The Friar Tuck, British Restaurant, Mitcham

The Friar Tuck, British Restaurant, Mitcham

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Partial / Incomplete Date c.1944
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​3-9b
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Detail of the murals painted to decorate one of the 6 British Restaurants or Communal Kitchens set up in Mitcham during World War II. The murals depict the various stories connected with Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

In the middle of 1940 the Ministry of Food decreed that communal kitchens be set up in London to feed people who had been bombed out, and therefore had no cooking facilities, and also to accommodate people working in companies that had no canteens. The idea spread throughout the country but was embraced more enthusiastically in London than in other places.

The British Restaurants, originally called ‘Community Feeding Centres’, were run on a non-profit basis by the local authority or voluntary agencies. They were also subject to inspections in connection with hygiene regulations. The Council minutes of February 1942 stated that three of the six Mitcham restaurants were satisfactory, one was very pleasing but two were extremely dingy.

The Council originally gave grants for improvements and hotplates to run the restaurants but eventually took over the running completely.

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