School food was indescribably bad, with one exception, which was cheese and onion and potato pie. This was served every Saturday lunch time, often followed by “Dottie O’s Toe Nails” – a sponge covered in a layer of jam and shredded coconut. Dottie O was the school cook, Dorothy Orford, sister of the former Headmistress. Cheese and onion and potato pie was simple and cheap to make and even became part of my staple diet at university, accompanied by lashings of tomato ketchup. It was so popular that one of my friends - the first to get married - used to make it for her husband!
At the other extreme, my absolute worst first course was some scraggy meat (which may have been pork) served with cabbage and potatoes. Sorry to say, I would gradually steer the meat to the edge of my plate and when the head of table was not watching, flick it on the floor. My worst second course was suet pudding with fruit, which would have been apple or pear, but too tasteless to know. Even thinking about it now makes me nauseous and on more than one occasion, the teacher at the head of table insisted on me eating it. This meant holding up the entire table, everyone glaring at me, then rushing out of the dining room – and throwing up down the stairs. Another House Special was known as Channel Crossing. I wonder why?