Well, we moved into our new venue and had a great cafe event there in November, and then Storm Desmond came rolling over the hills! Some people have had a very bad time of it, and so we can’t complain too much, but the basement was completely flooded and our freezer and food destroyed. The electrics have been damaged and the building might require extensive rewiring. The flood waters reached the basement ceiling and may have damaged the structure of the floor above. The floor will be inspected for safety soon and we’ll know whether it’s safe or whether significant building works lie ahead. The building is insured, of course, and so everything is covered, but it might take some time to sort things out. Mark Cutter, our host at the Juke Joint, will be coordinating the clear up and cataloguing of the damage, and we might need some volunteers to help with that task. On the positive side, if there is some rebuilding work to do, then this might be an opportunity to improve aspects of the venue. We really want the building to be accessible and if we’ve already got the builders in then maybe this is the chance to do it, and we’ll go all out with fundraising to achieve that!
So, for the moment, we’ve lost our dedicated venue, but happily Mark has stepped up and offered to host Lancaster People’s Cafe at his other venue, The Robert Gillow. How lucky are we! This is a lovely venue and on December 30th we’ll occupy the venue and run our cafe in our unique pay-as-you-feel way! We’ll be getting our FareShare food collection on the 28th, preparing some lovely festive foods on the 29th, and throwing open the doors at midday on the 30th. The venue has changed, but the Lancaster People’s Cafe goes on!