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One of the very few photos taken of the inside of a teashop in the early 1920s.

J. Lyons & Co.



The service counter at K9 - Holborn teashop, October 1952

Temporary teashop in Broadgate, Coventry, after it was destroyed by bombing on 30 November 1940. It was built from scaffolding and corrugated steel sheets. The poster on the bread counter shows an airman in his flying jacket with the caption 'Careless talk may cost his life'. 

The upper floor of teashop in Southampton Row, London (date unknown).

We acknowledge with grateful thanks permission to show the above three images of the interior of Lyons teashops from The Design Archives at the University of Brighton Faculty of Art and Architecture and J.Lyons & Co. Ltd' (who gave the photographs to the Council of Industrial design in 1951).

X9 - Marble Arch teashop. The walls were clad in yellow Vitrolite glass panels. At any point in time all the teashop tables, throughout the country, were laid up in precisely the same way.

The London Wall (D5) teashop after its conversion to a Jolyon in 1973.

David Lawrence Remembers...

I supervised maintenance of teashops for one quarter of London - the south-west quarter, bounded by Hyde Park Corner, Croydon, Guildford, West Ealing - plus a couple of steak houses and a Wimpy Bar at Hammersmith Broadway. I had no training for this work, it was assumed that I knew about refrigeration, which was not so. I had three pairs of engineers to cover this area.


My day started with a visit to my local Teashop, J8 Acton, and phone in to 'control' to find out what breakdowns had been reported in that morning and where the three pairs of engineers had been sent. I would either proceed to the most serious breakdown, or if it was a bad morning, make my way to a fourth teashop with a problem like a boiler that had not lit. When all breakdowns had been dealt with there was routine maintenance to get on with.


It was a hard winter when I started on this work and there were many burst pipes. Often I'd walk into a teashop and find water flowing down a wall and I'd have to figure were it was coming from and then how to close it off without shutting the teashop down. I only carried three tools in my brief case - a screwdriver, an adjustable spanner (wrench) and a pair of Molegrips (a vice grip); this was because it carried requisition and order pads and other paperwork in there too.


Often the work went into the evening, and you were never able to get time back as you had to be in on time next morning for another round of work. I was travelling the whole time and only came in to the office one afternoon a week. I was on this work for less than two years but maintenance work is vital to be done at some time for a balanced career.

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