Friday photo; What are you having for dinner?

Lewis Combination Poorhouse was opened at Coulregrein, Stornoway, in 1896 as a place of last resort for the destitute of the parishes of Barvas, Lochs, Stornoway and Uig. From 1911, the poorhouse also gave shelter to “mild lunatics”,  who previously would have been sent to the asylum in Inverness.

The above is an extract from the minutes of the poorhouse committee of 21 November 1929 and outlines changes to the daily rations for “Lunatic and Ordinary Poor”, the latter being individuals who were unable to look after themselves due to extreme poverty, homelessness, unemployment, lack of family to care for them or physical inability.

The poorhouse was not designed to be comfortable.  Meals were bland and repetitive.  As you can see from the above dietary scale, four meals were provided each day with the main meal at 12 noon consisting of soup followed by meat or fish with potatoes or bread.  Porridge was the main evening meal to see you through the night.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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