Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985

At 4.30 p.m. promptly, tea was served, price 7 old pence (3p). For the regulars, either playing bowls on the green at the rear or inside. Tea was Indian with buttered toast. Mr. Savoury (well named it seems) had to be served China tea and anchovy toast. "Toast" had a special specification, a thin slice of white bread cut by hand, toasted under a grill, cut in halves diagonally with crusts removed. Not bad value for three new pence.

Drinking was cheap too. Whisky 9d, Gin and it 10d, a glass of Port 1/-, Sherry wine 8d and a tankard of Tollys ale 6d. Liqueurs, a special drink, one shilling fourpence. It was rare for a round of drinks for six people to exceed five shillings (25p).

The kitchen was commanded by the Stewardess, Mrs. Edwards, assisted by a female cook, kitchen boy and a scullery maid. A stockpot was continuously on the boil during the daytime. Into this large black pot went all morsels left on the plates, bones and bacon rinds. What came out was surprisingly nourishing and hot.

Cooling came from a large ice box, lead lined and filled weekly by the Ipswich Ice Company. Always in the "box" were large joints of pork, ham and beef. Sometimes tall bottles of white wine for a private dinner party.

One day Eddy was ordered to "Fetch the hock to the bar". Due to his country upbringing he duly arrived with a large leg of meat on a plate, only to be reprimanded. He learned for the first time that hock was a wine in long necked bottles.

The tables in the Billiards Room and the Snooker Room were brushed and ironed every morning. As soon as each game was over the waiter had to clean the balls and set up the tables before the next game was due to commence.

In the Reading Room, now the Bar, newspapers had to be displayed and folded to show only the titles and headlines. The Daily Mirror was not permitted anywhere in the building.