This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"We have received from Mr. P. C. Javal, of the firm of Spiers and Pond, Limited, detailed particulars of their " general scheme" for the supply of refreshments to the 30,000 children who assembled In Hyde Park on Wednesday, June 22nd, to celebrate her Majesty's Jubilee. So successfully did the caterers carry out their onerous undertaking, that Mr. Felix Spiers was personally thanked by H. R. H. the Prince of Wales for his share in contributing to the succes of the fete; Mr. Javal also, whose duties held him in another part of the ground, received a letter by command of the Prince to the same effect. That these distinctions were honestly merited will become evident from a glance at a few of the items on record.
" To cater perfectly for such an immense assembly of juveniles neccessitated specia; arrangements, and from 6 o'clock on Monday morning to 10 a. m. on Wednesday the work of preparation was carried on continuous)/ at the central offices of the firm.
"To supply the requisite comestibles, the resources of several firms were called into action by Messrs. Spiers and Pond. The gross quantities given are as follows: 27,700 meatpies, all of which were made by Messrs. Spiers and Pond; 56,000 buns, provided equally by Messrs. Hill and Son, of Bishopsgate Street, and Carl Fleck, of Brompton Road; 27,700 cakes, made by Spiers and Pond; 27,700 oranges (selected and examined to ensure perfect condition, it being late in the season for this fruit), supplied by Butt and Son, of High Street, Kensington, and Covent Garden; 9,000 gallons of lemonade and gingerade, produced equally by Norrish and Culver-house & Co. No less than 5 tons of ice, moreover was supplied; knives, cups, mugs, paper bags etc., were of course provided in thousands.
" It is scarcely necessary to observe that all the refreshments were made of the best materials, the meat pies being prepared from the best parts of cattle slaughtered upon the special premises of the catering firm. After they were baked, each pie was uniform in size, weight, etc., and was cooled in the ice-houses of the establishment; they were then each wrapped in small grease-proof bags. These bags were made up into parcels containing 200 each, and put into boxes. Each of these boxes in its turn was numbered to correspond with the tent to which it was consigned for delivery in Hyde Park. This done, the boxes were ready for the wagons or vans, which also bore the number of the tent they were to be sent to in the park. The cake was packed up and loaded in a similar manner. The ten vans, one for each tent, were drawn up in front of Spiers and Pond's premises at six o'clock on Tuesday evening to receive the boxes containing the food, as well as the napery, cups, etc. It took until midnight to load the conveyances.
At two a. m. they started in procession direct for Hyde Park. To prevent any possibility of their being looted on the way by the crowds which even at that hour thronged the streets looking at the illuminations, a policeman escorted each van to the park, where they arrived about three o'clock in the morning, picking up on the route the carts with the oranges from Covent Garden, and from the bakers with the buns. Early as the hour was, the corps of 250 waiters were in readiness to receive the carts and vans, which were immediately unpacked. Next followed the opening of the boxes, and the putting up in big paper-bags of - first, the bag containing the meat pie, then an orange, a piece of cake, and a bun in each one. When this was completed, all the bags were piled up in lots of 250 upon the tent-tables ready for instant distribution. The lemonade and gingerade for drinking was made on the spot in large hogsheads, of which there were twelve apportioned to each tent Huge ladles were planted in readiness to dip the liquor out into the cups and mugs from which the children drank.
In addition to all this, water-carts, lent by the Office of Works and by the military authorities, were attached to every tent to supply pure drinking-water to those who preferred it A large block of ice was placed in each hogshead to aid in keeping the drinking supply cool.
"There were ten refreshment tents, numbered 1 to 10, each 140 ft long by 40 ft wide, and to each was apportioned a superintendent and twenty-five waiters, reinforced by a volunteer staff of ladies and gentlemen.
" Each school knew the number of the tent to which it was to proceed, and, having marched thither, drew up outside. Then in their turn, the children, in batches of 250, proceeded into the tent and received a paper-bag containing the food already described, together with a cup of lemonade or gingerade, as was preferred. In this way the children, assigned beforehand to each tent were very soon all served. Luncheons were also spread in the extra tents provided for the musicians and bandsmen, etc.
"The provision was quite adequate to the occasion, and the "reserve" was not drawn upon, so that the collected remnants from the feast formed a substantial donation to Dr. Barnardo's Home for Destitute Boys.
"We have noted the above facts as an illustration of perfect organization and good management, and have pleasure in placing a matter of practical value to caterers as a body on permanent record. - London Caterer.