I read an article about tuckshops in Britain in an online food magazine recently and it set me remembering my tuckshop days at St. Joseph’s Primary School at Singleton in the Hunter Valley. It was at the back of the church hall, fronting the playground. In my mind it is small, a-bustle with volunteers from the school ‘Mothers’ Club’ buttering bread for sandwiches, filling out lunch orders from pupils, and serving behind a low counter on which are several kinds of lollies (sweets). My dad used to make me sandwiches for lunch and give me sixpence to buy a treat for ‘play lunch’, the morning break between lessons. Sometimes dad would take a break from making lunch and give me money to buy sandwiches for lunch.
I wondered what the tuckshop experience was for others. So, I put a call out to my Facebook friends, who are now very much a part of the research I do into Anglo Australian foodways and had a chat over coffees with my morning dog-walking group, also a regular go to for research. What follows is a collage of their stories and mine.