Huge Monthly Donation
An extract from the front page of the February 2007 Newsletter

When speaking to a lady who is a regular at Friday lunch at the Old School, I was shocked to learn that there is a widely held misconception about the host of cooks, kitchen workers, waitresses and others who make It possible for all the functions at the Old School to be held.  

They are not paid and, when asked how many hours voluntary labour they had donated in the last month, a conservative "back of an envelope" estimate was in the region of 750 hours.  

It all began with Joan Brown who inspired many other people to get involved with the catering. Nowadays the four cornerstones of this mammoth task are the two Joans (Cook and Brown), Ann Craig and Edah Joll.  

Between them, they probably donate at least 150 hours of dedicated ‘hard labour' every month. They are ably assisted by a virtual army of others. For every function, after the menu is planned with reference to the budget, the shopping has to be done. Some very accomplished cooks lend their services and flair to provide interesting and varied meals Edah's imaginative and spicy dishes and Ann's meringues and cakes are legendary.  

Tables have to be set up each time (and tablecloths laundered), John Brown sets up the tables every Friday -and then dispenses good humour along with tea and coffee to the diners. Brian and Pauline Champness transform the 0!d School for Jazz Night with their blue decor. Ann Craig and Edah Joll are strong on colour co-ordination and presentation - and even manage to provide flowers for the tables from their gardens. Jenny Llewellyn is a classic multi-tasker and her boundless energy is harnessed into serving the food and a multitude of other tasks. The washing up is carried out with miraculous good temper and speed. Tables and chairs have to be stacked and put away or set out in readiness for the next function.  

If you glance through the diary at the front of the newsletter, you will see that there are weekly Friday lunches and, every month, there is jazz club, a community lunch, a tea party and the film club. In addition to catering for all these, the Old School team cater for Duchy College functions and other private functions. In the last month, they have catered for two funerals.

Without the donation of labour, it would be impossible to provide all these services at such a reasonable price.

The kitchen is often regarded as the 'heart of a home'.  The Old School Kitchen and all those who work in it are the life blood of the Old School.

The community owes them a large vote of thanks.