Remember your school canteen? In the 60’s and 70’s it probably served a combination of sticky cream buns, sausage rolls, pies, chips, fizzy drinks and lollies. These kinds of foods would end up contributing to a national crisis of childhood obesity! School food has now changed dramatically. Gone are the sticky buns, lollies and fizzy drinks we all remember, these days students are offered a variety of healthy foods which are low in fat and sugar.
But back then, for most of us lunch from the canteen was a rare treat. Our mothers usually had the time and inclination to make our lunch every day and not a lot of disposable income to do otherwise. In my case (& no doubt many others) Mondays provided me with the post-weekend no-fresh-bread luxury of buying lunch from the school canteen. The choice consisted of meat pies, pasties, sausage rolls, hot jam donuts and cream buns (literally oozing with dollops of fresh cream).
The canteen was staffed by none other than our mums! There was a roster system whereby mothers were seconded to work in the canteen & serve the little angels for a day every six weeks or so. It was exciting & comforting to see you own mum behind the canteen hatch!
Remember these? In the mornings the teacher would hand out brown paper bags to students lucky enough to have money for a lunch order from the canteen. You wrote what you wanted on the paper bag & put the money inside. Then the designated “lunch monitor” would take the bags to the canteen, so the ladies could make up the orders. . When lunch time arrived, the monitors would be sent off with a wooden crate to collect the lunch orders. You could smell them coming…lots of brown steaming bags, full of sausage rolls, meat pies & jam donuts!