Lia’s Story

Lia Conder (Nee Howells)

My grandma was 8 years old when the war ended, and I have asked her about what she remembers. Her name is Lia Conder (nee Howells) and at the time of WWII was living in Stotfold, Hertford.

After VE day, some things where still similar. Of course, the fighting stopped, but lots of rationing laws where still in place. And one of her memories, is when she saw a banana for the first time. She went into school, and one of my Grandma’s classmates had one that her uncle had brought back. Because they would have been about three when the war started, they didn’t know how to eat one. The had to ask a teacher what to do with it!

Grandma also remembers when sweets first came off rations. All the children went out at midday to buy them. And back at school, all the teachers pretended not to see them eating them. Before they were free to buy, they had one coupon a month, and she used to exchange her tea rations with sweet ones from her elderly neighbour.

One story she told me, I thought was awesome. It’s the reason that sometimes we call sausages “bangers”. This is because during rations, the meat had lots of bready stuff to make it go further. So, when you put them in a pan, they would be liable to explode!

My grandma said that she still has to remind herself not to prick them (you would do this to stop them exploding)!

Quote: “ Because I was younger than Bea*, I just ate what was put on my plate. It was harder for the poor mums who had to get all the food.”
*my little sister (9)

Told by Granddaughter Imogen