Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Honey Miller's answer to Hitler! Her Secret Weapon

Masons Ironstone plate first ironstone plates ever made. Royal Pattern. Left unused, right used!

My mother Honey Miller was a character. In real life she was rather shy and although she was extremely beautiful  she was often overlooked. However on occasions my mother could be a very strong and likable woman and her answer to Mr. Hitler and his horrible War was very unusual.

Honey Miller had to live through the Second World War. I don't remember the bombing as I was too young. I do remember the tanks on the Bath Road  on the way to Dunkirk and I remember the rationing that went on till 1954 but my mother had to live through it all.  Living near the Slough trading estate meant  nightly bombing during the Blitz but her main grumble was the food rationing which was harsh and went of for years even after the end of the War when it actually got worse.

When my father returned from Italy we moved into a tiny semi detached in Stanmore. We had nothing but my grandmother gave her a few beautiful plates from the family dinner service for best. My mother decided that while rationing was on out family would eat whatever was given to us on the best plates. It was her snub to Adolf Hitler.

We ate off the finest Mason Ironstone China like royalty every day. In fact the pattern was called Royal and one could imagine Queen Victoria and Prince Albert eating off them. If we were going to die we might just as well make a party of it! If the food was non existent the china was exceptional.

Rationing went on for nearly ten years after the end of the war in 1945 so the plates were well used. We ate every meal, breakfast, dried egg on toast, lunch and dinner which could include whale meat off the finest china. It was washed up by hand and it you look at the photos above you can see all the gold decoration has disappeared.

Immediately meat came off the ration in 1954 the Mason Royal plates were put away and only used for best. "Any food looks good on a beautiful plate with a red edge as it makes the food look warm" was my mother's advice. Sadly today because the red glaze is so full of lead I no longer use them. Mummy was slowly poisoning us without knowing it!

That particular red glaze is no longer made and so far no company has come up with a replacement. One pretty piece was broken but it was impossible to repair.

I love this dinner set as it reminds me of my mother's courage in the face of adversity. Very Dad's Army.

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