A British restaurant was opened in Glebe Way, West Wickham, on Wednesday. The Mayor of Beckenham, (Alderman W.J. Sampson, J.P.), and Wickham members of the Borough Council attended the opening ceremony.
The restaurant faces the new fire station and takes in three or four empty shops in this long row of pre-war shops and flats in tenanted. The Municipal restaurant, by the way, is to be known as “The Yew Tree.” Apparently it is named after the tuckshop (kept by Mrs Furber) which used to stand opposite the old Stocks Tree.
The Council bought the tuckshop for municipal purposes, demolished it – and then came the war; presumably, however, the Council mean to perpetuate the name of what was one a village institution.
Memory of the West Wickham RestaurantThe following memory features on the BBCs WW2 People History website:
“One day my mother and I had gone to the ‘British Restaurant’, a subsidised cafeteria run by the WVS with the aim of saving on the fuel costs of home cooking; my mother always called it the ‘communal kitchen’, a derogatory term perhaps derived from the Great War?
We had left someone in charge of brother Pat, born in 1941, who was lying in his pram in the garden.
When we returned, we found that there had been a brief burst of anti-aircraft firing in response to a raid, presumably, which in the British Restaurant we had not heard. The minder had brought Pat into the house. In the garden, just where his pram had been, we found a substantial nosecap embedded in the lawn.”
Read the full memory of the West Wickham British Restaurant here > https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/82/a2021482.shtml