Gran inspires businesswoman to open 1940s-style tearoom

Jackie O'Beirne in Glady's Vintage Tearoom, Seaton Carew.
Jackie O'Beirne in Glady's Vintage Tearoom, Seaton Carew.

A MUM has opened a new 1940s-inspired tea room in Hartlepool in memory of her adored late grandmother.

As a child Jackie O’Beirne loved to visit the home of her Nana Gladys – whose full name was Gladys Parkes, nee Ingram – where she and her cousins would laugh and play and be treated to an abundance of cakes and biscuits and other nice things to eat and drink.

Jackie O'Beirne in Glady's Vintage Tearoom, Seaton Carew, with a photograph of her Grandparents James and Glady Park

Jackie O'Beirne in Glady's Vintage Tearoom, Seaton Carew, with a photograph of her Grandparents James and Glady Park

The memories etched such a mark on Jackie, that she always dreamed of opening a cafe in the style of her late grandparent’s cosy house in Jutland Road, over on what was previously known as the Old Wagga.

Now aged 44, the mum-of-four, a former hairdresser and beauty therapist, has achieved that aspiration with the opening of Gladys’ Tea Room, named so after her precious nana who died over two decades ago aged 73.

The tea room is strongly influenced by the 1940s, the era when Gladys grew up, with uniforms, decor, crockery and music all from the decade.

Jackie said: “I’ve always wanted to open a tea room. When I was a kid I used to go to my nana’s with all my cousins every Sunday afternoon and she would have all the cakes out and other nice things to eat.

“I just thought, I’d like to make a tea room in the style of my nana’s, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

“The tea room is just like walking into my nana’s.”

Jackie, who lives in Seaton, added: “One of my first and favourite memories was at my nana’s eating cake. I’d love to go back to my nana’s and that’s where I got the inspiration for this place from.

“My nana was young in the 1940s and vintage seems to be quite on trend so I thought it would be good.

“All of my family have been a huge help to me and have been really supportive, even my aunties have been making 1940s-style pinnies for me and the staff to wear.”

The tea room is filled with 1940s-style stuff, with sideboards, tables and chair’s similar to what were in her nana’s house, old crockery, flags, and war pictures, while all the staff wear tea dresses from the era, and style their hair up with head-scarves on.

Music playing is also from the 40s with hits from the likes of Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn, George Formby, Gracie Fields, The Andrews Sisters and other swing music from Glady’s childhood.

Gladys was brought up on the Headland and her father, John Henry Ingram died in France in the First World War.

Her family then moved to the Old Wagga area where she married Jackie’s grandad, James Parkes, who was a rifleman in the Second World War.

The pair went on to have five children Paddy, Pauline, Jackie’s mum Josephine Twidale, 68, Ann, and Kevin.