Leisure => Retail => Restaurants & Cafes => Topic started by: filmer01 on December 05, 2014, 10:41:13

Title: Where was this?
Post by: filmer01 on December 05, 2014, 10:41:13
I have found this interior shot with very distinctive round (neon?) lighting as well as the globes.

Pitched roof to the far side, with skylights, and the windows have two angled "Bed and Breakfast" signs on them - readable from the inside.

Appears to have been taken after a meal, everyone seems to have teacups but the unused seat on the right still has a place setting. The three ladies on the right look like waitresses - anyone recognise the uniform?

The man to the left of the waitresses looking over his right shoulder (coat on back of chair) is my father, looking exactly as he appears in photos dated 1940. Definitely more women than men in view - but no blackout? So where and when and especially why do intrigue me - any offers?
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: JohnWalker on December 05, 2014, 12:11:41
A Lyons Tea Shop perhaps?
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: Alastair on December 05, 2014, 14:56:28
Don't think the uniforms are right for a 'Nippy' John. Weren't they black and white? And the inside looks a bit spartan for Lyons.
It gives the impression of a works do - I'd have said a canteen of some sort were it not for the 'Bed & Breakfast' signs.

Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: grandarog on December 05, 2014, 15:11:01
It looks far to austere and poorly decorated to be a commercial cafe, I think perhaps it is in a factory .Office door appears to be the sort for that type of environment.
the B& B signs could be a joke. There appear to be 5 or 5 electrical boxes above the cashiers window on the right of picture.
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: Rochester-bred on December 05, 2014, 15:37:19
I am wondering if it was a building that has been temporarily used during or after the war as it looks like it has office written on the door and boarding covering it also the ceiling does not look quite right as if its a repair maybe, I am wondering if its a building that has been given temporary use due to the war damage of other buildings.
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: Mike S on December 05, 2014, 17:37:18
I have seen floor to ceiling tiling similar to this in older shop premises such as butchers shops, and I think that they had this type of globe lighting. But now just another thought, the electrical boxes above the cashiers kiosk look as though they have a flexible cable to them similar to moveable stage lighting. Can anyone zoom in to the other notices near the office door, or  make out what the tall item against the wall to the right of the office door is. If it is some sort of commercial establishment it seems a bit out of place to have curtained windows in a room which is fully tiled. Does the person who posted the picture know the occupation of the relative in the picture?
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: filmer01 on December 05, 2014, 18:04:26
The tall item is a mirror, the notices are "Staff Only" at low level, and I think that the high level one is along the lines of "No valuables left on these premises", but it is difficult to see at all.

My father was called up in 1940 and I am a little vague as to his employment immediately before this but I think that he worked for International Stores in Rainham for a while. He ended up as a driver for the NAAFI.
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: scoop on December 05, 2014, 22:30:48
My observations in case it prompts anyone else:
The garland tile decoration looks like a decoration I've seen on pictures of Lyons shops.
We are only looking at half the room - there appears to be an identical neon light above the photographer.
If the roof was temporary, why the rooflights/windows?
I can't see any teapots.
The "Electrical boxes" appear to be on shelves and not mounted on the wall.
Many of the ladies do not appear to have removed their coats.
The neon lights appear to be of a design similar to below - is it a recognisable logo or trademark?
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: Rochester-bred on December 06, 2014, 11:21:40
I showed the picture to my brother and he did not know where it was but thought it looked like a works canteen but something else I had seen that he too was surprised at was the women on the front table with glasses on was a double for our mother when she was younger.
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: filmer01 on December 09, 2014, 15:28:48
I have heard back from oldest sister, now in Oz, that she remembers the picture and thinks there is a NAAFI connection. Dad drove for them from about 1943 she wrote.

My observation that there was no blackout may be answered by the rear windows being internal, the office alongside must have been into some space so maybe there more building simply left the windows in place?

Others have noticed coats still being worn, so winter.

I have seen old electrical equipment on brackets, but why so many? although as also observed from the partial second neon light, the room could easily be as large again, or even more.

Probably never know, but its fun trying  :)
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: grandarog on December 09, 2014, 16:41:44
The electrical boxes could have been outside the kitchen door for the cookers etc.
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: Alastair on December 10, 2014, 15:08:20
It's a curious building altogether. None of the walls are straight. Look at the wall on the right - it has pillars, a 30 degree bend in between the two mirrors and far more juttings-out than is proper for a normal wall.
There is also an equal amount of space, as has been pointed out, behind the photographer, as indicated by the other ceiling light. Were there an equal amount of people behind the camera or was everyone herded up one end?
In front of the Cashier's booth there is a book lying open. Bookings, possibly?
The meal appears to have finished as everyone has tea/coffee cups and there are no knives and forks except for the empty place at the table of the gentleman right foreground with the moustache and cakestand. The ladies in the left foreground appear to be on the verge of leaving - empty cups, coats on - hang on while I take a picture - and there are cruets on the table inducating a full meal beforehand.
The electrical boxes suggest some larger electric consumption than is pictured so I would agree with grandarog that there is an electrically powered kitchen next door.
Fascinating, isn't it?
Title: Re: Where was this?
Post by: oobydooby on December 10, 2014, 17:52:38
Hope you donít mind a little input from me.

Starting with the diners, the clothes are not glamorous by any means, and why would all the diners be facing and smiling at the camera unless they were all one group rather than individuals or smaller groups?  Certainly if I were in a dining room full of strangers I would not want the annoyance of a stranger taking photographs of me and my group. Why is the gent on the left beside the cashierís booth sitting alone?  If he was part of the group I would suggest he would find a seat somewhere with his peers.  This make me believe it was a works group of some kind and the lonely gent was a foreman or other kind of boss so would feel the need to sit apart from the main group.

There seems to be a second neon light and assuming it is the same pattern as the one we can see fully they are the kind that would be seen in the foyer of a cinema or theatre, but the window at the front and the tiled walls would be out of place in either establishment.  Curiously the partly seen light is enclosed on at least two sides by beams that apparently do not support the ceiling.  These beams carry some globe lights which are out of keeping with the neonís, and with the wiring pinned to them point to added lights to make it brighter and safer for the users.  The tiled wall is similar to those that may be found in public baths and the cashierís booth would be in about the right place for a public bath and slipper rooms, being away from any entrance.

Then thereís the guest book/ restaurant booking book/comments book, the low sloping ceiling pointing to a single storey building, then the office, not I suspect boarded up, rather simply curtained on the outside, I would suspect this room is actually an extension, for no other reason than it would have windows to the same height as the other windows if they were original.

Tea time so I need to stop rambling.  An enigma indeed!