ID: WW01_073 / Winifred Hone

TitleCooking Victory Days - Winifred Hone memoirs
AbstractI didn't know much about cooking and for that matter some of the customers didn't either. In those days there was every luxury at hand but without the necessary equipment. Mersea was a good place to start the art of cooking as there was no competition. I like to think I helped put Mersea on the map on the culinary side, at least judging by the important people and quite famous small functions I have prepared over the years. Planning and cooking a meal for some important special occasion became almost a ritual, but in this day of prepared frozen foods it's just like feeding battery hens, it doesn't require initiative or concentration.
We had to treat The Visiting to something higher in the pub, which we managed to do over the years with the food, the addition of up to date amenities and of the ballroom.

Old mother hubbard went to the cupboard, for to quench her thirst
But when she got there the cupboard was bare, her old man had got there first.

Berty Lincoln Cocks came to live at Mersea in 1928. He was a cultural and charming man, but very often his friendship with John Barleycorn took charge and he would go on the bottle. Some slight event would trigger him off, and he just became another personality. The extraordinary thing was that when he finally said, at least for the time, farewell to John Barleycorn, he always remembered what had happened during these lapses and regarded it as a recurrance of an old illness. On these occasions he would tell everybody that he was drunk and incapable. He had a freewheeling cheque book £5 to £20 for many hangers on who took advantage of his great generosity during these lapses.

Washing Day
Is one day hate,
Don't forget
Your 'Omo' mate.

My days of youth are over
My torch of life burns out
So why not come and shop with me,
While I'm still about.

It's hard to choose the '3' from '5'
Who for your votes are fighting
Wise shoppers never have much doubt
They put their trust in "Whiting".

There has been a revolution in the method of food and grocery retailing. Supermarkets, cash and carry have provided an alternative to credit and delivery, but the inhabitants of Mersea Island still prefer the friendliness and personal touch from the proprietors of the local shops.

AuthorWinifred Hone
SourceMersea Museum / Wendy Brady