By the time of Hotel and Catering Exhibition 1950 the number of participating colleges including Westminster Hotel School, Vincent Square, London SW1 had grown to eight whereas prior to the Second World War, Westminster had been the only centre for catering education in the whole of the UK. Within the next 25 years this number would grow to one hundred all with the remit to reduce the skills shortage. In 1951 Arthur as Head of Brighton Catering Department was appointed to undertake a new venture to establish a Catering Department at Portsmouth Municipal College, later to be known as Portsmouth College of Technology.

With the emergence of Further Education courses for the training of full or part-time day release catering students in other parts of Britain, the objective was to put Portsmouth on the map. The following year in 1953 a Catering Teachers Course took place, between July 22nd to 30th.

The Qualification Structure

 

At this time training was a thorough step-by-step approach, involving the acquisition of essential practice skills to a professional standard in each aspect of catering production and food and drink service. The kitchen, restaurant and front desk as separate areas of study and practice, were each awarded a separate qualification on achieving the grade; in the form of a certificate or diploma from the respective awarding body. The City and Guilds of London Institute for the 147, 150 and 151 for cookery and the Hotel and Catering Institute for intermediate and final waiting. The non O’ level entry two-year Catering Craft Students took the City and Guilds 150 (later known as 706/1) in their first year followed the year after by the 7-hour Professional Cookery 151(later known as 706/2).The O’level entry students undertaking the Diploma or as it later became ‘The Associate Membership of the Hotel and Catering Institute Diploma’ (A.M.H.C.I.), had less emphasis on practice skills, but required passing the Intermediate Waiting Certificate awarded by the HCI, in their first year and the Final in the second.  In addition the NTDA Licensed House Diploma of the National Trades Development Association and the City and Guilds of London Professional Cookery 151. Further qualifications such as The Royal Society of Health Diploma (in Health and Hygiene) and the Hotel and Catering Institute Hotel Bookkeeping and Reception Diploma, could be taken in the third year, prior to the finals for the A.M.H.C.I.

 

Continuity of Set Standards

At Portsmouth the Ex-Students’ Association as an alumni was a network for some former students to return to the college as lecturers themselves, which was actively supported by Arthur as an essential determinant for continuity, consistency of quality and standards as an institution of excellence, thus establishing  ‘the Portsmouth’ or later as it became known ‘the Highbury Way’. Every opportunity was taken to promote the excellence of the work of the department as the article from the Portsmouth Evening News explains the role of ten of its students at the City Council Chambers for the luncheon which they cooked and served to Princess Margaret as the honourable guest of the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth.Events like these would naturally enhance the profile of the department and emphasise its added value to the local community, including of course its public restaurant opened daily during term time. Arthur related that at the start there was much resistance to granting a liquor licence for the training restaurant, which had lower production costs and was regarded by some local restaurateurs as unfair competition. They consequently did not at first regard its function as a route for receiving well trained employees into the industry. Thankfully however it was granted.