When Nora was in charge at the pier cafe

Nora Turner, manager of the Pavilion Cafe on Blackpool's North Pier, front row centre, with some of her staff, in 1955.''Below is the cafe interior that same year and also Roy and Nora Turner on the cafe steps with their daughter Wendy, now Mrs Stevenson
Nora Turner, manager of the Pavilion Cafe on Blackpool's North Pier, front row centre, with some of her staff, in 1955.''Below is the cafe interior that same year and also Roy and Nora Turner on the cafe steps with their daughter Wendy, now Mrs Stevenson
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Do you remember the Pavilion Cafe alongside the theatre at the sea end of North Pier?

As it was a year-round venture and not just serving summer season teas and treats, a fair few locals would have made the effort to tread the boardwalks whatever the weather.

Inside the Pavilion Cafe on Blackpool's North Pier in 1955, below cafe manager Nora Turner and her staff; and Nora, husband Roy and their daughter Wendy, now Mrs Stevenson

Inside the Pavilion Cafe on Blackpool's North Pier in 1955, below cafe manager Nora Turner and her staff; and Nora, husband Roy and their daughter Wendy, now Mrs Stevenson

Prompted by recent celebrations for the pier’s 150th birthday, Wendy Stevenson, one of Blackpool’s accredited tour guides for the Winter Gardens and Stanley Park, has been sorting through her photo albums and shares her memories today.

She says: “My mum, Nora Turner, was the manager of the lovely Pavilion Café, operated by Burtons Confectioners, in the 1950s and 1960s, with its Lloyd Loom furniture and sparkling table ware.

“She had many tales to tell of the stars who came in the cafe and the parties she catered for in the theatre. She particularly liked Eric Morecambe who was ‘just the same off stage – a wonderfully funny man’ and Frankie Vaughan – ‘a real showman and gentleman’.

“Others she talked about included the Beverley Sisters, Bruce Forsyth and Ann Shelton.”

Roy and Nora Turner on the steps of North Pier's Pavilion Cafe in 1955 with their daughter Wendy, now Mrs Stevenson. Below Nora, cafe manager, front row centre, with some of her staff, in 1955; also an interior view of the cafe

Roy and Nora Turner on the steps of North Pier's Pavilion Cafe in 1955 with their daughter Wendy, now Mrs Stevenson. Below Nora, cafe manager, front row centre, with some of her staff, in 1955; also an interior view of the cafe

Wendy says: “She remembered with fondness those happy years when crowds flocked to the pier and the 90 seater café, especially for afternoon tea.

“The fishermen frequented the café in the winter months and when there were fewer customers the staff repaired overalls for the following year and cleaned and polished all the silver teapots and hot water jugs.”

Wendy adds: “In winter the weather was so bad sometimes that the pier men had to help the staff down to the cafe.”

She says: “I remember those years as the heyday of Blackpool’s popularity and many of us have our own special memories of the pier. It is fitting that a Grade II listed structure representing such a fine example of Victorian vision is still with us and that we are celebrating its 150 glorious years.”

Readers who would like more information about the heritage tours can contact Wendy at wendystevenson16@yahoo.co.uk or on 07801 849200.

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