Leisure => Retail => Restaurants & Cafes => Topic started by: Norwester on September 03, 2013, 23:35:28

Title: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Norwester on September 03, 2013, 23:35:28
Hi. I wonder if any older readers could possibly place where this photograph was taken. It might have been outside a tea shop, a restaurant or even a works canteen. The lady on the right is my late mother-in-law, Emma Eaton. Not certain of the date but probably 1945/46 and it was definitely Chatham. I'd be very pleased if anybody could throw any light on the location.

(http://i1162.photobucket.com/albums/q540/seftonpark10/EmmaChatham.jpg)
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Troyboy on September 08, 2013, 20:58:03
Hi Norwester, there used to be a Lyon's Teahouse in Chatham High Street in the 50's, whose waitresses had uniforms which were similar in style.
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Bryn Clinch on September 08, 2013, 22:43:32
I think you may be right, Troyboy. I remember going to Lyons in Chatham but don`t remember any waitresses. I think only the Lyons Corner Houses had waitresses, nicknamed `nippies`. Was it somewhere near the Empire or nearby?
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: peterchall on September 08, 2013, 23:18:08
I'm not absolutely sure, but I think it was on the corner of Holborn Lane, next to where Argos is now.
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Lyn L on September 09, 2013, 09:23:11
My Mum-in-law worked at Lyons in Chatham for a while, I remember the place well. They did wear uniforms, as soon as I saw the pic that Norwester posted, I immediately thought of her. Would have been the 1960s.  :)
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Bryn Clinch on September 09, 2013, 11:03:45
Thanks for putting me right about the `nippies`, Lyn L. I just couldn`t remember them in Chatham, but I think they had the little `boxes` with a flap hinged at the top, which you lifted and withdrew your meal. I remember Frank Spencer creating chaos with this system in "Some Mothers Do `ave `em".
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: GP on September 10, 2013, 14:41:02
I think you may be right, Troyboy. I remember going to Lyons in Chatham but don`t remember any waitresses. I think only the Lyons Corner Houses had waitresses, nicknamed `nippies`. Was it somewhere near the Empire or nearby?

The Lyons teashop/cafe in Chatham was self service. The cashier used to remember all the prices !
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Lyn L on September 10, 2013, 19:10:54
I can't ask her now, she's been gone 40 years.  :)
I wish I had asked her all sorts of questions now. I've been searching for her Mother for Family History for years, and never found her or where she came from. My hubby can't remember what capacity she was in when she worked there, but I do remember a uniform and a little cap on her hair.
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Norwester on September 12, 2013, 08:42:50
Hi. I'm very pleased to have some replies re my picture. It was a long shot even asking but always worth doing so on the off chance somebody might recognise where it was taken. The possibility that it might have been a Lyons tea-shop occurred to me too but having found a few pictures of their 'nippies,' their uniform seems to be different than the one in my picture. I guess the location of where it was will have changed long ago too, so it looks like we'll never know. A good lesson in asking relatives about their lives and history while they're still around!
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: smiffy on September 12, 2013, 16:35:36
I'm wondering if this may be outside the entrance foyer of the Ritz Cinema - they had a restaurant upstairs.
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: peterchall on September 12, 2013, 16:41:37
It looks like stills from the films that used to be displayed outside cinemas behind them, so that could be. But was the Ritz the only one with a restaurant?
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Signals99 on September 14, 2013, 13:46:33
Hi Peterchall
The Majestic/Gaumont at Rochester did teas at one time. I don't think it did cooked food, sorry I can`t give a date, but my informant tells me it had waitresses!
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: smiffy on September 14, 2013, 17:41:33
The original post states "definitely Chatham" which is why I suggested the Ritz. I don't think that any other Chatham cinema had a restaurant, unless you include the Empire.
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Signals99 on September 14, 2013, 21:22:53
Ok Smiffy
Point taken,teach me to read things properly before I post :)
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: smiffy on September 14, 2013, 22:12:53
That's ok Signals - I didn't know about the Gaumont having waitresses, so that's something new that I've learnt!
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: rochester1 on February 10, 2015, 15:06:27
The Majestic in Rochester had a tea rooms upstairs and very nice it was too. Carpeted and quite posh. My parents would take me there as a treat and of course to supplement the rationing (no coupons needed) and we would dine regally on Beans on Toast. What it cost I have no idea but probably 8d to 1s. I say this as I remember dining at the fish and chip shop further along the High Street and the cost was 1/3d dine in! 1/6 with peas.
The Majestic ballroom (afternoon tea rooms) later hosted dancing to Victor Sylvester's strict tempo and now its all gone. Such a pity.
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Signals99 on February 11, 2015, 15:41:30
rochester1, your memory serves you well, my second wife worked in the 'Majestic/Odeon' in Rochester for many years as an usherette, she well recalls the high teas served in the  tea room.
The lady often spoke of the dance evenings, Victor Sylvester, someone called Ambrose, all very popular.
At the time, another popular thing apparently was the afternoon tea dance.
She recalled that the tea rooms were also used by a dancing school at one time.
I think her favourite memory was listening to the organ being played. All happy memories thank you.

A
Title: Re: Chatham waitresses.
Post by: Bryn Clinch on February 11, 2015, 15:56:38
Ambrose`s Dance Band was highly acclaimed in the 30s and 40s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwV7o2kQAfI