Derelict Greenfield toilets to be transformed into cafe

By Trevor Baxter

A WELL-KNOWN Saddleworth florist is hoping her latest venture will leave her flushed with success…

Caroline Metcalfe and her husband John have spent a penny or two to buy a derelict toilet block in Greenfield, which she is going to convert into a café.

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PROJECT: Caroline at the derelict toilet block

The Diggle-based pair submitted a winning sealed bid to Oldham (privy) Council for the public loos and bus shelter opposite the Clarence Pub on Manchester Road.p7 caroline toilets

Now, with planning permission confirmed, they are busily engaged renovating the premises so villagers as well as Dovestone day-trippers can pay a visit.

And Caroline, former owner of Eden in Uppermill, hopes her first customers will be seated in September in the dog friendly café, which will also have an outdoor decked terrace backing onto Chew Brook.

“It will be a seven day a week venture but it’s not going to be a wine bar,’ excited Caroline told the Independent. “We haven’t applied for an alcohol licence.

“It will be a cafe for locals to use as well as people heading up to and back from Dovestones and the moors.

“The plan is to provide picnics and for staff to be able to point out popular walks for visitors.

“We had hoped to be able to hire out bikes as well, like you can at Ladybower, but unfortunately we haven’t got the room.”

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PROJECT: Caroline at the derelict toilet block

Caroline, who is still the official flower provider to Manchester United, added: “Until I had sold Eden I wasn’t going to begin another project.

“Then my husband started up his own business and that delayed us a little bit more. We put in the sealed bid but didn’t hear anything for months. Then the Council told us we had won.”

Building work is now under way and expected to take 12 weeks – but the new eatery has already had one famous customer who left without paying.

Various scenes for last year’s ITV three-part drama, Prey, were shot in Saddleworth and BAFTA nominated actor John Simm, playing a fugitive Manchester detective, sheltered in the disused toilet block and bus shelter.

Caroline’s only problem is finding a name for her new cafe.

She laughed: “We have had plenty of suggestions but haven’t hit on the right one. I might run a competition and the winner can get free coffee for a year.”

Suggestions so far include WC (Walkers’ Cafe), Sugar Lumps, Call of Nature and Coffee Stop while less series entries include Thrones, BOGOFFs, Comfort Stop.

Earlier this year businessman and surveyor Fred Linskey converted Denshaw’s disused public toilets into a now thriving Village Shop.

Got a name suggestion for Caroline’s new café? Let the Saddleworth Independent now and will we pass them. Email or call 01457 879264.


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