Morecambe cafe’s nostalgia for Air Force days

Councillor Liz Scott, Armed Forces Champion at Lancaster City Council, Amy Robinson, Northern Area Director of the Royal Air Forces Association, Jane Latin, secretary of the Morecambe branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, and Bob Latin, chairman and treasurer of the Morecambe branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, at the opening of a new RAF drop-in centre at the Gingham Kitchen cafe in Morecambe. Photo by David Hodgson.
Councillor Liz Scott, Armed Forces Champion at Lancaster City Council, Amy Robinson, Northern Area Director of the Royal Air Forces Association, Jane Latin, secretary of the Morecambe branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, and Bob Latin, chairman and treasurer of the Morecambe branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, at the opening of a new RAF drop-in centre at the Gingham Kitchen cafe in Morecambe. Photo by David Hodgson.
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A West End cafe has brought memories flooding back of the time when Morecambe was a base for the Royal Air Force.

The Gingham Kitchen reopened on New Year’s Day as not just a place to eat and drink, but also as a drop-in centre for RAF personnel past and present, and their families.

The Gingham on Marine Road West is owned by Phil Johnson, a retired RAF Flight Sergeant.

It is just a stone’s throw from the Clarendon Hotel, the headquarters of the RAF during the Second World War.

Many an RAF recruit also marched along the Promenade in the 1940s. The prom was also where many raw recruits performed their basic drill training, and the nearby Midland Hotel was an RAF hospital.

Phil wanted to provide a place where ex-RAF personnel could meet and talk over old times with friends and colleagues.

He has themed the cafe with photographs and memorabilia.

The opening was performed by Coun Liz Scott, Armed Forces Champion at Lancaster City Council, and Amy Robinson, Northern Area Director of the Royal Air Forces Association.

The Morecambe branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) will meet there on the last Saturday of every month. Anyone with an interest in the RAF is invited.

Meanwhile David Hodgson, who is also the RAFA Morecambe Branch Honorary Welfare Officer, is currently researching the history of the RAF in Morecambe for a display at Morecambe Heritage Centre.

This will be part of the Marine Road centre’s upcoming exhibition ‘Westminster by the Sea’ and also part of his research paper for Morecambe Bay Partnership, a group of local agencies who work together to promote Morecambe Bay.

Mr Hodgson is particularly interested in information about the old airfield on the site of the former National Shell Filling Factory on White Lund.

If anyone can help, please contact him at dh@pobroadband.co.uk or call 07741 081710.