Street party marks the opening of village’s new community cafe

Mike Harding.
Mike Harding.

Cafe 27, part of Burton-in-Lonsdale’s community-run village shop, was officially opened by comedian and folk singer Mike Harding.

The opening was celebrated with a street party including activities such as pizza making, clay pot throwing and apple bobbing.

Shop staff were delighted with the great turnout.

Zeynab Wahid, cafe manager, said: “I’m very happy – we had no idea if we’d have one person or 100! It’s a great opportunity for the cafe to show what we do best.”

Cliff Randall, chairman of the shop trustees, added: “We really hope to see all these people coming back Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – not just today!”

After officially opening the cafe, Mr Harding presented the awards for the ‘decorate your own bunting’ competition, which was won by Erin Conway, seven, and James Nelson, six.

Following this, a number of local musicians aided Mike in providing the shop with musical entertainment.

Mike said: “It’s the first time in my life I’ve played in a pick ‘n’ mix department – but it was great!”

When asked his thoughts on the new cafe, he added: “I think it’s a great example of what people can do when they get together. It’s great that the shop is still going and that the local people have kept it alive.”

The cafe - which is entirely funded by grants given by the Big Lottery (Village SOS), Craven District Council, The Harold and Alice Bridges Charity and the Cooperative Membership Fund – hosted its first bistro evening at the end of November, with more planned in the future.

Café 27 is open Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 2.30pm.