School Dinners

John Brown: Fat of Lamb

John was born in 1944 in Cardiff. His family then moved to London when he was six months old. At age four, John contracted Polio and was sent to hospital, where he remained until he was eight. Then he attended local special schools, going on to a local mainstream college at age nineteen.

Here John describes his school lunch times.


I remember we used to have to rest after lunch, we had to have a half an hour rest, we had to lay on this – we’d lay down and they’d put the – we had to do a half an hour rest. We had to put blankets on. And then also we weren’t allowed to take sandwiches, we had to have their meals. Well, oh dear, their meals were terrible. I remember we weren’t allowed to leave anything on our plate. I don’t know if it was because of the war, ‘cause I’m going back to 1952. You mustn’t – you weren’t allowed to leave anything, so I remember I used to hate – we used to have – what did we used to eat what I didn’t like? The fat of lamb. I remember the fat of lamb and I used to be – I couldn’t eat it. And I was there about half an hour, everybody had left and they were forcing me to stay there. It was terrible. Talk about – first of all I was in hospital, I was like a prisoner, and here’s me in a – and they’re forcing me to stay there to eat my little bit of lamb fat. You know what I used to do? I used to wrap it up and put it in my handkerchief to get – I couldn’t eat it.

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