Schooling In West Haddon

School Dinners

Until the late twentieth century Fathers worked close to home so the main meal of the day was taken at midday, as a family, and children went home for dinner. In the 1920s, children who came from the lodges brought their own dinners with them and Mrs Garret, who worked at schoolhouse, made them cocoa.

In October 1947 ‘a certain amount of equipment and provisions for a midday meal for children who have to stay has now arrived’, this included cupboards tables, towels and roller, dusters and scouring cloths. When school resumed in January 1948, 19 children received ‘Oslo’ meals, prepared and served by Mrs Hilda Stanley. These were so named because the idea originated in Oslo, they were called Zulu by one small boy. No meat was provided, but soup, jacket ‘spuds’ with butter and grated cheese. Various drinks were served: Ovaltine, Bournvita and homemade fruit drinks. Puddings were apple and jam tarts, steamed pudding and milk pudding. By December ‘Oslo’ meals were replaced by full cooked meals – including meat! Mrs Gardener and Mrs Osborne now joined Mrs Stanley in the canteen. All meals were cooked on paraffin stoves in one of the classrooms. By 1954 70 children (out of 153 on the roll) were regularly eating school meals cooked and served in the Village Institute, due to lack of space on the school site. When the Institute was demolished Yelvertoft kitchens then supplied the meals.

In 1970 a heavy snowfall would have meant no food but for the kindness of local farmer Ken Bailey, who managed to get through with his farm vehicle.

In 1972 Crick kitchens supplied the meals. With kitchen arrangements becoming over stretched in 1976, the Managers were asked to support a proposal, which may consist of a new kitchen, new hall and a new classroom!! However education cuts in the seventies recession and the extension of the Village Hall kitchens meant this did not happen, and by 1990 the Northampton Education Authority had decided to abolish school meals.