Chocolate sponge and custard ... absolute winner of a school meal!

Sunderland school meals in 1999.
Sunderland school meals in 1999.

Love them or hate them, you certainly had plenty to say about Sunderland school dinners from times gone by.

We posted a photograph of a pupil tucking into a meal in 1996 and 33,000 of you took an interest.

Kevin Furnevel samples school dinners with his daughter Lisa Jane.

Kevin Furnevel samples school dinners with his daughter Lisa Jane.

Dozens of you felt compelled to share your own experiences of dining down the years on social media.

And the topic certainly polarised the opinions of Echo readers.

In the FOR camp, there was Lindsey Marie, who “loved school dinners” and said “curry was the best, then icing cake with pink custard”.

Victoria Dobson said: “Couldnt beat syrup cornflake cake ... no one ever ate the pears at the bottom though x.”

Nightmare wen ur custard got in ur curry

Aimee Jenkinson

Lee Mordey told us: “I do remember Washington School puds. Their Jam Roly Poly was to die for. mm mm mm. Never mastered it yet.”

Olwyn Ford commented: “Loved them. Ryhope Grammar School puddings were ‘heaven’.”

Victoria Hope was another fan and said: “Used to love school dinners. Fave was the curry, and the puddings.”

Graeme Cockerill was all for school dinners and told us: “Curry rice and chips then chocolate sponge and custard. Absolute winner!”

And thanks go to Maria Davies who said: “Chocolate sponge and mint sauce was the boyo like.”

Kev Smith said he “loved Manchester tart at school. Cant get it now.”

Julie Ann said she “loved the curry rice & chips in redhouse Red House Comp”.

Ingrid Clasper “loved the puddings”.

Alison Smart said: “Best meals ever. Haha. Xx”.

David Roffe said: “Cheese n onion pie roast spuds and tinned toms yum.”

Hazel Gorman, Ryan Haswell, Sarah Jane Stewart, Jaimie King, George Kelley, Susan Poole Usher and Susannah Moon all loved school meals.

And Chris Columbus knew a good deal when he saw one. “Two portions of chips and 2 beans 24p. Bargain.”

Plenty of you commented on puddings with pink custard.

But there were just as many people in the AGAINST camp.

Brian Thurlbeck was one of them and said: “School dinners were vile. Butter beans, turnip, cabbage were not what a seven year old would want to eat. The sweets were as bad, sago, tapioca, sponge pudding. I think they used real sponges.”

Aimee Jenkinson said: “Nightmare wen ur custard got in ur curry.”

Lisa M Wilkinson simply commented: “Hate them, yucky.”

Amy Hedley said it “brought back bad memories. I hated the school dinners”.

David Gooch commented on our 1996 photo and said: “No I was only 4 I hated it.”

Darren Clark asked: “Anyone remember the red stuff you got with fish fingers Nd mashed taty.”

Jean Colley “only ever liked Fridays – never a bad dinner then”.

Daniel Besford reckoned: “They used to look so much better as a child.”

Heka Mick reckoned he once got curry rice and carrots for his school lunch.

Our story got plenty of likes from followers including Tony Eaton, Catherine Gillespie, Stacey Robson, Hannah Stafford, Rose MacCarthy, Lyndsey Patterson, and Gabrielle Robson.

Others to like it included Charlotte Nash, Dave Coope, Ashley Ritchie, Gerard Kirby, James Dixon, Michael Fenwick and Karen Burns.

Thanks to everyone who took time to follow the post and there’s plenty more photographs from 1996 to come.

They are set to appear in this Saturday’s Retro section in the Sunderland Echo so make sure you get your copy.

In the meantime, if you have any more comments to make on Sunderland school dinners, get in touch and tell us more.

Or perhaps there’s another aspect of Wearside history you would like us to reminisce on.

It may help you to progress further in your family tree research, or maybe there’s a Sunderland event which you would love us to reminisce on.

Get in touch and tell us more.

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk