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.....Teashop refurbishment.....


(2) by David Lawrence

The waitress service did not return after WW11, but all the teashops were in dire need of overhall after a period of wartime and minimum maintenance. The cafeteria counter had to get rid of the old Hot Section - a honeycombe of steam heated pidgeon-holes with an opaque stainless hinged flap hiding the dished food behind from the customer.

The counters were modernized with open Bain Maries with food in water heated pots and counter staff would portion the food out as it was asked for. At first the Teashops were changed out over a weekend - starting Friday night and openning again on Monday morning. The engineers continuously working in 12 hour shifts. However after about six months the health of the engineers began to suffer and the modernization was changed with the use of a Temporary Counter being installed first and the Teashop remaining in business although an area was cordonned off by large white dust sheets for the work of installation going on behind. Usually at the same time the kitchen was modernized with a Conveyor Washing Machine in place of the old style Soaking System for washing crockery and cutlery.

Heating and ventillating was often installed at the same time and Fresh Air and Extract ducting and large fans to move the air put in place.

There were two departments involved in the refurbishment. The Engineers (of which I was one) designed the equipment and supervised the engineers working the alterations. Secondly, the Construction dept. who managed the building alterations. A section of the Construction Dept was the Shopfitters who set out the position of the counters and the design of the shop front and internal wall cladding and decorations.

America was still a world away but D.E Klue made a trip to New York in the early 50's and reported on service and counter styles he visited. I remember doing sketches of counters for his report.

Most of the counter and kitchen equipment was built at the Park Royal works in batches of a dozen. The scheduling and costing of equipment prior to delivery was most thorough as the omittion of one item could cause much delay.

All Teashop refurbishment work was managed and coordinated by D.E. Klue. The Construction Dept was headed by -. Morris and the Shopfitters Dept. by Len Velluet, Phil Hartnett and Andy Sandford.. Air conditioning design was planned by W.H. Smith. Supervision of engineering work in Teashops was by Ron Olliffe and Ted Tozer and electrical work by Tom Jordan. Plumbing John Wise. Design and scheduling was by David Lawrence and Denis Packham.

Fitters on teashop refurbishment and fitting out new teashopsduring the 50s were: George Torkinton, Jim McCarthy, Mick Forest, Charlie Arundel (SMW)

© David Lawrence 2002  

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