In the immediate post war world there was a real worry that there could be a nuclear or conventional air strike on Britain’s cities that was far in excess of anything suffered in World War Two. To counter this threat, Civil Defence remained at the forefront of post war thought and the lessons of the Blitz were transferred to the new Cold War. One thing that had become very apparent was the difficulties in feeding displaced people and emergency services in the aftermath of a raid.
Specialist mobile kitchens manned by the WVS had played a vital role in the aftermath of mass raids and it made sense to assume that emergency feeding would be essential in the new post war world if the worst to happen. Rather than be left to chance as it had to some extent during the war, emergency feeding was given far more priority by those in charge and perhaps understandably it came under the aegis of the Ministry of Food.
What they did was set up regional stores of emergency food, along with bowls and spoons so simple hot meals could be quickly given to the public. Thankfully these were never called upon and in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall huge quantities of these bowls and spoons have been cleared out and sold on the surplus market. Tonight we have one of those simple spoons, made of a light blue plastic:The spoon has a simple reinforcing rib along the back:And the pre-1952 logo for the Ministry of Food on the top of the handle:During World War Two the government had held 6.5 million tons of food for emergency feeding, but the 1950s this had dropped considerably and in 1960 582500 tons were in stores consisting of :
Corned beef (in 12oz and 6lb tins) 75000 tons
Flour (in 140 lb sacks) 196000 tons
Sugar (raw) 252500 tons
Raw materials for processing 36000 tons
(mainly oils and fats)
A number of different variations of these spoons exist, with some having a broader handle at the top and others made in white plastic. They are very easy to find and a nice addition to a Cold War Civil Defence collection.