Emergency feeding station

By 1942, the central cooking depots established at Torr House, Crownhill and Laira Schools had become very unsatisfactory, and an increasing number of meals were needed for schoolchildren.  In October 1942, the Plymouth Emergency Committee decided to replace them with two new depots, or emergency kitchens, one at Beacon Park Football Ground and one at Central Park. 

The kitchens were to be housed in “Nashcrete” huts, or prefabricated structures of reinforced concrete posts that supported a pitched roof frame, and walls made from concrete panels.  Like other concrete huts of similar design, they could be made as long or as short as needed.

The hut in Central Park was erected in February 1943 on the west side of the clock tower and north of the path now known as Britannia Way.  It was a long, single-storey building with a chimney near one end. 

In March 1947, ownership passed from the Ministry of Food to Plymouth Local Education Authority, and it stayed in use as a kitchen for school meals until 1951.  It was subsequently used as a store and for Civil Defence Corps exercises before being demolished in 1954.

The emergency feeding station viewed from Plymouth Argyle’s programme office in the 1946 OS survey.
The old tennis courts are on the right of the picture. (The Box accession reference 2793/50)
The feeding station’s roof and chimney can be seen to the right of the former clock tower in this photo of a 1949 cycle race. (Viv Warne)