The things customers leave behind
WE'VE all done it. Left something behind
somewhere, and can't remember when we last had it. Or know where it
is but cannot go back
to retrieve it because we were simply passing through a town.
It is certainly true of the
former owners of the umbrellas which "decorated" the coat stand in
the former Inglenook Tea Shoppe in Pillory Street, Nantwich. (It's
called Molly's Tea Shoppe now - see above). At the time of
writing this letter there were
eight small umbrellas, a "golfing" umbrella, a raincoat and a pair of pink
They had all been left
behind by customers - mainly visitors to the town - otherwise they
would have been reclaimed by now.
The then proprietors, Caroline
and Bob Hope, had more umbrellas at home (removed
to make space for the next batch) - and
yet more had been borrowed by locals caught out in a sudden downpour.
Not pictured was a cushion
which a person in a wheelchair had taken into the tea shoppe and
transferred to their chair at one of the tables while they dined. When they left,
they forgot to transfer it back. So it became available to any
customer who needed to use it.
But the best "lost
property" of all (albeit briefly) was a pair of false teeth, or dentures if you
prefer. Bob told me that the wearer took them out in the "wash room" after
a meal - and then left the tea shoppe without them. They returned,
several minutes later to reclaim them.
Didn't their mouth feel
different? Weren't they talking differently?
Other lost property had been:
A loaf of bread a customer had taken into the
and placed on
the umbrella tree while he enjoyed a meal. (What was wrong with his
table?) And, yes, he left without it! The day was saved by Bob
calling to him across the car park at the back of the shoppe to let
l There must have been tears before
bedtime when one youngster went home without a bug-eyed, purple
plastic centipede. It wasn't nice to touch but the child
probably loved it.
Bob and Caroline retired from the tea
shoppe in 2010 but still call in from time to time.