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26 Andover Road (formerly 2 Tivoli Buildings)
This property, 2 Tivoli Buildings, was the home of Mr George Brunsdon, a baker, in 1865 and by 1876 was occupied by Mr William Howell, a dairyman. In 1879 it became the Tivoli Coffee Tavern.
The Coffee Taverns were started in Cheltenham in 1870 by Major Kington, to provide facilities for strangers as well as locals, who sought somewhere for relaxation not connected with local hostelries. The Tivoli Coffee Tavern, the fifth to be opened in Cheltenham, began life on 13th October 1879. The aim of this establishments was to cater for ‘the greater number of artisan and working class people who have recently taken up residence in the extensive block between Hatherley Place ( St Stephen’s Road) and Tivoli Villas ( Tivoli Road), it being almost entirely occupied by them.’
The Tavern was fitted up in ‘an attractive and artistic style, with drink and food provided at the usual moderate tariff.’ Meals were provided from 5.30 am until 10.30 pm – rice pudding and cakes, chops and steak, with afternoon tea at 3d per head. The Tavern also served as the depot for the Provident Coal and Clothing Company. One could suggest that this was Tivoli’s first Social Centre! The Vicar of St Stephen’s at the time wrote that such institutions would halt the progress of intemperance by inducing breadwinners of the neighbourhood to prefer it to the Public House - a sure way of ingratiating himself with the landlords of the five hostelries in the very small and heavily populated area about which he was talking!
The Tavern moved to a new premises in Tivoli Street in 1890 – the present St Stephen’s Club site - and provided the opportunity for Mr Sadler, the grocer from next door, to acquire the vacated premises. It remained part of a grocery business until 1973 when it became the Tivoli Café, run by Andrew Lithgoe. Since then it has seen several owners and uses, including a showroom for Jason Tool Hire from 1977 and more recently as an Art Showroom.
The current business, ATC Floors & Doors, supplies and fits custom made wooden floors and doors and related furniture.
Researcher: Brian Torode
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