Roy's Rolls (Formerly Dawson's and Jim's Cafe)

Address: 12 (or 18) Rosamund Street, Weatherfield
Phone number: ?
Current owners: No longer shown. Sold to next-door bike shop

Actual outside location: 'La Contadina' Italian restaurant, Prestwich (N Manchester)

In August 1978 baker Joe Dawson opened a bread & cakes shop and cafe (unsurprisingly called Dawson's) next door to the Kabin (that's the old Kabin in Rosamund Street), employing Emily Bishop as manageress, Janice Stubbs as waitress and the unseen Mrs Bolton in the kitchen. The cafe soon attracted scandal, for it was here that Janice first met Ray Langton which resulted in the Langton's marriage breaking up. Janice disappered from the scene, and so in January 1979, jobless Gail Potter started to work at Dawson's - where she's been ever since !

In January 1980 Dawson's was taken over by Jim Sedgewick, who changed the name to Jim's Cafe, turned it into a transport cafe and installed a juke box. Unable to stand it any longer, Emily walked out, closely followed by Mrs Bolton and Elsie Tanner took over as manageress. By October, the pregnant Gail had to finish work, and she was first replaced by the workshy Lorraine Tindall who walked out in February 1981 and was replaced by Sandra Webb. Elsie began to have personal problems - first her overtures were rebuffed by friendly customer Wally Randall, and then she had a disasterous one-night-stand with Bill Fielding. Her life began to fall apart, and after not appearing in work for some weeks, Jim Sedgewick finally sacked her in May 1981, leaving Sandra to run the cafe alone. Elsie's unnamed replacement only lasted a fortnight, and so by the following month Jim's wife Alma Sedgewick was running the cafe with the unseen Mrs Prendagast, and the cafe was open 8am - 10pm. Life was getting busy for Alma and desperate for the unemployed Elsie, and by the end of June she had started back as an ordinary worker at the cafe. Alma took this as an opportunity to swan off to the shops and generally not put the effort in - after a week Elsie walked out.

In April 1982 Gail Tilsley went back to work at the cafe, and was joined for September 1982 by Kath Simpson. We also learned that Jim and Alm had been seperated for a year and were divorcing. Alma was looking forward to receiving the cafe as a divorce settlement. By August 1984 Giail was offered and took the Manageress's job. All this caused much friction with Brian and Ivy Tilsley. Gail soon had Phyllis Pearce working with her, and by 1985, her future husband, Martin Platt, started working there after finishing a catering course at Salford Technical College. Martin continued at the cafe for a couple of years before ending up as a porter at Weatherfield General, but often continued to help out there.

After a couple of years, Jim and Alma Sedgewick had moved to Spain, leaving the manageresses to run the cafe, but in late 1988, Alma returned alone - their marriage had broken down. As part of the divorce settlement Alma had got the cafe. In June 1989 Alma offered Gail a 40% partnership in the cafe - which she took.

Over the last few years, Gail and Alma had been running the cafe more or less on their own, as Phyllis Pearce had become older and then ill, though Martin, Gail's mum Audrey and Nicky Platt did help out from time to time.

Jim Sedgewick died in January 1995, and left his ex-wife £2,000, which she spent on a red MG Midget car.

Things got a bit desperate in June 1996, and Gail asked Roy Cropper if he could help out for a bit (Roy also worked early mornings in a hotel kitchen, specialising in fried bread). In summer 1997, Mike Baldwin needed capital to continue with his factory, and so his wife, Alma, offered to sell her share in the cafe;. The simultaneous sale of Crimea Flats and Jim's Cafe by the businesslike Baldwins almost left Roy homeless and jobless. But although he had never given the impression of being a man of the world, he had a hidden fortune in the building society. Alma was set to sell to pizza chain Pizza Heaven, and dismissed an offer from Roy, believing him mentally incompetent. But when Gail pleaded with Alma she relented and Roy bought her share (60%) for £35,000.

As Roy was the major shareholder, he decided to rename the cafe "Roy's Rolls" and Roy moved into the upstairs flat. The next 7 months saw Roy's full-time involvement as cafe owner. And at the end of September 1998, Roy's girlfriend, Hayley Patterson, moved in with him above the cafe.

In late November 1998 another offer was made on the cafe. This time a bike shop offered £65,000 for the shop and the flat. After some deliberation, Gail decided was against the move - but as Martin has just lost his job at the hospital, she decided that her family needed the money, and Gail asked to disolve the partnership. Hayley bought Gail out with the money she inherited from the sale of her father's house. At the end of 1998 Roy decided he would accept the offer on the cafe and move to new premises in Victoria Street. On Friday 19 February 1999 the last cuppa was drunk in the Rosamund Street cafe.

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