Throwback Thursday: Delicious coffee stall in Harpenden

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 August 2018

Harry Bennett's coffee stall, Harpenden. Picture: John Cooper

Harry Bennett's coffee stall, Harpenden. Picture: John Cooper


Along with the rest of the country Harpenden has benefitted from a recent boom in the street food industry, with popular Mediterranean food van Emilo’s thriving in the centre.

But this is no fad - the town has been enjoying yummy roadside offerings for longer than people might think.

Our Throwback Thursday highlight aims to show just how much the town has changed and evolved over time using old pictures.

This is a photo of thirsty patrons outside Harry Bennett’s coffee stall in the 1930s, from the collection of John Cooper.

The stall stood next to the Silver Cup cottages on Harpenden Common.

Facing imminent closure, owner Harry proved to be quite the activist. In 1948 the Urban District Council had thrown his stall location under threat, and he organised a petition to campaign against the decision.

He argued because it was the only roadside refreshments stall between St Albans and Luton the stand should be allowed to stay open, and the business survived until the early 1960s.

John Cooper is an author who pens pictorial history books about Harpenden - he has written A postcard from Harpenden, Harpenden Through Time, and Harpenden: The Postcard Collection.

Do you have an old picture to share? Let us know at enjoyhapendenmore@archant.co.uk

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