dining room had eight tables (or troughs) where in both
sittings there was a unique way of eating which could
only be seen at Eshton !
Before the Spring term the larger, notorious eaters were
distributed around the eight tables, which caused famine
for the smaller members of the community. Then at the
beginning of the Spring term, a saviour for the starving
intervened, and the notorious caters were put altogether
on a table at the far end of the dining room where two
capable prefects attempted to maintain some sort of order!
food, of course, had to be brought into the dining room,
and at the sound of the trolley rumbling through the Marble
Hall the dining room erupted into a mad, uncivilised charge
for the incoming food. Imagine a farmer taking a bucket
of swill into the pig-sty and you'll have a pretty good
picture of the "Eshton trolley charge."
Wo' betide the unfortunate person bringing the trolley
in if he attempted to intervene or get past the oncoming
food crazed crowd. A certain act of suicide.
clear away the food after it had been "eaten"
proved no problem to an Eshtonian. This operation was
performed in two easy movements. Firstly, everything on
the table was piled into the arms of the duty boy who
then deposited it on the nearest trolley regardless of
how full the trolley was as long as it was the nearest
one, then he would put his hands into the dirty, greasy
water of the cloth bucket for the cloth with which to
wipe down. If he failed to find a cloth a crust of bread
proved just as efficient The table would then be ready
for the next meal
amount of noise during a meal depended on whether the
meal was good or bad ; if bad, a member of staff would
attempt to gain silence (usually the "King"
obtained "a sort of silence"). If of course
the meal was good there would only be a low murmur accompanied
by the clanking of cutlery on the plates. Two members
of the senior school, at breakfast especially, were honoured
by spare staff meals, "extras," or experimental
delicacies from the kitchen. They were eyed eagerly by
"the notorious eaters" on the adjoining table.
Creeps? they fed well though.
favourite sweet at lunch was plums, not so much because
they were tasty, but because the stones provided admirable
ammunition after the staff had left the dining room. Somewhat
like a mud fight between two rugby teams!
Yes, indeed, it was a unique gathering of eaters.
FOX, Form V.