Endeavour: DI Fred Thursday’s Sandwiches



Just a short post while I work on a larger more complicated one. For many of the Endeavour episodes we see Win Thursday (played by Caroline O’Neill who also appeared in the Lewis episode, ‘And the Moonbeams Kissed the Sea’, second series first episode, as the first murder victim’s wife, Susan Chapman), send her husband off to work with a sandwich. So far we know what she puts in Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday’s sandwiches but as yet, unless I missed it, we haven’t found out what Mrs Thursday puts in her husband’s sandwiches on a Wednesday. As far as Saturday is concerned, Fred Thursday’s incredulous reply to Endeavour on being asked, ‘What no sandwich, today?’  “On a Saturday? Talk sense!” (quote from series 1, episode 3 ‘Rocket’).

So here are those fillings with the episode details on when we first learn of the contents in Fred Thursday’s sandwiches.

Monday – Cheese and Pickle. (Series 1, Episode 1, ‘Girl’)

Tuesday – Luncheon Meat. (Series 1, Episode 1, ‘Girl’)

Wednesday – Yet to find out. (I’ll guess at Cheese and Tomato).

Thursday – Ham and Tomato. (Series 2, Episode 1, ‘Trove’)

Friday –  Corned Beef. (Pilot Episode)


Author: Chris Sullivan

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

68 thoughts

      1. Have you written about Thursday’s style of speech? I don’t remember seeing any other character speaking in half sentences. It’s always clear what he means which is interesting given he only speaks in sentence fragments. I am interested in the etymology

  1. What a delightful post — such a seemingly small thing that has such a big connection between Endeavour and Thursday! Just loved it — thanks for sharing !!

      1. If you had told me in 1965 that people would be buying sandwiches in shops that they could have made at home in five minutes for a fraction of the price, I would have said that you were bonkers!

  2. I love that she makes those sandwiches. I am just now watching And the Moonbeams Kissed the Sea. I saw the character of Mrs. Chapman and thought she was Mrs. Thursday so I came over to the computer to check on imdb. And then I saw a link on fb to this post. Twilight Zone music please. :<)

    1. That’s very American and though there may be a few people in this country who now have peanut butter and jelly (or jam as it’s called in the UK) due to the influence of American TV and film it’s very doubtful it would have happened in 1960’s Britain. Hope you enjoyed the post.

      1. When I first visited Stoke-on-Trent, in 1976, I asked my beloved Auntie Barbara if I could make a peanut butter & jam sandwich for my elevenses. She was aghast: “i won’t allow peanut butter in my kitchen !” I went down the shop and bought a jar, and made my sarnie. When I returned to Stoke (in 1986) the jar of peanut butter was still in the larder. Way at the back !

      2. Jam and jelly are used the same in both countries each made uniquely

    2. I think that’s very un-English 🙂 Even peanut butter was only a fad thing over here, in the 50s. About the same time as Davy Crockett hats 🙂 And jelly? In a sandwich??? We do have jam, but not with Peanut butter. Our jelly is a set fruit gelatine thing, in a mould.

      1. Was it really, Alex? I remember peanut butter when I was a kid. I can’t remember whether Mum put it on our school sandwiches, though. Our sandwiches were much more down-market than DI Thursday’s. When we got luncheon sausages (usually with tomato sauce) that was a real treat. We never saw eggs. They were too expensive in the fifties. I’m not sure why. Maybe the battery hen had still to arrive in New Zealand. Mum sometimes put Chesdale Cheese (a horrible processed cheddar) on our sandwiches and I wished so much she would use “grown up” cheddar on mine.

    3. Probably enjoyed only by Americans, AnnMarie. I remember being outraged at finding they had started putting emulsifier in it (so lazy people didn’t have to stir the oil into it before helping themselves from the jar) but even worse was when they put sugar in it. It made me want to puke so I started making my own peanut butter. Now, however, I can get peanut butter from Bin Inn (you “make” it yourself by putting a carton under the tap and turning the right knobs). All it contains is peanuts so I add salt once I get home. I remember when chunky peanut butter came out. I thought it was the best thing that ever happen to peanut butter. I still think it was.

  3. Lovely post, thank you.
    I wonder if Potted Meat or Haslet might make an appearance? Or were they a “northern* thing, and as such, not a staple with refined palates in Oxford ;-p
    Also do you think Win will go with fish paste again after the near miss with the Bloater Paste in ep2?

    1. I think Haslet and Potted Meat would be a possibility as I doubt the Thursday’s would refer to themselves as having a ‘refined palate’. Glad you liked the post Treesha.

    1. Good choice Tom. However, you got me to thinking how available tuna was in the 1960s. I don’t remember it from my youth but maybe my parents just never bought it. Thanks for commenting Tom.

      1. Cucumber and something, perhaps. Cheese and cucumber? I don’t remember tuna in the sixties, either. (Though I don’t eat fish, so maybe I missed it!) I remember tinned salmon sandwiches, which would have been a bit of a luxury, reserved for visitors. As has been pointed out, fish paste was the sandwich staple. Tinned sardines were popular – did people put those in sandwiches, too? I can’t remember! My favourite was Sandwich Spread – a rather unattractive, but tasty, mayonnaise-like concoction that came in a jar. But that would probably not be nutritious enough for DI Thursday’s lunch,

  4. Thrilled to have found your blog! Didn’t think anything would match up to our wonderful Morse, but after watching Shaun Evans in another show I binge watched all three series and am thrilled at how wonderful Endeavour is. My suggestion for Wednesday is Meat Paste :-)).

    1. Hi Elaine and welcome to my blog. Good suggestion for Wednesday’s sandwich as I think meat paste was a staple in Britain’s diet in the 1960s. I hope you continue to enjoy my blog.

    1. Hi Lindsay. I think he did get bloater paste in his sandwiches in the last series when Thursday’s wife was on holiday. I think his son made it for him as they had ran out of a particular ingredient for Thursday’s usual sandwich for that particular day. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. Not being from the UK, I had to look up what a cheese and pickle sandwich was. This made me go on a mission to track down a jar of Branston Original Pickle which proved not all that easy to find. I am at this moment enjoying my very first cheese and pickle sandwich. I have Fred Thursday to thank.

    1. Hi Jerry and welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoyed the sandwich. So, now you have tasted Branston pickle what is the nearest American equivalent? I hope you find something else of interest on my blog.

      1. What a great blog post! For Jerry, there are other companies that make pickle in the UK, but Branston is the only one I know sold in the US (and it is hard to find–or expensive–or both). The factory in Bury St. Edmunds burned about a decade ago (?) and there was talk that this would be the end of Branston’s pickle (mourning for me, jubilation for my wife, who dislikes the stuff). Happily, it’s back. I am not certain that there’s anything like it made in the US; the closest is a Howard’s Mustard Pickle, made in the Boston area and a cherished childhood memory. I don’t know if Howards is still in business though.

  6. Wonderful facts and figures, thank you, I enjoy your catch ups greatly, Sandwiches….I have a feeling Saturday is fish and chips, I am sure I heard Fred Thursday mention it once, all the best.

    1. Morse -“Are you doing anything tonight? Thursday – “I was after going a cod and two penneth.” Morse – “What? No sandwiches?” Thursday – “On a Saturday? Talk sense!”

  7. Thanks so much for doing this. I totally love the characters in Endeavor and get a big kick out of Thursday’s predictable lunches. I was never in the UK but was totally in the 60’s.
    ; )
    P Wissman

    1. Just found your fabulous blog by accident on a site for the show called previously t.v. Thank you thank you thank you. We in America love this show as well, especially his sweet sandwiches from his lovely wife. I vote for fish paste as well for Wednesdays, or maybe she let’s him eat out on Wednesdays? Hey,he deserves a pub lunch once a week! I am going to so enjoy going over your entire blog about Morse, Lewis and Endeavour….ahhhhhhhh!

  8. Thank you, THANK YOU for this wonderful blog post! We are so happy to see we are not the only ones who cherish the mere mention of Thursday’s sandwiches. I think our favourite ones are when poor Thursday looks dejected when Morse is too preoccupied to comment on his sandwich at the pub, and when Morse is not there to declare the day’s sandwich, and most recently, when Thursday is relieved to see that Morse remembers that it’s Friday, because his sandwich was corned beef (after Morse was dosed with an LSD-like concoction). As Americans, we would love to know if there was a certain kind of cheese and a certain kind of pickle that people in England would use for cheese and pickle sandwiches? Or was it common to simply use what was on hand, or according to individual taste? Can’t wait to find out about Wednesday sandwiches, hopefully in season 5!

      1. Thanks so much – we have already bought some Branston pickle from amazon, and are looking forward to our first cheese and pickle sandwich!

  9. Hard boiled egg, with mayonnaise or water-cress, was and still is popular here. That very likely.. Or you could have it with fried streaky bacon… Now I’m hungry!

    1. Hey do the British people make meat loaf for dinner? In America there is nothing like a meat loaf sandwich, me I like the meat to be heated, but that’s just me. I would personally heat up anything that our lovely detective would like to enjoy! He’s so yummy and kinda macho. Meat loaf sandwich it is.

      1. Meat loaf isn’t really a thing here, even now! I’ve never seen it myself, and reckon in the 60s it would be even more exotic 🙂

      2. I grew up eating it during the 1950’s and 1960’s….it was cheap and good for a growing family on a budget, I still make it, but much differently from the way my Mother did. (And, I think better, mine is kind of spicy.) If you want my recipe, just let me know, and I’ll send it to ya. it’s super easy and CHEAP. It must be an American dish, thanks for letting me know kiddo.

  10. I think Wednesday is Bloater Paste! 😊 At least up until it was off during the Richardson’s episode.

  11. I stumbled upon your post, wanting to know the daily sandwiches DI Thursday is given by his lovely, caring wife. It’s given me a good chuckle during each episode. Thanks so much for posting.

  12. Searching for a snack one night, I decided to try a cheese and pickle sandwich…..loved it!! It’s my “go to” now! Incidentally, I discovered your blog when listening to the Endeavor theme on YouTube, and enjoy it immensely.

    1. I tell you what is really good, an open faced toasted cheese sandwich with a big ole pickle on the side…..

  13. I’ve used Pimento Cheese spread, very popular in the American Southeast, with Branston’s Pickle on White Bread and it’s quite good. I’ll be taking that for lunch on Mondays now. It’s satisfying and I won’t need a mid-afternoon snack, that’s for sure! I wonder given his service in the Sicily and Italian campaigns that he didn’t have salami or another Italian-style cold cut on Wednesdays?

  14. I really enjoy Endeavour. The 1.5 hour format really makes a difference, as false leads can be given time to develop much better than an hour format.
    Here’s my problem: I’m getting older, and every once in a while I just don’t get something. It’s probably obvious, but I can’t figure out why what Friday has for lunch needs to be predicted (or remembered?) by Morse. At first, I thought this was a literary mechanism for showing off Morse’s really good olfactory senses, but that didn’t seem to make much sense after I got into the show, and the sandwich choice isn’t random. If Mrs. Thursday had a regular lunch schedule, then surely Friday could remember it, so why does Morse need to tell him what sandwich he has?

    I could never figure out why Foyle needed to have a driver either, if you could proved enlightenment there as well.

    1. HI! I don’t see another reply here, so I thought I’d add my 2 cents, although I admit I have no “inside knowledge” of the series…. I think that the whole sandwich thing is just a fun, humorous thing that Morse and Thursday share.

      We loved Foyle’s War as well, but I can’t remember if there is a specific reason why Foyle can’t drive, or if he just prefers not to drive, or what the situation is. Maybe someone else will know! 🙂

  15. For those of us in the U.S. who are waiting (im)patiently for Series 7 of Endeavour which will be shown this coming Sunday, were there any allusions to DI Thursday’s sandwich on Wednesday in the three upcoming episodes?

      1. Oh no!! We have been hoping for enlightenment on Wednesday’s sandwich. Oh well, hopefully there will be a season 8, in which we will learn what’s for lunch on Wednesdays! DI Thursday’s sandwiches, and Morse’s enthusiastic prediction/confirmation of each day’s lunch have always been some of our favourite moments in the earlier series!

  16. Quick observation: I just watched series 6 again, and noticed on a couple of occasions where Fred told others: “I’m not who you think I am,” and other similar things, implying that (perhaps) Fred Thursday isn’t the avuncular sort that most of us have him down for. This leads me to wonder if Fred’s *true* nature is revealed in the next/final series, and that’s why he is never mentioned in the original series (and yes, I know that he isn’t mentioned because he hadn’t been created by Russell yet).

    1. Hi Sheldon. That’s interesting and makes me wonder who is he then. Hopefully all will be revealed in series nine.

      1. I saw this comment (RE: “Endeavour”) on another trashy gossip site – “Shaun Evans looks like he wandered in from a Lord of the Rings casting call.” I laughed out loud at that one.

  17. LOL – where are these ‘trashy gossip sites’ you keep referring to Sheldon ? they seem to produce some gold !

    1. Maria – it’s a gay gossip site called THE DATA LOUNGE. Just a heads up, there is a lot of nakedness.

      1. Best place for gold I would say !… thanks. I have never heard of it but I live a pretty boring life.

  18. I’ve just been re-watching Endeavour and I’m pretty sure in one episode (can’t remember which) Fred has luncheon meat in his sandwich.

    1. Hello Diana. It would be good if you could recall which episode. I don’t remember Luncheon Meat as an option in Fred’s sandwich when made by Win. It’s possible that Fred made a Luncheon Meat sandwich when Win refused to make them for his lunch.

  19. I think wednesday is cheese and pickle. I remember the little boy who was hiding pups in a caravan being given the sandwich and fred said ‘you are in for a treat cheese and pickle. 😀

  20. Are bologna sanwiches consumed in England? It was a staple in my family in the U.S. during the 60s and 70s alternated with PB & J and lucheon meat to break up the lunch monotony.

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