The Echo recently revealed that a Redbridge Community School parent slammed the “downright disgusting” food that the school’s catering company has served.

In light of this, we look back at school lunches through the years.

Many of us are still traumatised by the overcooked vegetables, lumpy mash and dry indistinguishable meats slopped onto our plates during school lunchtimes.

Some however have fond memories of the occasional treat of curly fries or jam roly poly in steaming hot custard - perfect for a cold winter’s day.

Whatever the recollection, be it good or bad, we bring you pictures from our archives of not just local children tucking in hungrily, but also of the dinner ladies who made it all possible.

Daily Echo: Kids eat school dinner. April 6, 1987.Kids eat school dinner. April 6, 1987. (Image: Echo)

These are some of the items we remember having regularly as kids :


Spam fritters (usually greasy)

Semolina pudding (usually flavourless)

Mince and potatoes (usually lumpy)

Spotted dick and custard (usually lumpy custard)

Fish fingers (usually limp)

Rice pudding  (usually stodgy)

Shepard’s pie (with the usual lumpy mash)

Toad in the hole (virtually all batter)

Roly-poly and custard (usually lumpy custard)

Burger (usually dry)

Chips and beans 


Daily Echo: Dinner ladies at Wildern School - July 2, 1990.Dinner ladies at Wildern School - July 2, 1990. (Image: Echo)

Let us know which other meals you ate at school and which were your favourites in the comments below.