"The British Restaurant" in Bures


British Restaurants were communal kitchens were created in 1940 during the Second World War,
to help people who had been bombed out of their homes, who had run out of ration coupons or otherwise needed help.
In 1943, 2,160 British Restaurants served 600,000 very inexpensive meals a day.
They were run on a non-profit basis by the Local Authority, any financial shortfall would be made up by the Government.

The British Restaurant was located in the yard of the Angel Inn in the High Street, opening date unknown.

The 1944 Education Act compelled Schools to provide school meals

The British restaurants were disbanded in 1947, as food was then becoming more available.
Suddenly the school were in breach of the 1944 Education Act, it was then decided to re-open the British Restaurant under the control
of the Local Education Authority (LEA)
Two cooks were appointed to run the facility, namely Mrs Gage and Mrs Keeble.
Consequently, the children from Bures School could continue to enjoy a hot mid-day meal for 5d per day.

In September 1947, work commenced to build a new Dining Room and Kitchen at the School,
but due to unforeseen delays these were not fully operational until September 20th 1949.

The LEA British Restaurant finally closed down probably at the end of Summer Term 1949, and the two Cooks relocated to the School.

Originally called 'Community Feeding Centres', but Prime Minister Winston Churchill thought it sounded degrading so it was changed to the British Restaurant.

They were set up by the Ministry of Food and run by local government or voluntary agencies on a non-profit basis, with any shortfall being made-up by the Government.
Meals were sold for a set maximum price of 9d or less. No-one could be served with a meal of more than one serving of meat, game, poultry, fish, eggs, or cheese

In one in ten restaurants the meals were prepared at central depots. Schools and churches were often used because they had dining halls and kitchens. In London, mobile canteens delivered meals to air raid shelters and on the street in the aftermath of air raids

By contrast, ordinary private restaurants continued in operation and were not subject to rationing. They did have some restrictions: for instance, no meal could be more than three courses and the maximum price was five shillings.

Any updates or corrections on the Angel Inn welcome

Published 16/04/2021
updated 21/04/2021