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  1. This ‘mid-century’ architectural facade was built in 1957 to conceal and upgrade the former St Mary’s Hall which stood on Corporation Rd. and served as a Middlesbrough B.C .operated restaurant and function room until the 1970’s. It was a continuation of the WWII British Restaurant (or Communal kitchens)system across the UK, which were organised to serve food to those victims of bomb damaged homes or other displacements due to the war.

    The original M’bro ‘British Restaurant’ was established within the surviving basement area of the former Binns’ dept-store which had been burned-down in a fire (not bomb damage) during 1942. That popular facility existed (backed by M’bro B.C.) long after the Govt’s ‘British Restaurant’ system ceased in 1947, it serving good food all day a very affordable prices to working-people.

    It was so popular, that M’bro B.C. after receiving notification during 1954 that Messrs Binns’ were about to build their new store on the site, decided to continue the restaurant by adapting the vacant St Mary’s Hall and re-establishing it, therein.

    It seems inconceivable today, that a Local Council would be in competition with local privately operated restaurants, but at that time as one Labour Minister stated, ‘Most restaurants only cater for the upper and middle-classes, there are not many available anywhere, which will serve a good 3-course meal to working-class people, at a reasonable price’

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