Anticipating heavy bombing on London at the outbreak of war, the government had had most of the tea that was being stored in warehouses at the docks removed and distributed all over the country for storage. The speed of the dispersal caused confusion in the tea trade as to ownership, resulting in the government 's buying all the tea on the books of dealers and merchants and making weekly allocations to them.When tea was put on ration to the public, wholesalers were issued with permits with which to purchase tea, which came in three qualities; a third common, a third medium and a third fine. It was left to the blenders to make the best use of their allocations.Despite the limitations of tea control, the loss of workers to the services and petrol rationing, Dolly was determined that supplies would be maintained to their customers. To help cope with the reduced mileage they were able to cover in petrol-driven vehicles, Slater's used horse-drawn vehicles for local deliveries; to ease the manpower problem they employed women to take over male roles, including driving the delivery vans loaded with packed tea.Both Dolly and Ken made a point of studying the complexities of the rationing system from the point of view of the grocer. Their knowledge was passed on to the delivery salesmen who were then able to advise grocers on the complicated form-filling process necessary to meet the requirements of their local food offices, thus creating goodwill.