Coal rationing in and after 1940s wartime Britain
The severity of coal rationing in 1940s UK
It is difficult for anyone who was not alive at the time to understand how significant coal rationing was, as almost all domestic heating was from coal fires, hot water was from coal fired boilers or coppers and many people were still cooking on coal fired kitchen ranges. Industry, too, was powered by coal.
The size of the coal ration in the UK in World War Two
The coal ration was set at two and a half tons per household per year, that is fifty hundredweight.
A reaction to coal rationing from a typical elderly lady
My grandmother complained bitterly about the coal ration. She had always had two hundredweight a fortnight. She needed two hundredweight (100kg) a fortnight. Although she only had a fire in winter, she had always had two hundredweight of coal delivered every fortnight throughout the year for budgeting purposes. Couldn't they see - she argued - that that came to fifty-two hundredweight a year? Fifty hundredweight was no good to her. What would she do for the odd fortnight? She kept this up, and eventually 'they' relented, and she continued to have her two hundredweight a fortnight.