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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

LFR 25 Aug Number 618



North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland



Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 

A Child of the Twenties

A suburban childhood of the Twenties 

seen from the Ninteen Nineties

by my late father
John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 20

HOW WE ATE

Food was important. For some it was in short supply; for all it was seasonal and generally less wide ranging than it is now. Until the coming of the fridge, for us in the early thirties, keeping food fresh in summer was a problem and a variety of methods were used, The larder was mandatory in all houses built from the nineteenth century until quite recently, in large houses it became a small walk in room. Meat was often given special accommodation in a small ‘meat safe’ with perforated zinc sides to keep out the flies. This stood outside the house in the shade often near the back door. In hot weather milk would be boiled as soon as it was delivered and in summer generally it was stood in a shallow tray of water with a cover of muslin or terra cotta to soak up the water and keep it cool. These methods must still be in use in a few households but they are bygones for most of us.

It was not always summer however and in winter it was normal to eat more as well as to wear more cloths to keep out the cold of poorly heated houses and workplaces. Quantity was of more importance than quality, not that wives and mothers were less interested in quality, simply that standards were lower and money went further if you only cut away the inedible rather than all the rough bits. It was widely recognized that if bread was a bit hard it would be ‘harder where there’s none’.

Our household was fortunate that ‘pater familias’ was ‘a good provider’ in the language of the day. Moreover, my mother was a good cook though she would have turned her nose up at squid or octopus and olives or wine vinegar were never seen in our larder. Even the slightly exotic like sweetbreads of whitebait were reserved for father on his evening return from work, probably being reckoned ‘not good for children’ quite apart from the cost. 

The roast joint was the important mainstay of diet, more often than not, a sirloin of beef which turned up for Sunday lunch with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, greens and a nice rich gravy. The joint would sometimes be mutton , it was not called lamb till much later. Pork was much less frequent, being reckoned to be  somewhat hazardous, though with how much reason I don’t know. It seems an oddity that on the other hand, pork sausages were esteemed above beef which were considered in today’s parlance a bit down market.

Sunday’s joint turned up as cold meat on Monday and would be used as hash or mince the next day or two depending on how much was left. Cold meat would be served up with hot vegetables. I do not remember any salad in my diet as a child. Season controlled the selection of vegetables, fresh from the greengrocer not frozen from the supermarket, Cabbage was the standby; peas, runner beans, carrots sprouts and spinach came in their turn though I didn’t learn to like spinach till many years later. There were also unidentified greens or the like, Very occasionally asparagus appeared on the Sunday table pandering to father’s fancy taste. I do not think it really belonged the Devon cuisine that was my mother’s mainstay. Later in the week, when the joint was gone, there might be stew or sausages and occasionally fish until  Saturday when it was invariably steak and kidney pudding, a good winter warmer if ever there was one.

‘Afters’ too were often good sustaining stuff, stewed fruit and custard were  or popular in season and sometimes dried apricots or prunes at other times The real favourites however were the apple puddings or blackcurrant puddings closely followed in popularity by Apple Charlotte or bread and butter pudding with a good leavening of raisins. Suet puddings with dried fruit such as plum duff or roly-poly of the standby syrup  pudding came along from time to time but were not quite a regular feature. Pastry was popular and fruit would more often be served in a pie than on its own. There was of course no ice cream at home as there were no domestic freezers. Tinned fruit was a special but was readily available. Cream was brought round by the milkman once the changeover to bottled milk had taken place and sometimes took the place of custard to everyone’s delight.  Even father, who was a good trencherman, did not feel the need of cheese and biscuits at the end of Sunday lunch.

To be continued tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today August 25th

If you are interested in anyone listed here, email us with the name, date and reference number, and we will happily do a look up, you might get a whole tree! 

Family Events

1810 - Marriage: Charles LAWS-5365 and Ann FLOWERS-5366, Norwich NFK UK

                                                      The Cathedral, Norwich NFK UK

1819 - Baptism: Henry LAWS-4196, Zion Chapel Countess of Huntingdon, Last Lane, Dover KEN

                                                      The Castle, Dover KEN UK

1822 - Christen: Ann LAWES-1800, Folkestone KEN UK

                                                             Folkestone KEN UK

1845 - Baptism: William Mead LAWS (Master Builder & Carpenter) -33890, Ditchingham NFK
1856 - Miscellaneous: John LAWS (Army Seargent 7th Royal Fusiliers) -38613,
1867 - Marriage: William Thomas LAWS (Warehouseman) -38904 and Eliza Agnes GARDNER-                8973, Southwark SRY UK
1870 - Marriage: Walter Pennington CREYKE-38096 and Caroline LAWES-232, Harpenden HRT
1875 - Birth: Ethel Treen LAWS-3395,
1877 - Marriage: Walter Ernest WOOLNOUGH-53195 and Caroline Anne Newitt LAWS-53194,                North Aylesford KEN UK
1878 - Marriage: Francis John SHREEVE (Auctioneers Clerk) -167421 and Mary Ann LAWS-                    167419, Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK

                                                   Newcastle Upon tyne NBL UK

1890 - Birth: Anna Rosalind LAWS-41190,
1901 - Baptism: Ella Maud LAWS-124370, Lower Edmonton MDX UK
1901 - Baptism: Clara Louise LAWS (Spinster) -7984, Lower Edmonton MDX UK
1901 - Marriage: Harry Freeman BUTTERWORTH-122778 and Eleanor Mary LAWS-122777,                  SRY UK
1904 - Miscellaneous: Alfred LAWS-45769, Brooklyn New York NY United States
1904 - Miscellaneous: John LAWS-45768, Brooklyn New York NY United States
1904 - Miscellaneous: Charlotte LAWS-45767, Brooklyn New York NY United States
1904 - Miscellaneous: John LAWS (Mason, Bricklayer) -45765, Brooklyn New York NY USA
1905 - Admon: Sarah LAWS (Spinster) -19009,
1909 - Residence: Charles Edward LAWS (Lithograph Artist) -45782, London Road, East Finchley              MDX UK
1910 - Baptism: Barbara May Muriel LAWES-45879,
1910 - Miscellaneous: Ann LAWS-45773,
1910 - Miscellaneous: Ernest Edward LAWS (Caterer)-6901,
1914 - Death: James William LAWES (General Foreman in Iron Works) -5176, 84 Dereham Road,              Norwich NFK
1915 - Marriage: Robert Ed LAWS-121645 and Clara WILKIN-121647, Lambton County ONT                  CANADA
1918 - Miscellaneous: Thomas LAWS (Assistant Ships Cook) -45868,
1918 - Death: W LAWES (ARMY Rifleman 50133) -45026,
1923 - Birth: Joseph Edward D LAWS-118770,
1925 - Death: John LAWS-9168, Norwich NFK UK
1931 - Admon: Charles Henry LAWS (Police Constable) -5455,
1941 - Will Proved: John LAWS (Coal Miner) -32155,
1941 - Miscellaneous: Elizabeth LAWS-32153,
1942 - Miscellaneous: Norman Stuart Vivian LAWS (Eclectric Power Company Clerk) -84465,
1942 - Will  Proved: Mary LAWS (Widow) -122903,
1949 - Birth: Frances LAWS-118399, Lambeth SRY UK
1949 - Birth: Carolyn Sue LAWS (Hosiery Worker)-34480, Mountain City TN USA
1955 - Birth: Lydia Loraine LAWS-40369, TX USA
1963 - Death: Lucy Rosanna LAWS-55101, ACT NSW AUSTRALIA
1968 - Death: Queen Esther LAWS-50122, Houston, Harris Co TX United States
1969 - Birth: Leslie Coela LAWS-40520, TX USA
1970 - Birth: Lisa Michelle LAWS-123966, Statesville,  Iredell County NC USA
1972 - Death: Haskel Warren LAWS-119128, Johnson City, Washington Co TN United States
1973 - Marriage: Gavin Lane BEARD-3479 and Christyne Joan LAWS-3440,
1977 - Burial: Hubert LAWS (Cpl US Marine Corps) -37996, Houston, Harris Co TX United States
1981 - Burial: Herbert William LAWS (Bricklayer retired) -49567, Christchurch NZ
1982 - Death: Catherine V LAWS-37866,
1993 - Death: David Charles Allan LAWES-35188,
2000 - Death: John Walter LAWS (Bar Steward)-118375, Ipswich SFK UK

                                         Old Houses in St Nicholas Street, Ipswich SFK UK

2003 - Death: Violet Aurine LAWS (Southern Beauty Supply.)-31089, St. Francis Hospital,                          Greenville SC United States

MISC
1688 - Death: Henry MORGAN-2903,
1805 - Death: Edward  Henry HANOVER-45427, Piccadilly, London
1809 - Death: Fanny RILEY-947, Hampton Wick MDX
1841 - Birth: Jane CLEGG-49729, Dukinfield CHS UK
1882 - Death: Honor or Anna or Hannah ANDREWS (Farm Servant) -7602, Surrey Hills NSW
1885 - Death: James M SPRINGER-115435, Carroll Co TN United States
1891 - Birth: Kate MILLER-748, West Cowes IOW
1896 - Admon: Emma Selina T MURRAY-58754, 
1931 - Miscellaneous: Gertrude Louisa CANEY-5456, 
1978 - Death: Cyrus MORGAN-31044,
1979 - Death: Jane Willis RUSSELL-113127, Napier NZ
1991 - Death: Zela Agnes PACKARD-48497, Spittalfields MDX UK





















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