Saturday, February 01, 2014

A Bridge Not too far: Victory As Campaign Saves The Chelsea Tea Hut.

An overwhelming victory has been won by campaigners who have fought and saved the iconic coffee stall, once frequented by the Rolling Stones and The Beatles, now saved from losing its license

The future of Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall, in Queenstown Road, was uncertain following complaints by people living in Chelsea Bridge Wharf over noise and litter.


But Wandsworth councillors voted last night to preserve the license, after a petition signed by more than 700 people to save the stall was presented.

Complaints were made to the council over noise, litter and anti-social behaviour by 27 members of the Chelsea Bridge Wharf Residents Association.

Neighbours said people urinated on stairs close to the river and customers were kicking balls against their lift.

The stall, which has been open since the 1940s, was a famous meeting spot for rockers known as the Chelsea Bridge Boys during the 1960s.


Renato Di Paola has been the license owner for about two years, with a 24 hour trading license being in place for over 45 years.

He said: "We do have a lot of residents in favour of us and haven't got a problem with us, there is some that have got a problem with us.

"We get all sorts, it is really there for the community. Police officers, underground workers, taxi drivers, young people that have gone out, ambulance drivers all come here."

    Campaigners Keith Garner and Brian Barnes, with Renato Di Paola centre

The original snack stall is now an exhibit at the London Transport Museum, but a stall has continued to trade in the area.

Hundreds of former rockers signed the petition, with people living as far away as Australia and Hong Kong getting involved.

Mandi Hayden, 50, who started the petition, said: "Every single bit of the old Battersea has gone. It has just moved.

"They can't keep taking everything, they have got to leave us something - there is history behind it.

"There used to be a massive community spirit in Battersea when I was growing up in the 60s to 70s, it has really brought that back.

"It is lovely that spirit is alive and kicking and that many people came forward."

Editorial Comment:
Taxi leaks have promoted several on-line petitions in the past which have come up against much criticism. 
This campaign shows how effective just 700 signatures can be under the right circumstances.

Well done to all who participated and well done for Ranato who will continue to offer us all a light refreshment  on the side of Battersea Bridge. 

6 comments:

Onions please. said...

Well done, a little bit of 'our London' keep for a little while longer.
Good point made about pressure carefully applied can bring results.

Anonymous said...

Again Jimmy, you have shown how valuable your contribution is to the traditions of our capital.

Well done to the petition organisers and well done to the readers of Taxi Leaks, who took time out to fill in quite a complicated form. But it was worth the effort in the end,

Why should we let them take away our heritage.
Never give up, never give in, keep punching

Mandi Hayden said...

Hi, I am the one that started the group to save the stall on facebook, I also was single handed in starting the petition
Mandi Hayden

Mandi Hayden said...

I started the save the stall group on Facebook. I also started the Petition and in 3 days I managed to obtain over 700 signatures. I'm originally from Battersea and lived there for over 35 years, I was not going to let the "Angry from mayfair" mob destroy yet another piece of Batterseas history!.
Mandi Hayden

Editorial said...

Well done Mandi,
Wish there were more like you.

And thank you on behalf of the all the Taxi drivers who still have somewhere to get a quick cuppa, in the middle of the night.

Jim Thomas TtT.

Littlemrs said...

So glad to hear the coffee stall was saved, in 1900 my great grandfather Joseph Andrew owned the coffee stall at Chelsea bridge on the ground of the LBSCR so I can say with authority a coffee stall has stood there for at least 115 years.
Anita Lundgren