Take a walk down memory lane at 1940s tearoom in Rushden

A new 1940s tearoom has opened its doors to customers in Rushden.

ARP Warden Peter Horn, USAAF Cpt Mick Hart and WAAF radio op Tracy Morris having tea at the new tearoom
ARP Warden Peter Horn, USAAF Cpt Mick Hart and WAAF radio op Tracy Morris having tea at the new tearoom

People can pop in for light refreshments following the official opening of Serve’s 1940s vintage tearoom in Church Street yesterday (Monday).

Rushden mayor Kaye Rawlins and other guests invited to the opening were greeted by music from the time and surrounded by pictures, furniture and pieces of memorabilia from the 1940s or reminiscent of that time.

Serve’s general manager Jessica Slater said: “The cafe is open to the general public, not just people who use Serve.

The opening of the 1940s tearoom

“It is for everybody who has an interest in the 1940s.

“And any revenue made from the tearoom will support the services we offer.

“It’s a good opportunity to have a tearoom and generate some of our own funding.

“It’s volunteer-led, we were training volunteers last week and they will start this week.

The opening of the 1940s tearoom

“The only paid staff are in the kitchen.”

Jessica said they had looked at what was on offer in Rushden and thought the tearoom would work as there is nothing else with a 1940s theme.

She added: “The average age of our clients is about 80-years-old so it complements that, but I think the general public will like it too.

“It’s a nice theme and it’s something nice to have in the town.”

A number of individuals and organisations have helped with the tearoom, which will be open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Mick George has donated more than £20,000 towards the project, Rushden Museum helped source pictures to hang on the walls and Mark Gilmour designed and carried out all the building work.

While staff at Serve have been searching across the country for tables, lighting, fixtures and fittings from the time, they have also had help from Station 109 in Rushden to kit out the tearoom.

People in the town have also helped by donating pieces of memorabilia and china crockery.

The menu includes 40 types of loose leaf tea, scones, cream teas, afternoon tea, sandwiches and paninis.

Serve was formed in 1981 as an information and resource agency providing support for older people in the Rushden area.

The organisation now covers the wider area of East Northamptonshire, North Bedfordshire and parts of Wellingborough.

It offers a wide range of services, including day trips and activities, community transport, personal homecare and domestic cleaning, a handyman service and the therapy centre in Higham Ferrers.

The charity has a client base of more than 5,000.

Anyone who would like to volunteer at the tearoom can call Jessica or Diane Eaton at Serve on 01933 315555.

For further information about Serve, go to www.serve.org.uk.

For more details about the tearoom search for Memory Lane Tearooms on Facebook.