The Orinoo Coffee Bar On Hartfield Road - a Memory of Wimbledon.

As a teenage resident of Morden in the late fifties, my friend Dave and I occasionally frequented a coffee bar in Wimbledon on Hartfield Road near the junction with the Broadway.

We got around a bit as at the time, I had a little 1936 Austin Seven.

The coffee bar was actually called THE ORINOCO, but it managed to lose the "C" in the name on the facia one day, which I don't remember being replaced.
So it became known by us and our friends as the "Orinoo."
Great days!


A memory shared by Bob Ford on Feb 1st, 2012. Send Bob Ford a message

 Comments & Feedback

Sat Aug 29th 2020, at 7:39 pm
cmbryan34 commented:
Well now. If that ain’t the oddest of coincidences. I’m living up here in South Manchester too. Also interested in Trad Jazz. Humphrey Lyttlton playing Bad Penny Blues.
Sun Jul 26th 2020, at 2:28 pm
Bob Ford commented:
Hi Colin.
The glass cups and saucers were Arcoroc, made in France. All the West-End an Soho Coffee bars had them.
If you dropped one they'd shatter into thousands of pieces.

I was working in an office in Regent Street, I and about a dozen other teenagers mostly girls all started work their in the September of 1957 as school leavers. We occasionally used to pinch these cups and saucers from the coffee bars we visited in our lunch breaks. It was easy enough to drop a cup and saucer into the bag of one of the innocent looking girls' straw bags they all had, which they brought with them when we all went to lunch. We only had one set each, we used them for our tea-break drinks.
Once, one of the girls brought her coffee back from the coffee trolley in her nice cup and saucer and one in a plain mug for her boss.
"Why can't I have my coffee in one of those nice cup and saucers? he asked her.

"You can if you like."

"Oh thank you!"

"But you'll have to pinch them from a coffee bar first!"

Dave and I frequented different jazz clubs. As I had a car, we could get around a bit.
So other than the old Crown at Morden, there was "The Fighting Cocks" at Kingston. The Thames Hotel at Hampton Court and of course, the one on Eel Pie Island at Twickenham.
As for other coffee bars, there was a nice one near Kew Bridge and L'Auberge at Richmond.
I saw less of Dave once my future wife and I got together.

Dave and I drifted apart once I changed jobs, got married and moved up here to South Manchester. Though we got in touch by e-mail again about 20 years ago and I went over to see him a few times, when we were down visiting our daughter in Staines.

Sadly Dave died of a heart attack a year ago. He was 78.

Sun Jul 26th 2020, at 7:00 am
cmbryan34 commented:
Hi Bob, I’d just been demobbed and went back to Wimbledon. I thought the Orinoco was on the Broadway. But I could be wrong.They had glass or clear plastic cups and we thought we were really modern.Saturday night dancing at the Town Hall. Let’s see if our memories at similar.
Regards Colin Bryan.

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