The Cafe

Mrs. Warburton, of Tunbridge Wells, England had a Back to the Past spacetime slip.  (Original post at

On the morning of 18th June 1968, an elderly lady, Mrs Charlotte Warburton, went shopping with her husband in the town.  They decided to go their separate ways for a while and to meet up later.  That morning, unable to find a particular brand of coffee from her usual grocer she went into a supermarket in Calverley Road.  As she entered the shop she saw a small café through an entrance in the left-hand wall.  She had never before realised that there was a café there.  old_cafe_by_past1978-d4l70wfIt was rather old-fashioned with wood panelled walls. There were no windows and the room was lit by a number of electric bulbs with frosted shades.

There was at the time, she thought, nothing especially odd about the scene.  “Two woman in rather long dresses were sitting at one table and about half a dozen men, all in dark lounge suits, were sitting at the other tables further back in the room,” she said.  “All the people seemed to be drinking coffee and chatting . . . a normal sight for a country town at eleven o’clock in the morning.”

Mrs Warburton did not stay but she certainly did not recognise anything amiss either then or indeed for several days.  Even the rather formal and slightly off-key clothing made no immediate impression on her.  Nor did the fact that although the customers were talking there was no noise from them to cause her to question her senses.  Nor did she notice that there was no smell of coffee.

There is clearly something strange here.  Yet without questioning the circumstances in which she found herself, Mrs Warburton blithely left the café and went to meet her husband.  And she did not suggest to him that the scene at the café seemed in any was odd.

When they came to Tunbridge Wells on their next shopping expedition Mrs Warburton decided to take her husband to the café.  But they never did find the place though they searched the street up and down.  No, they were told in the supermarket, there was no café there.  She must be in the wrong building.  It was then that they learned about the Kosmos Kinema which had stood on the site of the supermarket.  They were directed to the Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, where the steward told them that at one time the Constitutional Club had owned the premises adjoining the Kosmos, which was now incorporated into the supermarket.  The club had had an assembly room in those days and to the rear a small bar with tables for refreshments.  Mrs Warburton’s description tallied exactly with the club’s old refreshment room.

The bar, the cinema and the assembly room had all vanished years ago, Mrs Warburton was told.  Yet, on 18th June 1968, she had stepped into the past and like others involved in time-slips had accepted without question, the place in which she found herself.


About aloholmes

We live in a wondrous universe, and I love learning about it. Spacetime slips are one facet of existence that fascinate me. As a retired teacher I enjoy researching this topic and sharing the information I garner.
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