Cheese and Potato Pie

Location: Cradley Heath
Era: 1950s

“I went to Dudley Grammar School for Schools on a

scholarship during the war (1940-45). The site is now
Castle High School. Lunches at school were very heavily
subsidised, six pence. Food was always made available for
the children. My favourite lunch was cheese pie and green
salad. There would be 6 to 8 girls sat at a table and the
food would be brought out in one big bowl to be served
out by a senior girl. We always seemed to have it at the
same time as chocolate rice, which was rice pudding with
cocoa powder in it, nothing as fancy as chocolate! I used
to love my cheese pie.

We had refugees at the school including a girl called Leizel
from Czechoslovakia and other refugees from across
Europe who were mainly Jewish I should think. We had
foreign teachers too. Miss Sarmiento taught us French
and Spanish and used to tell us lots of tales. Miss Sykes
instilled socialist thinking into us, and Miss Matthews
was very friendly. She was friends with lots of Americans
and would get lifts to and from school in their jeep. She
would tell us wonderful stories and introduced us to Max
Factor makeup. She told us about her travels, and what
it would be like after the war was over and we could get
everything again. Which it never was …

Miss Matthews went on to be Headteacher at
Peterborough High School. She was so well loved that
when she died, in her nineties, somebody got in touch
with me to let me know when and where the funeral
would be. ” 
Joan Tromans


  • 8 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 dash of milk
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • A good handful of grated cheese
  • Slices of tomato
  • Cress


Dice the potatoes and boil in salted water.

Drain when soft.

Add butter and milk and mash.

Empty into a baking dish.

Cover with plenty of cheese.

And the slices of tomato.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Serve warm with a cress salad on the side.