Steve, who has contributed
several items to this website, is researching the local cafes along the
A30 and, would like to get in touch with the former owners of the
various cafes, and anyone else with knowledge about them, and/or with
photos of them, especially those taken before the M3 opening in June
1971. Any general A30 road views as well. 643.108
Prompted by various references to transport vehicles Sue
wrote "I used to walk along the A30,
between The Jolly Farmer and
Yorktown, to school between 1954 and 1958. I remember my brother and I
'spotting' a fleet of lorries that had the names of nursery characters
on the front of each lorry - I remember one was called Mother Goose. I
wonder if anyone knows which company these lorries belonged to.
The Lupin cafe was on the A30 just beyond Waterers Nursery. I
am told that it closed in the summer of 1973, two years after the M3
(J3-J8) opened in June 1971. It is now the site of Lupin Close.
[643.0306] The location can be seen [620.0106]
Roy Draper replied:
Sylvia tells us:During the war and in fact for some time
the Lupin cafe was managed by my family. My mother Zena Champion (then
Daniels) also worked there with her sisters, Phylis, Muriel and Edna.
Later my Aunt Phylis married Jack Dyer and he became the manager.
provided the photo alongside which he thinks is of Bagshot's Lupin Cafe
and asks if anyone can confirm this. He thinks that the cafe
was used as a location in the 1963 film "The Hi-Jackers" [Aug
has confirmed that this is indeed the Bagshot Lupin Cafe and that it
was used in the film that featured Anthony Booth as the truck driver
who had his truck hi-jacked. [Jul 15]
Ken P has written to say that the Lupin Cafe featured in a
"Dixon of Dock Green" episode in 1973. [Jul 17]
Another reader tells us:Between Bert's and the garage was a Little
of the smallest in Britain, seating about 10 from memory. The site can
still be traced. ref 643.iii6
I remember the Little Chef
in Bagshot, writes Diane
Draper (Wilson) My Mum's friend, Ella
Fogarty worked there.
It was small, but you didn't really think about that when you were in
there. I did not realise that it was the smallest one in Britain. How's
about that then. One day when I was in there with my Mum seeing Ella, a
famous gentleman came in, he had big blue eyes. My mum is trying to
remember who it was. Any ideas from any one who he was?? Also the
Beverley Sisters were in there one day too. They probably had come for
a nose at the smallest Little Chef around. iii6
It straddled the Windle Brook on a bridge that is
still there and can be seen in these 2007 photos.location
Several readers have written that they remember eating in the
Bagshot Little Chef . Does anybody has a photo of it?
I worked there every
Saturday and Sunday (age:
14yrs) writes Rita Stevens (Puglisi) . It
was the smallest, and the Branch No was 007..!!!! my Boss at that time
was related to Jimmy Tarbuck and she had to go on 'This is your life'.
I remember Ella working there too.. Great fun and enjoyed working
there. (Oct 11)
Alan Woods : I remember the
Chef. I was in the navy and travelled past every weekend. I called in
for a coffee, and a smile from Pina. [Jul 17]
From 'Bagshot Boy': Bagshot's
Little Chef actually had yet another, rarely mentioned
claim-to-fame in that apart from only seating a maximum of 10
customers and being the smallest in the country, it was also the
only Little Chef ever to be built and located above water on a
concrete platform specially built for it.
The restaurant was small, cozy and very
well laid out, and also
had bar stools at the counter facing the two staff working there
frying the onions and cooking the burgers ... these were the best
burgers in Bagshot!
A tradition at the restaurant for
visitors leaving, was to stop
outside and drop a small coin into the stream below while making
At the weekends, during the summer months
it was extremely
popular with the classic car and biker petrol heads who often
held their meetings on a Sunday in the carpark of Bert's Café
Over the years many celebrities have been
seen and served there
while they were staying and entertaining at the local Pennyhill
After its closure and
demolition, the concrete platform was left
untouched and is still there today for all to see!
Sadly, it is now all gone, and hardly any photographic evidence
remains detailing its existence.[May 20]
Lynda asks, "Does
the Jolly Tea Rooms on the A30, next to Sparks Garage and opposite the
Jolly Farmer pub ?" ref 697.706
well remember the
Jolly tea rooms - we used to have a coke there and play the juke box
.When was it demolished I wonder ?" 260.906
Neil wrote that he has a picture of the Jolly
Tea Rooms (see at right) on his website www.camberleyarchivephotos.com.
He also has an aerial photo of the Jolly Farmer taken late
1970's which shows that the tea rooms had by then been demolished, but
the site not yet redeveloped. [re
Another Neil writes:The Jolly Tea
Rooms backed onto our garden when we lived on the Maultway North. I
think it was owned by an Italian family, I only remember his name as
being Tony and his dog which never stopped barking, we used to scrump
all of his apples which hung over our garden. [ref
Berts Gone Mad was the name of a transport cafe on the
bypass, almost opposite the Dolly Varden. It became "Jack's" fish and
chips outlet. It was demolished in 2021 to be replaced by a care home.
Terry Hatchett writes: I
deliver to Bert's in the early 50's
for Telfers meat pies, sausages and cakes. I remember Bert as a large
man with a hearty laugh and sense of humour. I remember staying there
one night when the fog came down a peasouper and we couldn't move. We
roughed it with the truckers, we were packed in like sardines. It was
just Bert's cafe then. It was one Christmas when he laid on special
Christmas dinner at a very special cheap price and he put a large sign
in the window saying "Bert's gone mad". He later did another promotion
saying "Bert's gone mad again", and from then on the name stuck.
Doug Beales writes : Early in my 45 years as a lorry driver, most of which was spent
with Jempsons of Rye, I used to over-night at Berts Cefe in the
1960's when delivering plaster to builders merchants in the area.
It was also a dinner time stop when delivering to the big
building schemes at Bracknell. I remember Bert was also quite
sucessfull as an amature cycle racer in his youth. The Towers at
Basingstoke was a popular stopover with Jempson's drivers.[2021 Mar]
More about the Bert's Gone Mad is included in the
story. The location can be seen here
and a 2019 photo is alongside.
Violet Tea Rooms
precursor to Bert's was the Violet Tea Rooms. Angela provided
this photo and wrote: According to my
mum, her parents Ernest Barnet and Constance Violet
(nee Draper) had the Tea Rooms built in the late 1920's on By-Pass
Only seeing this picture a few
years ago and not being from
around the Surrey area I had no idea where it was let alone it still
being around so it was just a picture to me.
On a very recent trip to visit
Bagshot to have a look around
as I am researching the Draper side of the family we walked past Jacks
and from the front it looked very familiar to me, so on my return home
I compared the picture I had to one of Jacks. They were very similar
but I couldn't be sure, also the road was called London Road. On doing
some research and looking for old photos I came across this website and
clicked on the cafes heading. After reading about the Dolly Varden cafe
and Bert's Gone Mad I was still unsure as there was no picture so I
scrolled back and clicked on the Photos heading on the main page and
there was a link to some photos of Bagshot circa 1980 that Lee McComish
of Camberley had put on flickr. So I clicked on that and saw 2 pictures
of Bert's Gone Mad Cafe. It was definitely the same cafe but minus the
chimneys now and a few alterations but I had found my Nan and Grandad's
After doing a bit more
research of the Electoral Rolls I have
found that Ernest and Constance were there from 1927/28 - 1931/32 then
it changed hands and name and was known as By-Pass Cafe owned by a
Henry Grant and his wife Laura, then in 1937 Herbert George Rundle
purchased it and it became Bert's Kitchen, changing to Bert's Cafe in
1939 and again after 1950 to The Bert's Gone Mad until it changed hands
again and became Jacks. [Sep
Comparing Angela's photo of the Violet Tea Rooms with my
2019 photo (above) taken from as near the same spot as I could, there
can be no doubt that this is the same building, now extended.
The Wickham Tea Rooms and Gardens were at the foot of
Church Road. The property later became Fortuna's Ice Cream
An enquiry about Wickhams and pictures of it
are on the Fortuna
"Does anyone have any
knowledge or photos of Yaverland Tea Rooms circa 1932?"
asks Phil Hampstead.
Mike Hillman adds that Phil has the remains of an
enamel advertising sign for the Tea Rooms that also carried an advert
for Tea Dances, thus it looks as though it was quite a sizeable
establishment. [Mar 19]
Then Phil found this old newspaper advert.
descriptions of being on the right of Jenkins Hill after driving
through the village, together with "glamourous old-world gardens and an
18 hole putting course leads to the conclusion that it almost certainly
has to be Yaverland House being used for non-domestic purposes.
Ray confirmed this assumption, writing "I worked at Belle Vue Garage which was on the
opposite side of the road to Yaverlands House. I think that during that
time it was always flats. We at the garage had little contact with any
of the residents but one day one of them, came to us because she had
locked herself out of her ground floor flat. We could see there was a
small window open, took a ladder across and I was volunteered to try
and gain entry. Once in I soon realised that the floor felt springy
underfoot and after letting the lady back in I was told that it was the
original sprung dance floor. This room was facing to the west
(Camberley end) of the building and perhaps towards the rear of the
Do you know anything more about the Yaverland Tea Rooms
or dances in the Yaverland House ballroom?
Queen Anne House
Queen Anne House, formerly known as The Red House, is a large red brick
building on Bridge Street at its junction with the A30. It is a listed
building. Once a private residence it, or at least parts of
it, became tea rooms and by about the 1980's a restaurant - Adrian
Stent thinks probably serving French cuisine. Latterly it has
been used as offices.
In July 2020 a planning application was
submitted to convert it into 5 flats and to build a further 4 dwellings
in the grounds. .Location.
The Red House
is also discussed by Frank in the context of its use by
Can you fill in any more details about this building?
From another reader: There
were 14 cafes from Bagshot to
Basingstoke. Now there are 2. All closed after the M3 opened. In 1970,
the A30 made the Guinness Book of Records for the longest traffic jam
in Britain, from Staines to west of Basingstoke one summer Saturday.
There is a whole story of the A30 in Bagshot and beyond, to be told.
Holiday jams, lorry tales, hitchhikers, rockers, Royal Blue
asks: "Does anyone else remember
Whittle's cafe? It
used to be at the east end of the High Street next to Godwin's paper
shop. I don't remember if it was actually called Whittle's cafe, but I
remember my best mate's mum and dad used to own it in the early-mid
60's before the land got brought for the Gateway (now Somerfield)
store. I spent many an afternoon there after walking home from school
with my mate, Clive Whittle as a young lad. We always got a treat of a
bottle of coke and a penguin chocolate bar, happy days!"
John, writing before the
old cafes got added to the page, said
all these cafes in Bagshot
(although I never visited them). I have commuted by car for nearly 40
years from Camberley (more recently Farnborough) to Windlesham for my
job. I remember following Sainsburys' lorries along the A30 up Jenkins
Hill in Bagshot in the late 1960s and early 1970s and they nearly
always turned into the Lupin Cafe. It had a large lorry park and the
cafe was in a wooden building at the back near the railway. I also
remember the "The Little Chef" it was built on a concrete slab over
Windle Brook at the back of the BP Filling Station.
Also the most famous
cafe in Bagshot is the one that
used to be in the Pantiles it was featured in the film about Douglas
Barder "Reach for the Sky" (1956). He met his wife there, I believe she
was a waitress.
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