Monday, 3 October 2011
Crawley Catenians Go to Jail for Lunch
"Sixteen Catenians from Crawley Circle recently invited themselves to lunch at the Clink Restaurant at the High Down Prison, Banstead. The establishment operates as a genuine restaurant with the object of training inmates for a job when they are released. We weren’t quite sure what to expect but everyone who attended was unanimous in their praise for the excellent service and wonderful food that we were served.
There were a number of security checks before getting into the restaurant, which is situated within the prison itself. Photo ID was required and items including mobile phones, cameras, sharp objects and chewing gum were not allowed to be taken in. We were escorted from security as a group to the restaurant where we were locked in. The interior is furnished as one would expect for a good class restaurant with the exception of the cutlery which is plastic and no alcohol is allowed. The waiters were dressed in smart waistcoats and trousers and their attention to customers would put many restaurants to shame.
The lunch itself was three course with two or three selections for each and everyone said how delicious the food was. Everything is prepared in house including the bread and ice cream.
At the end of lunch we had to be escorted back to security as a group and as the restaurant barred door was locked we realised that we had one person missing who turned out to be Bro. Gerry Lydon who had gone to the loo. There followed a small debate as to whether we should leave him there but on consulting his wife Betty we decided to tell security we were missing someone - principally because he was our provincial councillor.
Everyone agreed that it was a great experience and also what a brilliant idea it was to prepare the inmates for an occupation on their release."