The Friar Tuck, British Restaurant, Mitcham
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|Partial / Incomplete Date||c.1943|
|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 no canteens. The idea spread throughout the country but was embraced more enthusiastically in London than in other places.
Mitcham developed the idea early and opened the first one September 1940 in the Gladstone Road Mission Hall. The building, on the Western Road, belonged to the Shaftesbury Society and the restaurant was run by the Citizen’s Bureau of the Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence. It was opened by Lady Robinson, wife of the MP for Mitcham Sir Malcolm Robertson, and the kitchen was run by an instructress from the Wimbledon Technical College (see 'Wimbledon at War' 1939-45 by Ruth Mansergh)