On Wednesday 2nd July 1947 Edie Rutherford – a South African housewife and Socialist now living in Sheffield, England – recorded in her Mass Observation diary:
Chinese laundry near here has a new notice up, ‘a few customers taken in.’
She also recorded that:
‘Today, for the first time for years, I opened the door to a ‘Will you buy something from a disabled ex-serviceman?’ man and he opened his case with alacrity. He seemed to have nothing I wanted, but, as I have done door-to-door selling, I always buy if I can. So I took two pairs shoelaces and bodkin, 10d the lot.
He then offered me elastic but, as I have enough just now, I declined with thanks. He was young and looked fit enough. One had hopes that this kind of thing would not follow the war this time.
Husband has sent to Selfridges for sports coat advertised at 48/-. Prices here around are £5 for a coat worth buying, and thirteen coupons.
It will take many years for Britain to recover from the conflict – but they would succeed.