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Dalby's cafe - found and lost


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#1    MRROCKET1

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:48 PM

Back in the day, during my 4th & 5th years at Langley Park School For Boys in Beckenham, Kent, a huge kind of obsessive fixation developed around a physics teacher, the late Mr Edward Dalby - a large bodied but mild mannered man, whose appearance bore quite a close resemblance to the actor Bryan Moseley, who played Alf Roberts in 'Coronation Street'.
Throughout those two years myself and group of like minded individuals held a relentless preoccupation with Dalby graffiti, cartoons, jokes, slogans, songs adapted from records from the time, and the like. On one occasion I was watching 'It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet' when a character was addressed as "Mrs Dalby", not quite believing my ears I immediately scanned the programme listing in the 'Radio Times' and then franticaly telephoned another Dalby 'enthusiast' saying "Quick watch 'I.S.H.T.A.V' - there's a character in it called Mrs Dalby!" Well, you get the picture, schooldays are meant to be the best years of your life, well the Dalby days were certainly some of the best of mine.

Quite recently, on having just exited The Record And Tape Exchange in Berwick Street in Central London, I noticed diagonally opposite what appeared a newly opened, old style cafe, door in the middle with net curtained windows on either side, with an eye catching bright red painted frontage and in blue letters a sign which read 'DALBY'S CAFE'.
This of course instantly brought back a wave of nostalgic memories from the old Langley days as all manner of Dalby connected joviality and amusements etc ran through my mind,
I paused on this for a couple of minutes thinking amongst other things how much of a conversation piece it would have been had it been open back in those days, and then went on my way not giving the matter any further thought.

However, on I returning to Berwick Street, a week or two later, I found much to my surprise and bemusement, that inexplicably, Dalby's Cafe was no longer there !
Naturally being somewhat dumbstruck by this I decided to try and follow the matter up.
I made enquires in the two shops - one of which the cafe was standing in place of, these being The Berwick Street Cloth Shop and the one to it's right (I can't remember exactly which of these it was, though probably the Cloth Shop) explaining to them what had happened and asked to whether their frontages had made up in this way as a film set, this being the only plausible explanation I could think of, but this was denied by all the people I spoke to.
None of the stall holders I asked in that part of Berwick St had any knowledge of a cafe by that name, there is no mention of a Dalby's Cafe in recent editions of the Yellow Pages, and most intriguing of all, Westminster City Council have no record of having having issued a catering licence to, or having a business by that name on any of their registers.  
Although there is a 'Dalby's Cafe' in Margate, I contacted them with this account and they confirmed that they had no other 'branches' in the London area and had never heard of another cafe by the same name.
The only thing that was a little odd about the place was that despite its new looking appearance, I remember sensing that it did seem to have a subtle kind of 'deadness' about it, a kind of unused feel, similair to how it would be if it were closed (which of course it may well have been and there's nothing out of the ordinary about that); but other than that it was by no means in any way 'other worldly'.
I would like to point out that I was not drunk, under the influence of any kind of drug or in any way mentally fatigued at the time of this experience.
This does bear some resemblance to an experience that happened to a group of holiday makers from Dover traveling to Spain through France back in 1979. They had stayed the night at a curiously old fashioned hotel just outside of Montilemar had had been charged an outstandingly low bill for their visit. As they had liked the hotel and it's unbeatable bargain cost they decided to book in again on their return journey, only to find that the hotel had completely disappeared. A detailed account of this can be found on page 413 of the 'Metaphysics, Psychology and Psychic Phenomena' section of this site - entitled '20th century guests stay in 19th century hotel'.  
So far the whole thing remains a complete and utter mystery and not surprisingly, noone I have spoken to about this has been able to shine any light on the matter.
If only I had troubled myself to take a look through the door window or maybe paid a quick visit to sample it's menu, I wonder exactly what I would have found ?


                                     STEVEN HARMAN. 2010.


#2    little_dreamer

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 02:20 AM

Hmm. It could be one of those "time slip" incidents, though I have no explaination for why people have these experiences.
Maybe there was no sound in the cafe?

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#3    Yes_Man

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:29 AM

Maybe just got shut down, usually happens


#4    MRROCKET1

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 05:06 PM

View Postlittle_dreamer, on 26 February 2010 - 02:20 AM, said:

Hmm. It could be one of those "time slip" incidents, though I have no explaination for why people have these experiences.
Maybe there was no sound in the cafe?

http://paranormal.ab...sion_Travel.htm
There wasn't any sound from the cafe, or at least none that I could hear from where I was standing, but in what way does that account for or give any clues towards the reason for it's disappearance ?


#5    Prithee

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 03:45 PM

I have read several stories about "Phantom" places. I love stories like these.


#6    Antimony

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:54 AM

Great story MRROCKET1 and welcome to UM.

Have you tried doing some historical digging around to see if a "Dalby's Cafe" was there at some time before?

How long did the other shop-keepers say their shops had been there?



View PostPrithee, on 11 June 2010 - 03:45 PM, said:

I have read several stories about "Phantom" places. I love stories like these.

Would you mind digging up a few links for those? I'm really interested. Thanks in advance  :tu:

Edited by Antimony, 14 June 2010 - 02:58 AM.

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#7    Sarka

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:11 AM

View PostTopCatEric, on 26 February 2010 - 09:29 AM, said:

Maybe just got shut down, usually happens

This is exactly what I was thinking when I started reading this. There is a store in the plaza beside my house that is constantly changing. It's been a nail salon, a scuba diving shop, a foreign food store.. all kinds of random things and it would close down and reopen as something else fast enough for no one to even realize what was going on.

However, MRROCKET1, you mentioned that no one in the surrounding area even realized this change occurring, or even remember the cafe's existence. That makes this a truly peculiar incident :blink:!

That was a great story and I'm glad you took the time to post it all. If you ever find anything else about it, please post your findings :).

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#8    Yes_Man

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:59 AM

Funnyily enough there is a Dalby Cafe but it its called Dalby Cafe Ltd in Margate


#9    MRROCKET1

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:58 PM

I know there is a DALBY CAFE in Margate , named after the road it is situated in, because I have mentioned in the text that I had contacted them on this issue and told them all about it. The photographs on line of this do not match the one that I saw in Berwick Street.


#10    EndofTheWorld

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 06:18 AM

Maybe u had some kind of special "eye" to allow u to see wat others couldn't?A little like the third eye.


#11    MRROCKET1

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:24 PM

View PostEndofTheWorld, on 19 June 2010 - 06:18 AM, said:

Maybe u had some kind of special "eye" to allow u to see wat others couldn't?A little like the third eye.
If I had a Third Eye or whatever - which would be fine with me -  then wouldn't experiences such as this be a regular occurence, which they're not ? I have drawn the conclusion that this instance may have been an example of some kind of illusionary phenomena, but I'm not certain exactly what it was.
Many moons ago when I was 16 I was told of an account of a group of girls who would 've been 14/15 at the time, were swimming in the sea down at Brighton or Hastings or wherever, when one looked round at one of the others who had the appearence a kind of Devil's face, she started having hysterics or whatever and this other girl was all upset over it and started crying etc.
As it's impossible as far as I know, for anyones face to turn into that of The Devil and for them to be unaware of it having done so, there's no way that the Devil's face could have been real; this does bear some quite close resemblence to the cafe as something appearing to be there when it wasn't.


#12    Child of Bast

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:06 PM

Do the City Council keep track of business name changes? I mean could there have been a different cafe on the site at one time which was later changed to Dalby Cafe?

'A phantom,' said my Uncle Mycroft, who had just materialised, 'is essentially a heteromorphic wave pattern that gains solidity when the apparition converts thermal energy from the surroundings to visible light. It's a fascinating process and I'm amazed no one has thought of harnessing it - a holographic TV that could operate from the heat given off by an average-size guinea pig.' ~ First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde

#13    J. K.

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:10 PM

Or...maybe you're fated to open a Dalby's Cafe in the future.

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#14    MRROCKET1

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:31 PM

View PostJ. K., on 05 September 2013 - 09:10 PM, said:

Or...maybe you're fated to open a Dalby's Cafe in the future.
Sir
    Well I've no plans to open a cafe and I wouldn't call doing so a fate as such, but if I did, considering  the prominence, exclusiveness and resonance of this issue, no prizes for guessing what the name would be.





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