Streetlamp Lucozade (orange_fell) wrote in little_details,
Streetlamp Lucozade

[ANON POST] English Meal Times

Setting & Time Frame: This story is set in a small English town somewhere near Carlisle. The time frame is rather loose - sometime between 1960 and 1975 or so - and in any case, most of the characters are elderly and/or very traditional, and would be hesitant to adopt any changes viewed as too "modern" to their old-fashioned sensibilities. (If you have ever read any of the romance novels by Betty Neels, this is the rough feeling I am going for.) The characters are very English, nearly to old-fashioned cliches: ladylike, proper, polite, quietly proud of their heritage and family.

Search terms: English school schedules, English class schedules, English time tables, multiple school websites for holidays/exeats/school menus, English tea, English meal times, typical English schedule, English breakfast, English meals, elvenses, high tea, low tea. Wikipedia proved less than useful for suggesting new research sites and much of what I've found seems to be "touristy" rather than actual, or more modern information. I also found a blog which helps with Betty Neels-like recipes, but doesn't have times listed.

Question: In my story, there are two sisters living with their elderly aunt. They were upper middle class in better days, and the aunt especially is unhappy with admitting that now they are living a rather more shabby lifestyle to make ends meet. Of the sisters, one is in her early twenties, and keeps house for the aunt; the other is around thirteen or so and still in school - a day school to which she buses each day. The sister at home is a good and willing cook, and has the time to devote to making home-made meals and baking so that they can economize the household budget.

However, I am unable to find out the timing of meals for this family. What time would breakfast/lunch/dinner be? The younger goes off to school, leaving the other two at home. If they are barely clinging to middle class (living off a pension and not much else), I am assuming they would not have elevenses but rather wait for a more substantial lunch? One of my searches indicated they may have a coffee service before lunch as a bit of a perk-up.

What about tea? The internet has told me that it was generally between 4 and 6 in the afternoon, and could substitute as a supper when needed if it was done as a "high tea" by lower classes, to save on money. Is this something this group would do? Or would they have a less substantial tea when the schoolgirl returned home, followed by a more traditional supper later in the evening?

I would appreciate any help on this, especially as it involves the mind-set of "old-fashioned" in a historical setting - much of what I can find in my research seems too modern to be of much use.

Thank you!
Tags: 1960-1969, 1970-1979, uk: food and drink
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