the bottom drawer

recollections, photos and memorabilia of Leyton and Leytonstone

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History of Leyton









High Road, Leyton

near the Bakers’ Arms

The ‘British Restaurants’ - David Ian Chapman tells us about the local ones

Few readers will remember food rationing during the war years.  But you could supplement your diet by eating out as restaurants were “off-ration”.  This caused some resentment as the rich were able to muddle along in fine style by taking in a top West-End restaurant after the theatre.  As a result the National Coalition Government first introduced price capping and then in 1942 they opened up a chain of British Restaurants.   These were set-up to supply hot meals at a reasonable price, especially useful for those who had suffered from the Blitz.


We are told that all schoolchildren are expected to be obese by 2020, or to avoid cancer it is recommended to eat no more than 5 oz (metric equivalent = a “dollop“) of red meat a week or knock back more than 10 units of alcohol.  Yet in the days of the last world war it was said that British households ate very healthily.  Then perhaps the Government should reintroduce rationing?

former electricity showroom

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