The British Restaurant - Does anyone remember these?



This leaflet reveals the establishing of the British Restaurants in Mansfield Woodhouse and Forest Town  in November 1941.



A report  and photograph in the Nottinghamshire Evening Post  17th November 1941 told of these two  events:”

“While the new British Restaurant at Mansfield Woodhouse provided by the local urban council, was being officially opened to-day by Major G. Lloyd George, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, the Duchess of Portland paid a surprise visit and expressed pleasure at the facilities provided.

Major Lloyd George, who also opened a similar restaurant at Forest Town, and inspected the pithead canteen for miners at Mansfield Colliery, remarked that the Ministry were most anxious that industrial workers should be adequately fed. One suggestion they had received was that individual rations should be supplemented, but this had been found almost impossible.

They had come to the conclusion that the best method was to encourage the system of restaurants and works canteens. They felt this was the best means of supplementing the rations of all heavy workers.”


It is understood that meals in the British Restaurants were sold for 9d (equivalent to just under 4p.

Noted on Wikepda  “By 1943, there were some 2,160 British Restaurants across the country, serving around 600,000 meals per day for around 9d a time”


The photograph of Forest Town Drill Hall shows where the British Restaurant was held.

Comments about this page

  • It seems that there were at least three British Restaurants in the Mansfield area. The two shown above in Mansfield Woodhouse and Forest Town plus one in Mansfield called The Belvedere, which appears to have been the first, opening in May 1941. The Belvedere advertised three course meals for 9d, soup, meat and two veg. plus a sweet.
    The other two, The Sherwood and The Foresters seemed to work slightly differently as separate courses could be purchased individually. In an article in the Nottingham Journal on 7th November 1941 about the forth coming opening of the restaurants it stated that;
    ‘Prices will be: Bread a penny, soup a penny, meat and two vegetables sixpence, sweets twopence and tea a penny. School children will be supplied with a meat course for fourpence and meals can be taken away if required’.
    I don’t know when the Belvedere finally closed, however from another press report (Nottingham Journal, 4th December 1943) the two run by Mansfield Woodhouse UDC are thought to have closed around December 1943. The reason given was a lack of public support by local residents who were described by the chairman of the Council as ‘not restaurant minded’. The Foresters British Restaurant was to be taken over by the Notts. Education Committee and utilised for the feeding of school children.

    By Jenny Wright (03/05/2019)

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