Leisure => Retail => Restaurants & Cafes => Topic started by: Ajemp on February 09, 2012, 22:15:10

Title: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on February 09, 2012, 22:15:10


   During the sixties  the motor cycle  boys  would gather at the pie stall near Chatham  Station ,the scooter boys [mods?]  would use the Parlour Rochester  which [if any] were you ?  dare you admit it.......
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Rochester-bred on February 10, 2012, 08:54:56
I used to use the Parlour in the late 60s and 70s I was a Smoothie back then which was a sort of nicer version of the skinheads or suedeheads.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Lyn L on February 10, 2012, 09:20:34
Hands up, I was a mod using the Parlour early 60s. One pal had a Lambretta which was his main 'thing' but did have a motorbike as well. One day the pair of us all kitted out in leather blah blah , turned up and got a very chilly reception until we took our helmets off, then got a cheer  :) Rochester_bred will remember the stairs up to the loo ! I had a very red face when I tripped up them with the place full of people, I escaped out the side door Ha Ha. Great memories from my time there.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on February 10, 2012, 12:07:16




HI Lyn L  there's nothing better than having the best of both worlds  scooter/ motor bike good stuff! Iwas a motorcyclist not a rocker, and yes enjoyed the parlour  coffee  [MILKY] then spread the brown suger  on the froth then spooned it off, come on we all did it.........nice times.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Lyn L on February 10, 2012, 12:56:47
 :) :) spooning the sugar off , yummy.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Chas on February 10, 2012, 13:06:27
Loved the Parlour, full of skins in my day but really went there to play pinball in the late 60's early 70's. And meet girls! Favourite pinball machines were Touchdown and Buckaroo, sadly I was as bad at pinball as meeting girls... I do recall that every now and then a bunch of bikers would turn up outside and rev their engines but don't ever recall any real trouble.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: kevin payne on February 10, 2012, 14:20:08
my mum and her older brother used the parlour in the late 1950's,they said it was great,some kind of dance floor in the basement.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on February 10, 2012, 19:57:57


Not sure that there was a dance  floor, could that have been ......."..The eleven steps"  on the other side  of the road opposite Hammond hill?
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Lyn L on February 10, 2012, 20:04:37
Have to agree with Ajemp on the dance floor, there was never any sign of it when I went there regularly, just a tiny area round the jukebox where we used to try and dance  :)
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on February 10, 2012, 20:15:17
 

Or, it could have been the CASA VANTANA near the castle, left side ..that was seedy dive.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: redge on February 10, 2012, 20:16:21
A guy called Doug Harris (Medway Automatic's fame) owned the Parlour, hence the pinballs and juke boxes.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on February 10, 2012, 20:30:26
 

I remember  Doug Harris  owned a smashing car , lived in Snodhurst ave , big house ............sorry Kyn I digress.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: smiler on February 11, 2012, 11:08:38


I remember  Doug Harris  owned a smashing car , lived in Snodhurst ave , big house ............sorry Kyn I digress.
Blue E Type Jag 1st one in the Medway Towns. Partneress worked there in 1959 and says at one time Doug opened up the cellar the door being on the right hand side of the fruit machines at the back for the youngsters to use and play music after a while one or two abused it by cutting the seats and he closed it. He was a very nice man to work for and tried to do a lot for his customers.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on February 11, 2012, 22:45:28


Great stuff Smiler ..I bet those were interesting days  I had an old fruit machine once  a" Mills black beauty, "
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Bryn Clinch on February 12, 2012, 14:14:56
Where was/is the Parlour? I remember a similar place approximately halfway between Chatham and Rochester which I think was on an elevated part of the pavement on the left hand side. This was in the days when `Espresso` was frothy coffee from a large chromium plated machine and served in `glass`cups and mugs in a stainless steel holders - late 50`s.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Lyn L on February 12, 2012, 14:29:35
You've got the place BC, it was opposite the North Foreland pub on that raised bit of pavement as you say.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Bryn Clinch on February 12, 2012, 14:43:02
Thanks, Lyn L! I thought that was the place. I wonder when Espresso became Cappucino. I remember, many years ago, asking for Espresso and getting a very small quantity of thick, black and very strong coffee. I thought that there had been a mistake but it appeared that I hadn`t kept up with the times.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: JohnWalker on February 12, 2012, 14:50:28
I always remember the coffee of the those times as being called Expresso - could just have been Canterbury Speak though  :)

I also got caught out by ordering espresso thinking I was getting a milky coffee like the 'old' days.  I sat there waiting for the milk to arrive to pour the neat coffee into !!  The Italian owner was most put out when I complained  :)
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Bryn Clinch on February 12, 2012, 15:00:42
Ditto, JohnWalker - glad I wasn`t the only to get caught!
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: JohnWalker on February 12, 2012, 16:26:17
So....  the question is - what was the coffee bar coffee from the 'good old days' called - was it -

Expresso or Espresso?
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: snodlandmalc on February 12, 2012, 16:58:57
Me too,I always thought frothy coffee was called Esspresso and had a shock when I got a little cup of black treacle !
The big question is what were the machines called, Gaggia ?
Didnt the Parlour become a bathroom showroom in the 70's
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Lyn L on February 12, 2012, 17:46:11
Yes and Yes  :) not sure what the Parlour is now ? I never knew that Doug Harris had the downstairs opened up though, that was a new one for me.

Gaggia machines were wonderful providing the handle didn't slip through your fingers, as I found to my cost TWICE  :) and emptied the cafe of customers ( not the Parlour though  :) ) The steam that escaped made it sound like an explosion. How could I do it a second time though ? funny how I was moved to a different shop without a cafe after that  :)

Sorry if I've gone off topic mods.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Rochester-bred on February 12, 2012, 19:03:51
snodlandmalc. Yes The parlour did later become a bathroom show room.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: snodlandmalc on February 12, 2012, 20:17:09
Oh good I am thinking of the right place then,thank you,didnt there use to be another coffee bar on the other side of the road called the Steamboat ? probably late sixties early seventies.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Rochester-bred on February 13, 2012, 08:58:01
My mum also went in the Parlour where she used to get Ice cream so I'm not sure how long this place was running ,it must of been a good few years before it stopped being a cafe .The other place we went to for a coffee was in Rochester high street sort of opposite Eastgate house (I think) it was called Roccos (not sure of spelling) I can remember sitting with my friends and playing tricks with the salt pots and mustard pots etc ,Il say no more :)
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Geoff B on April 01, 2012, 15:00:11
Go on I will throw my hands up to that for both places. The pies were lovely  :)
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: AlanH on April 02, 2012, 02:21:52
That's the place Bryn just where the banks started going towards Rochester. Doug Harris had his pinball and juke box repair shop and office virtually opposite.
I applied for a job there once but Doug had good sense and didn't employ me! :) The main reason I wanted a job there was a mate did the servicing and emptying of the coin out of machines installed in pubs over a huge area outside the Medway Towns. They had no coin counters in those days and he told me it was..."Sixpence for me, sixpence for the landlord and sixpence for Doug"!
The 3 way split worked well as he had a very nice home (Upchurch way I think) with a huge cache of sixpences in boxes under a bedroom floorboards and an E Type Jag like Doug's.
AlanH.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ashurbanipal on October 22, 2015, 15:46:22
I remember The Parlour well. I and friends used to go there almost daily around 1957-58. It was just a good place for the young to hang out. That's where I heard all those great rock 'n' roll records by Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Fats Domino. The jukebox had a real mix jazz and skiffle as well as rock 'n' roll and pop. Downstairs there was a small dance floor for jiving and another jukebox.

Along the road towards Chatham, on the other side, was the Eleven Steps coffee bar (eleven steps down to the basement) where, I seem to remember, Italian-suited youngsters would hang out, with sharp pointed shoes, listening to modern jazz and being cool. The Parlour had more of a mix of people hoop-skirted girls, woolly-sweatered beatniks, latterday teddy boys. It was the beginning of the subcultures. Then, further into Rochester, in the High Street by the cathedral was the Casa Ventana, owned I think by Tony LaTrobe. It too had a downstairs where I think there was live music, probably jazz.
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Troyboy on October 22, 2015, 19:47:06
 I too remember the Parlour, the Eleven Steps (evenings down the cellar, jiving and trying to escort a girl home, crafty trips to the Royal Exchange or the Van Alten, as the female manager took a dim view of people who smelt of beer), the Pie Stall (on my Stag night I was lent against the wire fence and immediately slumped sideways behind the Stall) and the Casa Vantana (trying to persuade friends it was not nice to top the sugar bowl with cold coffee).
Title: Re: The parlour caf'e Rochester.mods / rockers
Post by: Ajemp on November 04, 2015, 12:16:16

     Hi Aashurbanipal,I can remember the casa ventana very well, smoky, dark, some strange music  playing,


                          took  my girl friend there ( now my wife)   it was seedy place at the best  of time, there was a chap there  called  chabbers   always very friendly.  there was no health  and safety  just the one stair case to struggle up there was columns of bricks  seperating  people,  a dark and dingy  celler but we enjoyed it , the place to be seen (almost).............ajemp