Monday, 16 May 2011

More wartime shortages

There seems to have been no limit to the good that were in short supply during WW II. Not just malt, hops and sugar. Not just bottles and labour. Even simple items like boxes needed nurturing.

"The Ministry of Food in a further appeal to traders has emphasised the importance of saving boxes and packing-cases. Assistants, he suggests, should be advised to open cases and boxes carefully, keep them in good condition, and return them as soon as possible. Wine and whisky cases are normally constructed from imported materials, and by treating them with care and returning them to the wholesalers precious shipping space is saved. It should also be impressed upon licensees, as well as upon those working in bottleries, that care in handling crates and cases used as containers for bottles of beer is more than ever necessary, seeing that the supply of timber previously available for mending used cases and making new ones is unlikely to be forthcoming. Stillions, counter cradles and signboards are likely to be irreplaceable during the war period, and this fact should be impressed upon those concerned."
"The Brewers' Journal 1940"  (Published September 18th, 1940.) page 715.

Crates, stillions, counter cradles, signboards - it sounds like everything made from wood was difficult to replace.We've already learned of the problems with acquiring oak for barrels.

"Licensed premises, by reason of their size and the fact that they must maintain an adequate temperature for their patrons, consume vastly more fuel than other retail businesses. We have official assurance that there will be no coal shortage during the coming winter. It is, however, the bounden duty of every licensee immediately to store to the utmost of his capacity the types of fuel suitable to his premises. Many licensees have erected temporary additional storage accommodation for this purpose. Coal and coke can, if necessary, be stored in the open, but logs and peat should be stored under cover. The reason why fuel should now be stocked to the utmost capacity of the premises is in order to provide for the eventuality of transport on railways and roads being temporarily disorganised. In passing, we would record that numerous licensees are alarmed at the very high charges for electricity which they are now compelled to bear. We have been shown figures which are almost unbelievable, particularly in cases where cooking is done by electricity. Frequently these charges can be reduced when experts are employed to advise, and it appears to us that the electricity companies, taking a long view, would do well to assist consumers to reduce consumption rather than to rely upon technicalities and privileges which result in inordinate charges. This is a matter which needs attention and investigation. We know that certain brewers are concerned on behalf of their licensees at what they regard as unreasonable charges for electricity supply. We propose to return to this subject at a later date."
"The Brewers' Journal 1940"  (Published September 18th, 1940.) page 715.

Customers might put up with a draughty butchers or a chilly greengrocers, but who would sit in a freezing cold pub? It's obvious heating would be essential for a pub, if you wanted to do any business.

Electricity companies taking advantage of customers. At least that doesbn't happen any more.


beer guru, jr. said...

oh sure. glad to hear the electric companies over there care about the customers as much as our utilities, over on this side of the pond.

Barm said...

I don't agree. I'd think it quite plausible that until the advent of central heating, a great many pubs would be unheated the greater part of the year. I'm sure you've posted a picture here of a pub interior with all the customers standing round with their coats on.