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King’s Lynn museum visitors enjoy First World War tastes

Lyons 'Nippy' waitress, Amy Palmer, served tea to customers, from left - Jill Tann, Chris and Mandy Pope

Lyons 'Nippy' waitress, Amy Palmer, served tea to customers, from left - Jill Tann, Chris and Mandy Pope

Nippies helped to transport visitors at a Lynn museum back to a First World War dining experience.

True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum in North Lynn was transformed into a Lyons Tea Room as part of its commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.

There were around 200 Lyons Corner Houses and Tearooms across the country where the fast waitresses, nicknamed “Nippies”, would serve tea and sandwiches. Each shop would sell baked items along with providing cafeteria type services.

Museum manager Lindsay Bavin and volunteer Amy Palmer donned the traditional black dresses and white aprons to become nippies for the day. While Mary Burnham was the charwoman.

During the day, they served tea, sandwiches and cakes to a total of 18 people on Sunday.

Museum trust chairman Dr Paul Richards said the afternoon worked very well and had an authentic atmosphere.

He said: “The afternoon showed culture and life in English towns in around 1914. It also highlighted what people’s social lives would have been in 1914.

“On Sunday, people sat on tables of three to four with sandwiches and cakes on a small stand.

“One of the most interesting aspects is that True’s Yard used to be a tea room but that would have been much rougher. The 1901 census lists it as the North End Eating Room.

“I am very grateful to Lindsay for arranging this and to our volunteers for helping.”

The museum has been putting together a number of events to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Last weekend, a recruitment office was set-up at the museum when cadets from the town, were assessed using similar tests First World War soldiers would have gone through.

The museum is also running a popular exhibition.

It’s series of talks will also include a guided walk between the exhibitions in True’s Yard and All Saints’ Church.

 

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