On this day in Yorkshire

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Workhouse festivities

December 26, 1917

The inmates of all the city’s poor Law institutions suffered no lack of good things for their Yuletide entertainment, and Guardians and workhouse staff laid themselves out to make the day’s festivities almost up the standard of pre-war days. At the Leeds Workhouse in Beckett Street, for instance, the only thing that seemed to be missing from the bountiful mid-day spread was the plum-pudding. There was real English roast beef and plenty of potatoes and other vegetables, with boiled pudding in place of the plum variety, and fruit and coffee to finish with.

Extra supplies of tobacco for the men and tea for the women were given to make yp for the deficiency caused by the absence of plum-pudding, and these little luxuries are so much prized that the usual Christmas dish was hardly missed.