in view of the expense incurred in fitting up the place for public convenience and the likelihood of it again being required for that purpose.
The Chairman reported that in connection with this kitchen, it was proposed by Mr. Houlder's Committee to expend £40 on alterations to the buildings and furniture, £11 10s. for a van, and £15 for utensils etc. It was probable that any other incidental expenses would be met to some extent by private subscriptions.
The Chairman also read letter of 11th inst. from the Director of National Kitchens stating that a grant of a loan free of interest for the full amount of approved capital outlay upon the establishment of a kitchen or kitchens would be made subject to repayment by ten equal annual instalments.
Resolved that the schemes be approved but that for the present no representation or application be made to the Ministry of Food for a loan.
The stove supplied by Messers. Portway and Son had been delivered and was being fixed for use.
A corrugated iron building, which formed the old St. Michael's church room, in Woodlands- road, was purchased by the Council for that purpose and forms part of the new kitchen. To it there has been added a dining room, the exterior walls of which are sawn logs from trees felled on the Council's farm. This gives the building a pleasing appearance, and the interior is very pleasant. Two tables run down the centre of the restaurant and give accommodation for about 48 adults, whilst a number of children can also be seated. In summer it is proposed to provide accommodation outside for meals for children. The situation is a pleasant one and the aspect is bright and cheerful, the building being well lighted.
The restaurant is divided from the kitchen by a partition, and meals will be served through hatches in this. In the kitchen there is a large cooker with five trays, three boilers and other apparatus for cooking.
The ladies of the Waste Paper Committee advanced £70 on loan towards the expense of the building, and 25 per cent of the proceeds are to be paid to the Council towards the cost of erection. Mrs. Thornley, Hon. secretary of the Waste Paper Committee is at the head of the Executive Committee and her daughter, Miss Thornley, is supervisor. Miss Davis, who has had charge of the National Kitchen at Ashtead, is cook and she and two assistants will be the only paid staff. Other ladies are arranging to assist in rotation and every effort will be made to make the venture a commercial success, whilst giving excellent meals at low prices.
With the idea of encouraging the public to use this as a temperance place, Mrs. Batchelor is giving £15 towards the purchase of glasses, in order that drinks may be sold as cheaply as possible. The kitchen stands in a good district and should be well supported.
A hearty vote of thanks be and is hereby recorded to Mrs. Thornley, the members of the East Street National Kitchen Committee and their honorary helpers for the splendid services they had rendered to the Town Council and community during the period of need for the undertaking, those who had used the kitchen were very much indebted to Mrs. Thornley, her Committee and helpers, for all that had been done.
An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home.
A New Enterprise for Capable Women      I have so often advocated the communal kitchen as a solution of many of our present-day difficulties that it is heartening to find that the Ministry of Food is taking the matter up, and is going to establish these kitchens in many parts of London and the provinces for all classes. For the poor they have already worked well, and paid well; and for the middle and professional classes, whose lot is such a hard one nowadays, there is good reason to believe they will work and pay quite as well, and even better. The need of some communal system of catering and cooking is the deeply-felt want of the moment. We want centres everywhere where the hard-worked and the servantless could get well-cooked food of the plain variety at reasonable prices, all ready to eat, or only requiring heating up.
The way in which the shops and big stores are succeeding with their cooked provision departments reveals the need for food that is ready cooked. Although expensive, and often not satisfactory, these commodities come as near as anything we have yet been offered to the communal kitchen system, for they save the cost of servants' wages, housing, and feeding, and are a boon and a blessing to the servantless. Still, this catering by shops is only a makeshift, and a rather costly one, and it is easy to see that there is a great field open for enterprising, capable women in which to make fortunes as well as confer the greatest benefits on their sisters in adversity. If they would set to work on really practical lines, and open shops or depots, with a well-run kitchen behind them in various streets where people could go and buy homely, well-cooked dishes at really moderate prices, they would be helping to solve the nation's food problem, very materially helping the community at large and making a good thing out of it for themselves.
The things to bear in mind are that the food must be good, if plain, well-cooked, and appetisingly served, and cheap. Unless people find they can buy their viands as cheaply or more cheaply than they can make them, they will naturally not patronise them. But this ought not to be difficult with a good caterer and cook, who know all the manifold ways of saving, using, and selling all the refuse, such as used tea-leaves, sour milk, peelings of vegetables, and such unconsidered trifles, out of which quite substantial revenue can now be made, as all the canteens and hospitals have found since the war began.
The Day of the Communal Kitchen      It is pleasant to see our dreams of communal kitchens coining true, and the honour of Commander of the British Empire bestowed on Lady Askwith, who has worked so indefatigably to make them a fait accompli. The communal kitchen has come to stay, and its establishment in our midst will be one of the solid achievements that have come directly out of the war, and may, perhaps, inaugurate the beginning of a more communal life. Even millionaires are promised the boon, but meanwhile humbler folk are turning gratefully towards these kitchens for a solution of some of their troubles and difficulties. Faced as we are with short commons, dwindling domestic help, expensive gas, and smaller rations of coal, they are proving a boon and a blessing to many, and it is only a question of time before they will be established for all classes in every district and town.
At the new one at Silvertown Lord Rhondda one day lately sat down to a lunch consisting of soup, meat pie, potatoes, and beans, and suet pudding at a cost of about 7d. Everything was good, wholesome, and well cooked, and formed an excellent example of what might be in all parts of London and elsewhere if common sense prevailed. This Silvertown kitchen consists of three sheds hired from the Commissioner of Works for 5s. a week, and serves 1,000 meals a day. In Edinburgh, I am told, 40,000 meals a day are served, and an enormous saving of food and labour and time thereby achieved. Meals range in price from Id. up to about 9d., and the kitchens pay their way, while, as they are not run for profit, their customers get full value for their money.