Dorothy Cafe - Cambridge

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    Any idea where this is in Cambridge, I haven't.

    1. prm131313 100 months ago | reply

      Became Waring & Gillow furniture stre. It is now Waterstones Bookshop, Bridge Street.
      It was owned & run by GP Hawkins.

    2. Nick J Stone 100 months ago | reply

      That's brilliant, thanks for that, I'll seek it out.

    3. mouse158 96 months ago | reply

      Don't think that is right. I remember it being on the corner of greens street and St John's. I knew Marjorie who was the 'manageress there.

    4. Nick J Stone 96 months ago | reply

      This would have been mid 1930s, I'm ashamed to say I can't remember what year without doing some maths, but I'd guess 1937.

    5. Fraser P 94 months ago | reply

      Interesting - it's amazing how little stuff there is on the Old Dot out there on the internet. I have this old ad from a 1953 guidebook:
      The Dorothy Cafe
      You can clearly see the arched windows depicted in the ad in this general shot of the Hobson St end of the building:
      but none of the windows correspond to those visible in your snapshot. The lower ones are too big and the upper ones are too far away from the corner of the room and there is obviously another window just out of shot to the right (and reflected in the mirror behind the subjects) which doesn't match even the bricked up opening high up on the Hobson St end. It can't be at the Sidney Street front of the building either because it butts up on both sides to earlier buildings so there is no corner.

      Perhaps mouse158 is right and there was another Dorothy Cafe premises on Green St/St John Street - in/above what is now the Viyella shop, but unfortunately the window configuration here doesn't seen to fit either.

      Somewhere else?

    6. Nick J Stone 94 months ago | reply

      Has Dorothy cafe written on it my mum's handwriting, and seeing as it was her wedding reception. Did it have an upstairs?

    7. Fraser P 94 months ago | reply

      I don't know if the cafe and ballroom occupied the whole building from Sidney St through to Hobson St, but looking at the pictures I can't see how this snap could have been taken in that building - you can see that none of the windows match up, but nor do they with the Green St location. I don't know exactly when the Sidney St building was built - may have been later 30s in which case your picture may have been taken before the Dorothy moved in there.

      I may try posting an enquiry in the Cambridge FLickr group and see if anyone there knows the detailed history of the cafe, locations and buildings.

    8. Nick J Stone 94 months ago | reply

      Something else slightly evidential.

      Clipping paper.

    9. 4083trevor 91 months ago | reply

      The dorthy is now where Waterstones is, it ran all the way to Hobson Street, it had numerous rooms including the Oak room where most weddings where held. There was a big ballroom with sprung floor, onn the top floor was the sweat box a very low ceiling room which hosted many local bands, one of which was the Zodiacs. in the sixties i saw many top bands there including Amen corner, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mike and Titch, Marmalade and Edwin Starr. Hawkins did own it but, Hawkins was in fact owned by Cambridge Co-op, i spent a lot of my apprenticeship working at the Doit

    10. Nick J Stone 91 months ago | reply

      Fantastic stuff, thank you.

    11. Nick J Stone 82 months ago | reply

      I checked it out, I think they had the reception several floors up from what I can work out from window styles and spacing. Interesting from my point of view. Bit weird too, you carry a 50/50 mix of two people's DNA slopping around inside you, but still want to go and see where they did this and that. I'd say it was odd but it isn't, they're both dead and I wish I had. Time camera so I could sneak back and look. Maybe that's my problem ove the last few years. Odd.

    12. Fraser P 82 months ago | reply

      You might find this document interesting: - a wonderful piece of research by a student at Hills Rd Sixth Form for the Cambridge Archaeology Field Group. Pages 15-17 discuss the Dorothy Cafe. It seems the present building was built 1929-31. Although it mentions substantial alterations in 1963 it's obvious from the 1931 picture that these didn't affect the windows at any level. The link in my previous comment above to the recent photo of the Hobson St suggests it may have involved raising the height of the building at that end, but again the 1931 photo shows that the window recesses at the top always seem to have been 'blind' - the windows at the top were always as small as they are now and are too far away from the corner of the building to correspond to what is in your photo. I'm stumped, I'm afraid.

    13. Nick J Stone 79 months ago | reply

      Having been back since I wonder if this is what is now the cafe on the top floor.

    14. jeaneackermann 29 months ago | reply

      I remember very well the fun we had at thedances in the Dorothy during the war,,,such fun and.Cambridge was the entre for bomber ,,so on stand down nights when flying was impossible due to weather conditions , Cambridge was full of Air crew and the Dorothy was the place they all made for,,

    15. Nick J Stone 29 months ago | reply

      Jeane, do you remember which pubs the airmen favoured?

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