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Another practise still common in Stroud today is keeping chickens. During wartime, chickens were precious and providing their swill often meant mashing all the household leftovers.

Well [em] everything was saved.  Nothing was wasted.  All the scraps from the kitchen that would now go on the compost heap, they were put into a large, old saucepan - potato peelings, potatoes that were too small to peel, [ehm] crusts of bread, bits of fat meat, [eh] carrot peeling, suede, turnip, anything like that really.  And [it was em] they were boiled up - to make a hot mash [mm] for the chickens.  It was boiled up, kind of, then you [tipped it] tipped this mess, which smelled very earthy [interviewer laughs quietly] because vegetables in those days had a lot of mud on them.  They weren't washed like they are today.  And you tipped it into an enamel bowl, waited for it to cool down a little bit and then [I used to] it was my job to feed the chickens quite often when I [ehm, when I] was a little bit older.  And I used to carry that down to the cellar, which was very dark and [em], then I used to scoop out so many handfuls of Sharps meal into this enamel bowl and squeeze it with my fingers, and squeeze it and mix it and knead it all together and it all stuck to your hands, you know  [creaking sound].  It was a bit like sawdust,

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We used to always keep chickens.  We always had (Mm) chickens so that meant that now and again we had a cockerel fattened up for (for) Sunday dinner or (eh).  Then, I mean, we always had (e) the extra eggs, which a lot of people didn't have.

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From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

SM 1972.320 Food masher