MC:P153 Papers of Bill Jarvis (1913-2002)
William (Bill) Jarvis (1913–2002) was employed in the kitchens at Magdalen as Second Chef from 1932 until his retirement in 1978. Despite the name of this title, Jarvis was in fact the main cook in the College, as the Head Chef or Cook’s duties were largely administrative, and the Second Chef was in charge of preparing the meals. Outside work, he was a prominent member of the College Servants’ Rowing Club, participating in many rowing events, both on behalf Magdalen and the university, until 1950.
Jarvis’s papers provide unique evidence both for catering at Magdalen in the 20th century, and for the life of College servants at this time.
These papers have been given to the archives at various times between 1978 and 2004. An appendix gives details of the provenance of each document.
Recatalogued in July 2004.
MC:P153/MS1 – MEMOIRS
Memoir by Jarvis titled Recollections by the second-chef 1932–1978, written in summer 1978 immediately after his retirement in response to a request by Dr. Gerald Harriss for his reminiscences. It provides quite a lot of detail about how the kitchen functioned in the 1930s, and of the changes which took place there during Jarvis’s career. With the reminiscences is a letter from Jarvis to Harriss, dated 30 Jul 1978.
MC:P153/MS2 – OBITUARY
Obituary of Bill Jarvis written by Roger Hutchins.
MC:P153/N1 – NOTEBOOK
Notebook compiled by Bill Jarvis containing reminiscences of life in Magdalen Kitchen from 1932–1978, with anecdotes of other members of staff working there, and many details of College life. The book includes several photographs, including a programme for the 1956 Commem Ball, a plan of the kitchen in 1932, photographs of dishes prepared by Mr. Jarvis and his colleagues, as well as a photograph of the Oxford University and College Servants Rowing Club (OUCSRC) crew of 1950, which included Jarvis.
Notebook compiled by Bill Jarvis titled The Old Kitchen: The End of an Era. It contains a miscellany of recollections of the Kitchen, including plans of its layout in 1932 and in 1969, several photographs and copies of photographs of the kitchen, taken at various times, extracts from the dinner book of Magdalen for 1937, and an account of the preparations for the buffet supper for 2200 Old Members and their guests held on the eve of St. Mary Magdalen’s day in 1958, with details of how all the food was cooked.
MC:P153/N2 – NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS AND POSTCARDS
Three newspaper cuttings, with articles about the Oxford Boat Race Flag, and John Phelps (umpire of the 1877 Boat Race), and a notice of the death of C. W. Kent, a member of OUBC in 1891.
MC:P153/N2/4 27 Mar 1938
Postcard to Mr. Duke, then head chef of Magdalen, from the 1938 Oxford Crew, with a photograph of them on the other side.
MC:P153/P1 – COPIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Photographic reproductions of some of the pictures in MC:P153/N1/1 above, comprising:
P1/1–4: black and white photographs of two views of the Old Kitchen (two copies each); size 170 by 255 mm.
P1/5–7: colour views of the Old Kitchen; size of largest 120 by 175 mm.
P1/8–9: colour photographs of two dishes prepared by Bill Jarvis; size 100 by 150 mm.
P1/10: colour photograph of Bill Jarvis.
Photocopies of other photographs, viz.:
P1/11: group photograph of the crew and spare men and officers of OUCSRC, 1934.
P1/12: sheet with two photographs of a race between the Servants Rowing Clubs of Oxford and Cambridge (according to Bill Jarvis, these took place every other year, and he regularly rowed in the Oxford team until 1950).
P1/13: group photograph of the bowls teams of the Magdalen College (Oxford) Oxford Servants and the Magdalene College (Cambridge) Servants, taken at the Iffley Road Running track. Bill Jarvis was a member of the Magdalen team.
Photocopies of the following photographs:
P1/14: group photograph of Magdalen College Staff, 1935, with a key to most of the names attached.
P1/15: photograph of Bill Jarvis rowing in a servants’ crew.
P1/16: photograph of the Magdalen team for the OUCSRC Easter regatta, 1948, which won the Challenge cup. The team were G. Willis (bow), T. Charlett (2), B. Castle (3). Bill Jarvis (stroke) and P. Wright (cox), and are shown in their boat.
P1/17: group photograph of the College Servants’ Cricket XI team and Challenge Fours Crew for 1949, both of whom won their inter-college competitions. No names given.
MC:P153/P2 – ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS
Group photograph of Magdalen men, taken in a corner of the Cloisters. Various trophies are displayed in it. On the back of it are notes on E. Farquhar Buzzard (C. 1890–1894), who appears in the photograph. This was given to the depositor’s sister by the daughter of Sir Farquhar Buzzard.
MC:P153/X1 – DINNER MENUS
See too MC:P153/X2 below for photocopies of other dinner menus, and papers relating to Commemoration Balls.
Dinner menus for the Commemoration Balls of 18 June 1934 and 1937.
MC:P153/X2 – PHOTOCOPIES OF OTHER EPHEMERA
Photocopy of a newsletter for OUCSRC in its centenary year, 1950.
Photocopies of the following documents relating to Jarvis’ sporting activities:
X2/2: Menu for a dinner held to celebrate victories by Magdalen College Servants’ Rowing Club in various tournaments, 30 Sep 1927.
X2/3–5: Documents relating to the visit of the Cambridge University and College Servants’ Clubs to Oxford in August 1932, comprising a list of sporting events (with names of teams), and menus for a dinner held on 23 August, and a lunch held on 25 August (all signed).
X2/6: Programme of events for the Annual Regatta of OUCSRC on 15–16 April 1946, with a note of Magdalen’s performance.
X2/7–11: Documents relating to the visit of the Cambridge University and College Servants’ Clubs to Oxford in August 1950 to celebrate the centenary of their respective associations, comprising two copies of the list of sporting events (with names of teams), and menus for a dinner held on 22 August (two copies, both signed), and a lunch held on 24 August.
X2/12: Menu for a dinner held to celebrate the centenary of the OUCSRC on 20 December 1950 at Christ Church.
Photocopies of papers relating to Jarvis’ terms and conditions at Magdalen:
X2/13: Copy of Magdalen College: Regulations affecting College Servants, 1926 edition.
X2/14: Copy of the staff regulations, 1973 edition.
X2/15: Jarvis’ contract of employment with the College, March 1973.
Photocopies of the Magdalen College Dramatic Society’s programmes for December 1926 and December 1928.
Photocopies of various dinner menus, as follows:
X2/18: Rent Audit Dinner, 26 June 1937.
X2/19: Oxford Canning Club Annual Dinner, held at Magdalen, 13 June 1955.
X2/20–23: Menus (with seating plans) relating to the Quincentenary of Magdalen in 1958, comprising Dinner to Members and former Members of the Foundation (12 June), Dinner to Members of the Foundation (16 June), Dinner to Wives of Fellows (15 July), order of service and programme for Evensong and Singing in Cloisters on 21 July.
X2/24: Menu for Old Waynfletes Commemoration Dinner, 7 July 1962.
X2/25: Menu and seating plan for the Ashmolean Club Centenary, 16 May 1969.
X2/26: Menu for St. Andrew’s Dinner, 30 November 1971.
X2/27: Menu for Burns Night, 25 Jan 1972.
X2/28: Menu (signed) for the 42nd Dinner of the Narcissus Club, 11 March 1975.
X2/29: Menu for the Old Waynfletes Commemoration Dinner, 10 July 1976.
X2/30: Menu and seating plan for the College Gaudy, 25 June 1977.
Photocopies of programmes and posters relating to Commemoration Balls, as follows:
X2/31: Poster for the Ball of 18 June 1956.
X2/32: Programme for the Ball of 1961. Artists included the Dudley Moore Group.
X2/33: Programme for the Ball of 23 June 1964. Artists included the Rolling Stones and Johnny Dankworth.
X2/34: Programme for the Ball of 1970.
Photocopy of the text of a speech given by Jarvis in honour of the 50th anniversary of Hugh Sinclair’s election to a Fellowship at Magdalen, in which Jarvis reminisces about the changes seen in the College over the previous decades.
MC:P153/X2/36 1981 & 1999
Photocopy of a poem “Ode to the Kitchen Block”, written in 1981 by Roger Webster, to mark the block’s centenary. Jarvis added a note in 1999 that the block then stood outside the old kitchen in the terrace by the river.
List of Contents of MC:P153
Given in 1978 (no accession no.): MC:P153/MS1/1
Acc. No. 00/237: MC:P153/N1/1 and MC:P153/P1/1–10
Acc. No. 01/67: MC:153/P2/1
Acc. No. 01/135: MC:P153/P1/11–13, MC:P153/X1/1–2 and MC:P153/X2/1
Acc. No. 01/141: MC:P153/P1/14–17 and MC:P153/X2/2–35
Acc. No. 03/111: MC:P153/MS2/1, MC:P153/N1/2 and MC:P153/X2/36
Acc. No. 04/149: MC:P153/N2/1–4