During the Second World War, the Government cut all unnecessary imports into Britain. The import of bananas stopped in 1941. It began again after the war on 30th December 1945, when the first cargo arrived at Avonmouth aboard the Tilapa.
It was an important moment, marking the reopening of an important trade link for Bristol and the reintroduction of a much-loved luxury. The ship was flying flags to reflect the importance of the event. The Tilapa was greeted by the Lord Mayor and and a group of children, who hadn't had a banana for almost five years. Bananas were still in short supply and were rationed for several years to come.
During the war, to avoid ruining the economy of the Caribbean islands now dependant on the banana trade, the British government bought up the crop. Unable to ship it as any cargo boats were needed for essential supplies or troops, the bananas were destroyed.