Jack Butterworth was wont to go walkabout when bored and on one occasion he picked me for company. We wandered into Rootes Reception which at that time looked pretty bare and unwelcoming. ‘Oh’ says JB, ‘that corner leads into the kitchens and might be a good place to introduce an evening eating area. All we need is two walls incorporating plenty of glass, and a cooking area.’
As the Catering Officer, Ceasar Garcia was answerable to me at that time I was left to give him the good news and so the Rootes Grill (or ‘Goldfish Bowl’) was born.
It was to last 5 or 6 years and to its regulars it was the best eating area the University ever produced. The menu was limited (chips with everything) but for a quiet meal with wine or a boistrous birthday party, it was ideal. If you were lucky and stayed later on a Friday night you might get Shirley, the cook, to invent a dessert for you (if you ask in Radcliffe you might still get one).
Many of us now retired also remember 6 o-clock meals prior to first nights I the Theatre and before concerts. Nothing was too much trouble.
With the growth of the University the space was needed for office expansion and one of the jewels was lost.
Finance Officer, 1977-93