The barter and black markets and scarcity values

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Escapee Denis Vibert report on early months of the Occupation

A barter trade has sprung up and there are frequent advertisements in the "Evening Post" offering to exchange items such as a pair of shoes for a pound of sugar. Shops will also display articles to be bartered for which they charge a fee of one shilling [5 pence].

In the so-called black market people with money can still buy certain things, for example, one hundred pounds has been paid for a sack of sugar, 30 shillings [£1.50] to two pounds for 50 cigarettes, four pounds for a pound of tobacco, two pounds ten shillings [£2.50] for a bottle of whisky, and ten shillings [50 pence] for a pound of butter.

A bicycle has been known to fetch as much as 30 pounds, horses between 100 and 200 pounds, while a pony usually valued at 12 pounds has been sold for £80.

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