Coppers Tea Rooms in Leyland, where food and drink aren't the only attraction
PUBLISHED: 10:17 29 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:26 20 February 2013
The food and drink aren't the only attraction at a Leyland tea room. Emma Mayoh reports<br/>PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Lancashire Life
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The former inmates of Leylands old police station would have had nothing more exciting than gruel and stale bread on the menu. But if they were to visit today, they would find many tantalising treats to choose from.
Just under two years ago Pam and Tim Campbell began to transform part of the building they own in Golden Hill from offices into Coppers Tea Rooms.
Rooms were lovingly renovated into grand, Victorian-style rooms and while their menu, including a delicious afternoon tea, draws people from across the county, the buildings history attracts visitors too.
The station was in operation from 1882 until 1992 and during that time housed hundreds of prisoners. Diners today can still take a look at the old cells, and the many inscriptions carved into the walls.
The building also houses the old court house which is not now open to the public but still has its original wood panelling, chandelier and the ledger used to check in the inmates. There is also a room, believed to have been blocked off many years ago, where an inmate committed suicide.
Pam, who now runs the tea room with daughter Jessica, said: There are some names that have been carved into the walls times in each of the three cells. There must have been some people who were particularly bad.
Its possible that the station was in this location because of the trouble they might have expected from people coming from the train station. But it is more likely it would have been for the convenience of any officers coming to the courts and sessions that were held here.
Many customers have told Pam and Jessica tales of relatives who once worked and lived there. This includes Inspector Williams, the first man in charge of the station. Nearby Hewitt Street is named after another of the former chiefs and today there are many policemen and women who want to take a look. There was also one young boy who spotted a ghost in one of the rooms.
For Pam, opening Coppers which is featured on The Teapot Trail as well as a local heritage guide was a chance to realise a long-time dream of running her own tea room. All around the venue are teapots the 53-year-old has collected and had donated by diners. But running the business was also a way to showcase the rich heritage of the town.
Leyland is a place with a lot of history, Pam said. We have the fantastic heritage of Leyland Truck and there used to be a lot of industry in the area. Im really pleased weve brought this tea room experience to Leyland. Its nice to know we have brought this building back into use for the community and also to be a part of the towns history and to celebrate it.
I love what were doing. I love food, tea and I love meeting new people every day. Setting up was scary and was a big leap of faith. But it had always been a dream of mine to do this and I feel very lucky Ive been able to do it. My only regret is that I didnt do it sooner.