75-year-old Sainsbury’s ration books found in back of cupboard by St Albans pensioner

PUBLISHED: 13:08 18 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:03 18 August 2015

Copyright image 2015©

John de Marris, 83, presents his and his family's ration books to Darren Scott, Manager of Sainbury's St Albans

Copyright image 2015© John de Marris, 83, presents his and his family's ration books to Darren Scott, Manager of Sainbury's St Albans

Fiona Hanson © Copyright 2015

After finding 75-year-old ration books “tucked away” in the back of a cupboard, a St Albans resident has spoken of his memories of wartime rationing.

Ration books owned by the de Marris family from St Albans which ceased to be used in July 1954.Ration books owned by the de Marris family from St Albans which ceased to be used in July 1954.

John de Marris, 83, found the book of ration cards for the now-closed Gerrards Cross branch of Sainsbury’s last month and contacted his local supermarket in St Albans.

He said: “They thought it was really interesting and they invited me in to show them off.”

John was just a boy when he, his mother and his grandmother started using the ration books in 1940.

He said: “The food was not bad, actually. It didn’t have any preservatives or anything like that so it was all good stuff.

John de Marris at 22, the year before rationing ceased in July 1954John de Marris at 22, the year before rationing ceased in July 1954

“We used to get our soap, our clothes, all our meats and our tea with [the ration books]. My mum used to keep chickens so we were known as PKs - poultry keepers – so we didn’t need to take any eggs.”

Darren Scott, manager of St Albans Sainsbury’s, said: “Sainsbury’s has been a big part of people’s lives for over 150 years now and John’s ration books donation demonstrates that in a really touching way.

“I am thankful for this true goose-bumps-moment that made me even more proud of our heritage.”

Sainsbury’s are looking to archive John’s collection of ration books.


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