The Preston Station Free Buffet was a great success. Over 3 million cups of tea were served in World War One, and 12 million in World War Two. These quotes show how grateful the thirsty soldiers and sailors were:
“You have no idea what a treat it was.”
“Allow me to thank you for your overflowing generosity.”
“I will not forget to tell all our boys in the trenches of the hearty welcome which awaits them at Preston Buffet.”
Ada Whiteside’s campaign to collect walking sticks was a great success too. She hoped to collect 500 walking sticks but had soon gathered over 1000!
Who wrote to Ada to say thank you for the walking sticks?
The Harris Museum and Art Gallery looks after many objects that also show how grateful the soldiers and sailors were for all this help. Look at the pictures above. Can you spot two more ways in which people said thank you?
- The badges were given to the volunteers at the Preston Station Free Buffet. You can see the volunteers wearing their badges in this photograph.
- Volunteers were sometimes awarded with badges and service bars for long service. This photograph shows a badge awarded to Mrs Makinson for her four years of service with the Free Buffet during the First World War.
- This photograph shows a writing case (bottom image) which was given to Ada Whiteside and her sisters as a present from the soldiers and sailors of Blackburn. Ada also received many letters of thanks from the hospitals where she donated the walking sticks.
- The top two images on this page provide examples of the many letters of thanks Ada received from soldiers.