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Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)

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Dillotford
Stafford
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121 of 156  Fri 24th Feb 2017 7:53pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2014  Total posts:29

Few pages back, some debate on first Wimpy bar; I can confirm (pretty sure about this) the first Wimpy bar in the '60's was in Ironmonger Row, where Ladbrokes are. I used to go there, a few times for morning coffee and burger. I ended up twice getting incredible stomach pains, really painful, and then I remembered both times were after visiting this Wimpy bar. Of course I don't know was it connected or not. Where I live now there is a original timber Wimpy bar take away, dating back to the sixties, and they cook to order, very occasionally use it for a treat.
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Dominic Walton
Coventry
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122 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 12:21pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2021  Total posts:12

Hi Rob, I know that it's an old subject, but one which is close to my heart as a childhood memory that I see is constantly denied by all who never witnessed it. My family was from Cheylesmore and in the 70s we were quite poor but our one treat was a pick n mix at Woolworth's every Saturday and then either a visit to the upstairs 'restaurant' where our neighbour worked or to the circular cafe, the main incentive being the rotary track inside just before the service area. My brothers and I used to sit on it and shout over to our Mum; we were only talking about it recently then read comments on Facebook by different people who say that there was no moving floor. Now, I do know that it wasn't a rotating building but there was definitely part of the floor inside that did rotate, which was a narrow track just in front of the service area. When circumstances allow, I intend to seek permission from Costa to check on what I was told by a previous owner on Facebook, "the mechanism should still be in the building, either in disrepair or not active". Unfortunately, I didn't record her name but I'm still searching - maybe she's registered on here or someone would be able to find out the family's name. Such a shame we didn't have mobile phones with cameras back then, but I aim to prove what I know from my childhood. Best regards, Dominic. Edited by member, 5th Jan 2021 1:03 pm
Dominic

Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Helen F
Warrington
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123 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 12:55pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2583

Hi Dominic, welcome to the forum Wave In advance of Rob or any other member, have you tried the Herbert? Link to one record in the Herbert collection. It's not really practical at the moment to visit the Herbert but you might be able to identify something to look at once everything's open again. If you're desperate, the staff may be able to help.
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Dominic Walton
Coventry
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124 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 1:09pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2021  Total posts:12

Hi Helen and thank you. I will try the Herbert as soon as possible, thank you for the link - at least I hope to establish the owner's names and eventually contact them - there must be something documented, surely? Best regards, Dominic.
Dominic

Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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125 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 3:51pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1833

Hi Dominic. I have looked through the newspaper archive and I cannot find any mention of it rotating, either before or after its construction in 1959. I thought this picture was interesting of the laying of the concrete floor. Looking at the index in “Coventry Collections” of articles in the Herbert it does list several pictures in their collection that might show what you remember.
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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126 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 4:12pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2857

Great shot Anne! Just as interesting are the surroundings - I think that's the City Arms Hotel on the corner of West Orchard in the background and this side entrance to a property on Fleet Street that Rob has in the Library collection. The contrast in architecture must have seemed amazing at the time as it was going up!
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Dominic Walton
Coventry
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127 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 4:25pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2021  Total posts:12

Hi Anne, That's a great photo, thank you for sharing. I'd love to see some from the inside of the finished building, which may show the 'track' I'm talking about - I'll be looking at the website to search for photos. For anybody questioning my story, just a reminder that I'm only referring to part of the inner floor that rotated around the central service area. I haven't seen anything to date either (which is why I suppose so many people think I've imagined it) - my brothers (and now some of their friends) found it odd that nobody seems to be able to back up my claim too as they remember it just as well as I do, so I will continue to search. Best regards, Dominic.
Dominic

Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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128 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 4:31pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1652

Hi Dominic, I have a feeling you could be correct. Sadly it's too late to ask my dad now, but I remember years ago he did tell me that he recalled part of the floor moving. Not all of it - and most certainly not the whole building, as some might try and have us believe (!) - but I'm sure that what he told me does agree with your description. I'd guess it would've been a narrow track, to allow employees to easily step right over it to serve customers directly - or step onto it and then allow themselves to be transferred around to wherever they needed to step off. We do seem to be in a small cult of "believers" though! Wink
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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129 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 4:46pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2857

There's been a long running joke/leg-pull on FB about the whole cafe spinning like some kind of UFO! I do recall a 'line' inside on the inner edge to the centre but it’s been that long it’s hard to separate fact from fiction as to what actually may have moved! Edited by member, 5th Jan 2021 4:49 pm
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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130 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 4:55pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1833

A couple more from the newspaper archive. The interior one was taken on the day it opened. Edited by member, 5th Jan 2021 4:58 pm
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
moriarty
allesley park coventry
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131 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 4:57pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2017  Total posts:46

Hi Dominic You know I seem to recall this narrow track. Now, we would not have gone in so I think I would have seen it in a Telegraph photo. It didn't last for long. Could it have been just to load food on to take around to the table? Interesting.
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Dominic Walton
Coventry
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132 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 5:02pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2021  Total posts:12

Hi Rob, As I recall it was only a narrow track, the speed of which was incredibly slow so no danger to anybody walking over it, but enough for us kids to enjoy at the time. So, I'll be checking with the Herbert Art Gallery (email already sent for archive information) as well as looking for the previous owners and checking with Caffe Nero. If I ask anything on Facebook, it will be met with ridicule and derogatory comments - I know what I experienced and am so desperate to prove it. Since Christmas, I've spoken with some of our childhood friends who have simply responded, "who cares? we know about the moving floor - they obviously didn't see it or have no memory", so there are actually a fair number of people who would remember this as I did. Best Regards, Dominic.
Dominic

Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Dominic Walton
Coventry
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133 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 5:09pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2021  Total posts:12

On 5th Jan 2021 4:57pm, moriarty said: Hi Dominic You know I seem to recall this narrow track. Now, we would not have gone in so I think I would have seen it in a Telegraph photo. It didn't last for long. Could it have been just to load food on to take around to the table? Interesting.
Hi moriarty, It's obviously getting harder to prove this but I'm not going to give up, online searches aren't showing much but I think there's information to be found from the building itself, hopefully there will be records of the engineering or mechanisms used.
Dominic

Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
All posts by this member
134 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 5:24pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3477

On 5th Jan 2021 4:31pm, Rob Orland said: Hi Dominic, We do seem to be in a small cult of "believers" though! Wink
I must be a member of that cult then. That large photo was unforgettable with the lady with the coffee froth on her lip. Wink
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
moriarty
allesley park coventry
All posts by this member
135 of 156  Tue 5th Jan 2021 5:28pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2017  Total posts:46

Dominic Ann's post 130 shows on the first opening there doesn't appear to be room for the track it's a bit blurry though You say you rode on it so it must have been installed later, so a photo would have been after the opening (there is precedent for this in the city that stupid rocking and rolling lady Godiva. clock)
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)

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