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#414518 - 10th Jun 2010 5:02pm 1950s free school dinners
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4945
Loc: Birkenhead
Can anyone remember in Birkenhead where they used to serve the
free school dinners during the summer holidays for those who were on benefits
Also how much did school dinners cost if paying about mid 1950s


Edited by derekdwc (10th Jun 2010 5:10pm)

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#414533 - 10th Jun 2010 6:48pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: derekdwc]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7826
Loc: tranmere
Not sure where they went during the summer holidays, my first school in the mid 50s was Cathcart St and they had their dinner hall, if you could call it that in Brooke st, never stayed school dinners then, only lived around the corner, first time i stayed school dinners would be around 59/60 at Fender on the Woodchurch and it was five bob...25p. Even at that young age i always felt embarrassed for the kids who were on free dinners, the teacher would always shout it out so everyone knew.
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#414706 - 11th Jun 2010 11:20pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: bert1]
Helles Offline
Wise One

Registered: 28th May 2010
Posts: 887
Loc: Wirral
Think it was about half a crown (12-1/2p) a week but do remember it rising to five bob. Free dinners - Well not sure one had to be on benefits but families could apply for them if on low income.

I knew lots of kids who had free dinners including myself. Could be a bit embarassing but certainly not my fault nor any other kids. Teachers were evil in those days and rarely had any compassion for the children in their care. Sadly it has gone too far the other way these days.

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#414716 - 12th Jun 2010 1:42am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: Helles]
yoller Online   content
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Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 435
Loc: Cheshire
One of the places for free school dinners during the summer holidays was on Cleveland Street, near the junction with Lord Street.

I remember going there with my sister in the early 60s and it was some sort of communal hall behind a high wall on the left-hand side of the street as you went up from Hamilton Square. It's now long gone, but it was possibly located where the health centre was later built just past Hamilton Lane.

I remember a big queue of kids waiting to get in and everyone looking half-starved, but there were no-nonsense dinner ladies waiting on the door to make sure you behaved yourself.

When I was at primary school in the mid-50s, dinners were five shillings (25p) a week for those who could afford them and they were good value - especially if you got 'seconds' from any surplus food. But five shillings was simply beyond the means of many families, especially those with lots of school-age children.

In school, kids such as ourselves on free dinners were treated as second-class citizens and looked down upon, especially by the teachers - who had no hesitation in letting everyone know who was getting free dinners. If they did that today, you'd be in line for hefty compensation under the Human Rights Act!

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#414721 - 12th Jun 2010 2:28am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: yoller]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18994
Loc: Bob Land
Remember the late 70s/ early 80s when they introduced 'mini' and 'maxi' dinners! The kids whose parents opted for 'mini' seemed to get bullied/ took piss out of- imagine it would be differant nowadays, opposite infact!
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#414723 - 12th Jun 2010 2:33am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: RUDEBOX]
RUDEBOX Offline

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Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18994
Loc: Bob Land
My mum told me she got free dinners in school hols-late 50s, i imagine- at the school in manor lane/ penkett road, wallasey. (Dunno name- soz) She remembers that 'they' would make you feel shit about it.
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#414757 - 12th Jun 2010 11:54am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: RUDEBOX]
Tilly Offline

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Registered: 22nd Oct 2009
Posts: 1702
Loc: wallasey
we used to get free school meals in the hols too, (1960's) we used to go to Barnston lane scout huts in Moreton. and the bullies used to wait for us after the dinner hour was up to take the piss.

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#416596 - 24th Jun 2010 12:21am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: Tilly]
Jeeps Offline
Member

Registered: 13th Nov 2008
Posts: 82
Loc: Scotland
I went to Cole Street primary and our 'dining hall' was over the road, just inside Birkenhead Park. We used to look through the windows while we were queuing to get in and were always delighted to see a spoon instead of a knife because it meant it was scouse with bread and butter. I seem to recall the food was pretty good, with the exception of turnips which I will not touch to this day. We all loved scouse and salads with the 'home made' mayonnaise and birds nests and custard.

I was on free meals after my dad died and I don't remember teachers being sarky in primary school but it got so bad in big school on Monday-paying-day that the girl after me on the register would go up when my name was called and quietly tell the teacher that I was on free meals to save me having to stand up and say it and get some stick back.

I've no idea of the cost of the meals but I remember in primary school when the boiler broke down and school was closed, all we pupils turned up about 11 o'clock for our milk.
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#416619 - 24th Jun 2010 11:56am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: Jeeps]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4945
Loc: Birkenhead
Used to love the cheese and onion pie (none of this runny stuff they use nowadays)
Not a great lover of semoline and jam or rice pudding
Never touched cabbage for 20 odd years after junior school when someone found a caterpillar in theirs until I started going to Cammel Lairds canteens (great meals and cheap too as good as any restaurant)


Edited by derekdwc (24th Jun 2010 11:58am)

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#416861 - 26th Jun 2010 2:26am Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: derekdwc]
mindplayer Offline
Addict

Registered: 19th Aug 2008
Posts: 220
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I can remember at Temple Rd(Prenton Secondary) we used to have meals but we had to pay for them. I don't ever remember any free meals. Once got a caterpilla in my cabbage and it was still alive(the caterpilla - not the cabbage). Generally the food was good. In primary school(Christ Church, Claughton) we use to get free milk. It generally sat outside and went all funny. I remember one day I got a bottle that had all rust in the bottom and I chucked it all up and never drank milk again for about 10 years.

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#416886 - 26th Jun 2010 12:03pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: mindplayer]
Longnails Online   Reading
Enthusiast

Registered: 12th Jun 2010
Posts: 164
Loc: Wirral
It was half a crown in the 60's. I loved school dinners, cheese pie was one of my favourites too, alongside scouse pie, mash, grated cheese and salad with bread. I remember the desserts moreso, blancmange with jelly and cream on top, treacle tart and custard and so many more. All tasty wholesome food back then and none of the rubbish fast food like the children have now.

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#417095 - 28th Jun 2010 1:25pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: derekdwc]
kaycee Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 26th Jan 2010
Posts: 27
Loc: Shrewbury
In the late 40's at Grove St school New Ferry the dinner was 5d that is five old pence

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#417097 - 28th Jun 2010 1:30pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: kaycee]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5334
Loc: Birkenhead
There was a free school dinner place in Price Street, up towards Cathcart Street. Used to get a blue ticket to get the dinners, some kids who didn't want to eat would let their mates get a dinner. The tickets were quite dog eared by the end of the summer hols. Good grub to us but the kids today would probably turn up their noses at it.

Thompsons Mission was a another good place for free grub, a roll or fruit if I remember correctly.

thought on, the "dining halls" were single story buildings with corrugates roofs and were between Carthcart Street and Watson Street on the left hand side going towards the town hall.


Edited by BandyCoot (28th Jun 2010 1:37pm)
Edit Reason: late thought
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#417099 - 28th Jun 2010 1:41pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: BandyCoot]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
School dinners where ace. Especially Chocolate Cake with Green Mint Custard ahhhh memories smile Anyone remember Toad in the Hole and that fish square pie they used to do ?? Yum happy
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#417107 - 28th Jun 2010 2:40pm Re: 1950s free school dinners [Re: SoundLad]
Jeeps Offline
Member

Registered: 13th Nov 2008
Posts: 82
Loc: Scotland
A bit off topic from school dinners, I had a Saturday job in Woolies and ate in the canteen there. Food was great and you got a 2 course meal for 1 1/2d!!!
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