When cooking was in the home

PUBLISHED: 12:23 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010

Betty Wilbraham

Betty Wilbraham

I WAS interested to read in the newspapers about the latest call from the Government for children to be taught in school how to cook and eat healthily. At the same time we have Witchford Village College s head teacher finding it impossible to recruit a co

I WAS interested to read in the newspapers about the latest call from the Government for children to be taught in school how to cook and eat healthily.

At the same time we have Witchford Village College's head teacher finding it impossible to recruit a cookery teacher because the Government has blocked her visa.

When I was young, some of the secondary schools would have had cookery lessons but most of us would have been taught to cook by our mothers.

I remember always helping with the cooking at home and my sister, who didn't like cooking, had to peel the potatoes and generally help out.

During the war, schoolgirls in Preston would spend one day a week at a special centre which looked just like a house and was kitted out with a laundry and kitchen.

Here they would learn to cook, do the washing and clean the rooms. How else were they going to learn how to look after a house?

How can we implement Jamie Oliver's ideas for healthy school dinners when many of our schools don't even have kitchens?

What a friendly city

I really must congratulate the people of Ely for their friendliness, warmth and helpfulness.

From the first time I ever set foot in the city I have thought that Ely people are special and always ready to help.

This belief was confirmed again recently when I took a taxi into the city from my home and left my handbag and shopping bag in the car.

I didn't realise what I had done until Alan, my regular taxi driver, had driven off leaving me standing in the city centre without my purse and no means of being able to phone for help.

Suddenly two elderly gentlemen who had been chatting asked me if they could assist me.

When I told them what had happened they hared off towards Market Street to see if they could find Alan on the taxi rank.

Meanwhile, Alan had stopped by the museum and, realising what I had done, was rushing along in the opposite direction to deliver my bags.

Usually small places like Ely are closed places with everyone going about their own business and caught up in their own day-to-day lives.

Maybe it's because, long before today, Ely's people have got used to all the tourists who visit and are so used to lending a hand?

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