I've been meaning to go there since I don't know when and today I finally stepped over the threshold.
Church Street might as well be renamed Sally's. As you walk to the end of the High Street in Stugely on the left hand side heading southwards you come to a small cafe' that rounds the corner of High Street and Church. Walking along Church Street, without crossing over, there is a small electrical shop, a cheap shoes shop and then you come to Sally Ann's. This too rounds the corner of the entrance to a side-street with wide shop-front's in both.
A board above the window in Church Street reads as follows:
THE SALVATION ARMY.
Sally Ann's Cafe'.
Customers can be seen seated at tables therein and for a moment I hesitated but what the hell I pushed door open and in I entered.
As I walked through the door off the street it seemed as though I walking into some kind of reception area. Reception for what? I wondered. There were two easy chairs. A woman standing behind a counter and there was a sign on the far wall that informed visitors of "The Sanctuary Prayer Room " and that all are welcome. I decided to give that a swerve and headed for the Cafe'.
Pushing through double doors I walked, rather sheepishly, into a room that I can only describe as cosy. This was no cheap make-shift or make-do establishment. The floor was nicely carpeted. The tables were round solid wooden two and four seater affairs supported by stout pillars with four feet spreading out from the bottom. Not a steel frame or formica-top in sight.
Display stands on a more than welcoming counter offered an array of home made cakes and a woman, smartly dressed in black and white uniform, waited to take my order. I opted for a Cup Cake and a large coffee that came on a silver tray. Mug of black coffee accompanied by a small jug of milk, a silver spoon, silver no less, a white serviette,and a til receipt with the words "God Bless You" at the bottom. I helped myself to a sachet of demerara sugar as I went and sat at a small table in a corner behind the door.
I don't know if there is a definable "Salvation Army" type but the place reeked of respectability. a certain kind of clientele, it seemed and maybe that's just me, were in attendance. There seemed to be a kind of unspoken dressed-code, people chatted in hushed tones and there were no smells. The lady at the counter stuck postits with cooked meal oders on a dividing glass window and the cooking area was separate from the eating area. I actually found the tone quite refreshing, a haven of calm and tranquility, courtesy politeness and good manners, away from the world outside.
I would like to have observed the goings on but, in a place like that, one just doesn't I supposed and so, I devoured my cup cake, drank my coffee and tip-toed to the exit. I think I shall be going there again.
Back on the street as I walked towards the bus-stop I passed a church type/styled building.
" high on the wall on one side above the entrance were the words " Salvation Army Worship Hall" and on the other side "Christian Church For Everyone".
The next building I came to, SALVATION ARMY, Sally Ann's Charity shop. My bus stop was in site and I didn't have to wait long.
I've had an enjoyable/interesting morning.