The Friar Tuck, British Restaurant, Mitcham

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Partial / Incomplete Date c.1943
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​3-3
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.

The British Restaurants, originally called ‘Community Feeding Centres’, were run on a non-profit basis by the local authority or voluntary agencies. They were set up to combat the restrictions of rationing by providing basic meals at reasonable prices. A full three-course meal could be purchased at the British Restaurant without using up valuable ration coupons. A typical meal would be soup, a main course and a hot pudding. It would cost 4d for a child portion and between 6d to 9d for an adult.

The first British Restaurant in Mitcham was opened by Lady Robertson, wife of Sir Malcolm Robertson the MP for Mitcham. The kitchen was run by an instructress from the Wimbledon Technical College. The standard of food did vary from restaurant to restaurant but aimed at well cooked meals such as roast beef or mutton with vegetables followed by a hot pudding such as jam roll and custard.

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