“There they sat: the large, calm, dirty girls in flowing skirts and lead jewellery, and the dreamers in drain-pipes and duffel coats, the spinners of fantastic plans for making fortunes brooding silently over a newspaper with unwashed hair falling across (in the case of the girls, who believed in living naturally) unpowdered faces. The workers in the office block, running downstairs to snatch their lunch in a crowded Lyons serve-yourself bar, looked at them rather wistfully. Who were they all? Whence this apparent endless leisure, passed in brooding or arguing, which could have been spent delightfully in tennis or music or car-tinkering? And what made them all come to the Coffee Dish; day in, day out, wet or fine, early, and late, to The Coffee Dish?”

(Stella Gibbons, Here Be Dragons, 1956)


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