The weather was so beautiful yesterday that we decided to walk down to the park and not waste the glorious spring sunshine. For the first time ever, we stopped at the small Cafe just inside the park entrance where we sat down outside to enjoy an ice cream each. As we sat there, I cast my mind back to the history of this now very popular resting place. It has enjoyed a very chequered history, and not one that would have ever encouraged the thought on any long term resident of this town that it would end up in its current popular guise.
It was built originally as public toilets, the nearest door you can see in the photograph was the entrance to the Ladies, and at the other end of the building was the Gents. Unfortunately it was not furnished with any windows at all, so as I recall from any of my very infrequent visits there, it was dark and dingy and not a place to hover around in. In fact that goes some way to explaining why I can’t recall much about the exact layout, because I would have avoided using it unless really desperate.
Most residents must have felt the same, because over a period of time it ended up neglected and uncleaned as did most public toilets. Before it was finally shut down and closed however, it was the venue for a local scandal involving men meeting up there for clandestine goings on of I suppose a sexual nature. I can’t remember the exact details, but the police must have been ‘caging the joint’ (our local police station is only down the road) and several men were arrested.
It stood then for a while not being used for anything until a Brighouse couple decided to take it over and turn it into the very popular cafe that it is today. On warm days such as yesterday, tables and chairs are placed outside on the paved area in front of the Cafe, and when its raining, there is some room (but not much) to sit down inside.
In the photo are three bike riders, all dressed in full riding gear, who propped their bikes against the fence in front of the Cafe and sat down to enjoy a coffee or a latte. Sat at another of the tables were two young ladies complete with twins in a twin buggy who were fast asleep as they enjoyed the weather and the inevitable texting on their mobiles. Behind K was a family with a dog which kept barking, causing K to keep jumping out of her skin and have a face like thunder. She hates dogs barking and heaved a sigh of relief when they got up to go.
Of course many people just call in for an ice cream or drink as they walk past the Cafe on their way down to the slides and swings. It has become a very popular stop off for many, and is much more suited to its present role, though I would have added a window to the front of the building as its still rather dark and dingy inside.
Here’s some more info about the Cafe from our local rag.