During and indeed for many years after the cessation of conflict between the allied and axis powers, rationing of food, clothing, and luxury goods, was something which was an excepted fact, by the people of Great Britain. Nevertheless the government would, at specified times, allocate certain goods which they considered necessary to the health and moral of the population.
Towards the end of 1948 an announcement on the radio and also in the national papers, stated that an allocation of oranges would be arriving in Newcastle, to be distributed to the peoples of the industrial North, in time for Christmas. As this was one of the first shipments of this to us, exotic fruit since before the war, we on the East Coast had resigned ourselves to the fact that we had missed out on this luxury item.
There are certain things which governments have no control over.
As in this case when in the December of 1948, the fact that the Motor-ship Bosphorus would ground on the Happisburgh Sands and would have to jettison her cargo of oranges worth several thousands of pounds! Cases and cases of this bounty from the sea, plus thousands of loose oranges as well, were washed ashore along the Norfolk coastline! Again the old adage, (something for nothing!) had us Pier Headers, and indeed hundreds of other members of the population of Gorleston and Great Yarmouth down on the beach at all hours to reap this unexpected bounty from the sea!
Loose oranges were changing hands for a small monetary sum over the fence as it were, whilst most local green grocers had a case or two out the back! Shades of Whisky Galore! The fact remaining is, we had Oranges for Christmas, whilst
The Industrial North missed out!