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Quantock School Cuisine

The Tuck Shop

The school was also equipped with a fairly well-stocked tuck shop, located in the hallway of the old building underneath the "verboten" Headmaster's staircase amd just around the corner from the then dining hall. At the tuck shop one could purchase a range of fine culinary delicacies, from cola bottles (both of the fizzy and non-fizzy variety) and other assorted 'penny chews' (such as Fruit Salads and Black Jacks) through to exotic luxuries such the vaguely alcoholic Top Deck soft drink and chicken and mushroom flavour Pot Noodles. The tuck shop usually opened twice a day - in the morning in between lessons and in the evening after tea, usually staffed by either the Head or Matron.

Being the only place on the school grounds where one could buy crisps, sweets and what was wonderfully called 'pop', the tuck shop was something of a monopoly - the only time one could possibly get anything cheaper was on a walk out to Stowey or minibus ride to Bridgwater at the weekend. Any other attempts to undermine this enterprise were met with an approach that was almost Stalinesque; I knew this full well after our very successful Hotdog enterprise was scuppered by the Head on 'health grounds' - though only after we had collected more than half of the jubs' pocket money. And to think of all the hard work we had done - cleaning out the local Spar out of all its hot dog sausages and bread rolls, and more crucially acquiring a bottle of ketchup from the kitchen. If the Head had charged us with nicking the ketchup he might have had a case, but 'health grounds'? It's no wonder Quantock didn't produce any budding entrepreneurs!

Given the limitations on pocket money at Quantock and the rising prices of the luxury goods stocked in the tuck shop, one found that Saturday's 'pay' didn't actually go that far - for most people it was a case of blowing it at all at the weekend and being back down to zero by Monday. Maybe this was the idea - nobody would have bothered turning up at mealtimes otherwise.

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