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Archiver > LONDON > 2005-12 > 1135379128

From: "Colleen" <>
Subject: Re: O/T Table Manners
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 23:05:28 -0000
References: <011201c6074a$8b3c5880$> <000301c607fc$10352830$bad76858@kenneth7sx4r0i>

I remember Durham High Teas with Methodist in-laws during the 1960s as a
nightmare of pompous over formality. Though my in-laws (both born in 1920)
were of ordinary working class stock, one the son of a Durham miner, the
other the daughter of Durham labourer, they enforcing a rigid code of frozen
etiquette at their table.

No one spoke until Grace had been said. There was a spoon/piece of cutlery
for every eventuality - and woe betide anyone who used the wrong one. Day
after relentless day, these gigantic meals were laid on the table, set out
on a pale green austerity tea service so cherished that it never lost its
original sparkle. You were to eat every morsel. Each day had its set meal,
and the pattern and content of these never varied.

To take Methodist High Tea was to endure agonised scrutiny and guilt, put
one foot wrong, one piece of cutlery out of place, fail to make the right
response at the right time and withering looks would freeze your bum to your
seat, making you the social pariah of the tea table. Then all at the table
would look at each other knowingly, ah well, she's not a northener, she's
from that uncouth, flat county where they've never been like uz.


----- Original Message -----
From: "K.D, MacCallum" <>

> Re- High Tea - this I believe is a Northumberland/Durham meal. It's
> basically a two course dinner served at teatime. Sometimes , if we were
> very good when we visited my Gran we could have our pudding first

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