How Leeds helped feed a city during the Second World War

They provided an inexpensive eating place around Leeds during the Second World War.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:45 pm
Enjoy these photos showcasing how Leeds helped feed a city. PICS: Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
Enjoy these photos showcasing how Leeds helped feed a city. PICS: Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net

British Restaurants - a name chosen by the then Prime Minister Winston Churchill - were communal kitchens created in 1940 during the Second World War to help people who had been bombed out of their homes, had run out of ration coupons or otherwise needed help. Leeds boasted restaurants in Burley, Holbeck, Sheepscar and in the Crypt of the Town Hall. Enjoy these photos, published courtesy of photographic archive Leodis, which is run by Leeds Library & Information Service, showcasing how Leeds helped feed a city. READ MORE: The Second World War bombing raids which brought death and terror to Leeds

Gas cookers can be seen on the left wall of the British Restaurant in the Crypt of Leeds Town Hall. Still open in 1954 when others had closed. It finally closed in 1966.
Rows of diners at the opening of the British Restaurant in the Crypt of the Town Hall. It was split into two sections, self service and the slightly more expensive waitress service. The same menus were offered in each.

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Architects plan of the British Restaurant on Kirkstall Road.
Interior of the British Restaurant on Kirkstall Road. Taken during construction
Exterior view of construction work of the British Restaurant on Kirkstall Road.
Architects plan of the British Restaurant sited in Leeds Town Hall, showing Calverley Street entrance.
The British Restaurant opened in 1942 in the Crypt of the Town Hall. It was also known as Civic Restaurant and the Central Restaurant providing up to 1,000 meals a day.
Construction of a British Restaurant on Whitehall Road at Holbeck. Wooden posts, concrete slabs and a ladder are visible.
Wooden posts, concrete slabs and a pile of stones are visible. Wm. Blackburn and Co. Ltd. clothiers can be seen in the background on Springwell Road, Holbeck.
Nearing completion of the British Restaurant on Whitehall Road. The building is made from pre-fabricated sections, with a corrugated iron roof.
Inside the British Restaurant at Sheepscar. A stand of plate stackers is on the right. Wooden shelves, the oven, a tea pot, a bucket and the door to the men's toilets are visible.
The dining area of the British Restaurant at Sheepscar. A self-service counter is to the left, with plain wooden tables and foldaway chairs on the right.
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