were notorious for keeping detailed records and accounts.
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

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