May 2013

Just in case


Here’s a picture of our “just in case’ case. We bring it out for our younger customers when they’ve finished their food and need a diversion while the grown ups are still munching (and chatting) away. Its contents are a closely guarded secret and they seem to go down well with most visitors.

We had our busiest weekend so far over the early May bank holiday. A combination of special events to mark the 40th anniversary of the steam railway and good weather brought out the crowds. We coped - just about, and were down to about an egg cup full of milk as we closed on our busiest day.

This weekend is the late May bank holiday and, despite the welcome sunshine after a grim and cold week, we’ve been very quiet so far. We had planned to be busy and stocked up accordingly. We spent yesterday baking in preparation and the display case is bursting with tasty treats. We then had a minor panic when one of our weekend regular staff dropped out of the rota at the last minute and then another came down with something on the Friday. Luckily, we have two new young people who have stepped into the breach. Let’s hope there are at least some customers they can practise on.


Here’s our reading table for our youngest customers. Stanley’s Stick by John Hegley (complete with real stick) is a popular favourite as is ‘The Cat in the Hat’. We also have a periodic table for older readers who like that sort of thing.

The kindness of strangers


We get an e-mail from some people who have been to the coffee shop a couple of times. They have an old (Victorian) teacher’s desk and wondered if we would like it. They used it as a prop in a play they made about the setting up of the NSPCC. They liked the idea of it being in a place where it would be used and appreciated. They offer to bring it to us. After chatting with them over coffee and cake we set it up by our entrance door. It’s a perfect place for our visitors book - maybe we’ll start keeping a register!

school bomb

Our local history researcher friends send us a photo of the school taken in May 1941, the morning after a bomb was dropped in the churchyard. It’s much clearer than the one we’ve seen before, which was a copy of a copy of a photo in a newspaper. On this one the extent of the damage is clear. Someone looking at the photo remarks that the Victorians really know how to build things well for it to survive with the structure intact. That’s definitely glass-half-full thinking. It’s good to see the finials at the ends of the roof. It would be nice to reinstate them one day.


Our first visitors arrive at Applegarth - the holiday cottage we are running. The cottage is immediately behind the coffee shop and was originally built as a home for the head teacher. We’ve spent the last few weeks getting it ready to let and it does look pretty in the spring sunshine with lots of spring flowers in the garden. We have created a website for the cottage and are keen to get the word out about it and secure some more bookings. You can see more pictures of the cottage here: Applegarth

We have had a quiet week in the coffee shop but expect to be busy this weekend as it’s a bank holiday. Wednesday (1st May) was the 40th anniversary of the start of the NYM steam railway and there are special events over the next couple of weeks to mark the anniversary. Emily makes little raspberry cheesecakes which are very toothsome and sell out quickly. Bill has perfected his latte heart making (it’s all in the pouring) but has more work to do on the New Zealand fern shape, which is trickier as it’s poured from the back of the cup.

Here we record highlights from our day to day activity