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Hampshire cafe owner keeps grandmother's memory alive
12:25pm Sunday 16th March 2014 in News
WHEN Catherine Baily opened her new business she decided to name it after a muchloved family member who had just died.
Her High Street eatery is called Peggy May’s Cafe in tribute to her grandmother, Peggy May Starling, who passed away last year aged 88.
But Catherine, 30, was totally unprepared for the level of interest shown by customers who kept asking: “Who is, or was, Peggy May?”
Now a black and white photograph of Peggy has been placed on the counter so that people can put a face to the name.
Her husband, Bertie Starling, 93, drives from Sopley, near Ringwood, over to Lyndhurst at least once a week to sit and relax in the cafe named after his late wife. He said: “Peggy was remarkable – she never lied and she never swore.”
Asked how she would have felt about a cafe bearing her name he added: “Inwardly she would have been absolutely thrilled.”
Peggy had dementia and the decision to display her photograph coincides with Lyndhurst High Street’s new status as a “dementia friendly” zone.
Staff at businesses signing up to the scheme are trained in how to provide sufferers with an enhanced level of customer care.
Catherine, who runs the business with her fiancé, Kasey McMaster, 29, said: “Peggy was an inspiration and when we were thinking about what to call the café her name seemed perfect.
“She enjoyed cooking good, wholesome food which we try to replicate but with a modern touch. After we opened so many customers asked me who Peggy May was we decided to display her photo so they could see the person behind the name.
“It’s a lovely late-1940s picture and fits in with the décor.
“My grandfather drives himself to the café at least once a week.
He was thrilled and quite tearful when he found out I’d named the café after Peggy.
“As part of the High Street becoming ‘dementia friendly’ we’ll be learning how we can improve the cafe for people suffering from the disease.”
Debbie Morshead from Andover Mind, which is rolling out Dementia Friendly Hampshire on behalf of the county council, added: “Lyndhurst High Street is only the second in the county to become ‘dementia friendly’.
“We’re delighted the café wants to help people who have the same condition as the person it’s named after.”
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