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This can't have been a particularly pleasant experience in a hospital. Especially if you've seen the state of the kitchens in recent times. The friend who first described the CRCMH to us mentioned blood all over the kitchen. This was a bit of an exaggeration, but nevertheless, it certainly wouldn't have passed any hygiene test since it closed down (and I can't imagine how it ever did beforehand either).

Amongst other things, we rescued a huge stack of clear perspex food names which once would have been used to advertise the menu of the day. Sadly, I recall throwing most of these away not all that long ago ("What might I possibly ever need those for?" I thought) - but those below still exist.

Amongst them, you will find an array of typically non-descript hospital cuisine. "Beans" and "Porridge" were originally there, but alas - no "Gruel". What you will find though, is a disgusting colour, some offal (locally obtained perhaps?), "lovely" cabbage, and many more besides...

An Adam's? Not an actual one I hope

Looks like this one has been through the incinerator

Bourbons? Custard Creams? Those pink ones that go stale and taste horrible?

Could you possibly get more inviting?

Matron says eat your greens

...blimey trousers? Corn perhaps? Corned beef? Creamed corn?

Mmmm...Cue Ravi Shankar muzak I suspect

Ooh - a surprise. I love surprises. Erm...Lime? Steak? Marshmallows? Kidney?

(leftovers from the operating theatre?)

Apparently not

...ole? Toad in the h...perhaps? Roast Mole? Nole?


Miao? Only 50p per 15 chips?

Hmmm...Looks worn, but I don't think it's kosher

How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

Primordial or Gazpacho?

Matron says eat your, er...sponge? Fresh from the Thames?

Ooh - a definite article

The horrible sound of tomatoes? Ketchup. Soup and puree. Don't get left behind?

"No, I have a very big h ..." Matthew Osborn, Mist Raiders

Storage cupboard sign - Mmmm..."cooked"

Storage cupboard sign - Mmmm..."raw"?

Incidently, if you feel that we're being a bit harsh on the old cooks here and you happen know otherwise, we'd love some feedback on what the creepiest kitchen on the face of the planet actually used to serve up - and more to the point, if it was any good...

"Staff were allowed 45 minutes for dinner and 30 minutes for all other meals. While waiting for the food to be dished up, some of the Junior Nurses would feel under the chairs and tables to see how many pieces of fossilised chewing gum they could find. The chewing gum had obviously been conveniently 'parked' under the dining room furniture by North American military wartime staff. At the back of the dining room was the large kitchen containing a smaller diets kitchen where students nurses came to observe. At that time the kitchens were clean, clean, clean!"

Jeanne Hopkins, CRCMH Nurse (1948-1952)


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