logo - Join me in the 1900s mid C20th
The webmaster, Pat Cryer, as a young child

From wartime British Restaurants
to peace-time Civic Restaurants

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British Restaurants were renamed Civic Restaurants in 1946, i.e. after the Second World War ended. However as the experiences below show, they were no different from their forerunners, the British Restaurants.

Civic Restaurants did not last long. The one where I lived in Edgware was pulled down to make way for a new public library.

On reflection, the closure of the British Restaurants and Civic Restaurants is surprising because rationing and austerity continued after the war into the 1950s. Perhaps everyone just wanted to forget everything that had any connection with the war.

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A visit to a Civic Restaurant

There was a Civic Restaurant on Crayford High Street in Kent. I can remember being intrigued by the name, as at the time, as a boy of 8 or 9, I wasn't at all sure what 'Civic' meant! As it was 'Civic' not 'British', it must have been immediately after the war. The site it occupied was a pre-war two story building with flats above, now two or three shops.

My grandfather, on one of his frequent sorties for something to augment the rations, took me there for something to eat, probably because I continually complained of being hungry! I was there on one occasion only, but the memory of that day is still one of my many wartime and post-war memories!

If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Pat Cryer, webmaster

The place seemed vast to me at the time, although it was probably quite small in reality - plain painted green walls, long tables in two or three rows, and an assortment of old chairs. The tables were covered in glossy American cloth, a checked pattern, that I clearly recall. So it was probably a Government issue.

We were served by a lone WVS lady wearing the WVS uniform.

Granddad bought me a sponge pudding with runny custard-which didn't impress me! He sat watching me as I ate it. I think he had a cup of tea and a bun-and a smoke!

Michael Sullivan

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This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times.