Tell us about your favourite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory. Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice
Written by John Yeo
This very memorable occasion took place a very long time ago in the early 1950’s. My school-friends and I had been looking forward to a huge upcoming get-together for many months. Several schools were meeting-up for an early Christmas lunch, funded by a charity organisation. We were all lively school-kids between the ages of eight and ten years old.
The excitement began to mount when we boarded several buses at our school to transport us to the venue. I remember how we were all cheering and laughing and how difficult it was for the masters, (our teachers), to get some order for the journey. They had a hard job on their hands looking after us.
500 children were seated in a very large building on chairs at wooden tables, arranged in rows, with the teachers and school monitors and prefects scattered strategically around to keep an eye on things. The noise was deafening at first, with a hubbub of chatter, and much laughter resounding everywhere throughout the building. We all soon settled down as we began to tuck into our lunches of roast chicken, roast potatoes and all the trimmings. This was followed by Christmas pudding with custard, and there were crackers to be pulled with jokes and funnies to be read out loud.
After lunch a very special visitor arrived, dressed in red with a long white beard, Santa Claus entered the building, the cheers and shouts of welcome were deafening. Every child had a present to unwrap, I got a jigsaw puzzle of dogs in the countryside. Then we enjoyed a magic show with a real conjurer wearing a top hat, who was very mysterious and very clever. Finally we all sang Christmas carols at the tops of our voices and everywhere there was a feeling of happiness and good spirits.
At the end of the day, 500 very tired, happy children, boarded the buses to return home, some with memories that would last a lifetime.