A new cafe at a North Wales pet refuge has been named Doris’s Bunker in honour of the tea-serving gran whose legacy funded the work.
Doris Davies served up thousands cups of tea in her career, including brewing up for spooks cracking the WWII Enigma code.
The 95-year-old’s grandson David officially opened Doris’s Bunker, built by Rubicon Garden Rooms at North Clwyd Animal Rescue Centre at Trelogan, near Holywell.
Doris, an animal lover from Kinmel Bay, left more than £36,000 in her will for the Flintshire centre, to say thanks for the Irish terror and poodle she adopted from NCAR. Doris also left donations to Rhyl lifeboat and her local church.
Deeside-based Rubicon Garden Rooms also gave a substantial discount on the new 500 square foot cafe, where teas and snacks will be served up to NCAR’s staff and many volunteers, plus visitors seeking to adopt a rescue animal.
David and his family travelled from Ludlow, Shropshire, to perform the opening ceremony, and were delighted to see that the cafe will be named after Doris. David’s twin brother Glynn was unable to attend the opening ceremony due to family commitments.
The identical twins only discovered three years ago that Doris had once worked at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, the central site for Britain’s codebreakers during World War II, who famously decrypted the German enigma machine.
HGV driver David, who has a rescue greyhound, said: “It’s amazing that in just a few months this cafe has been built, and it’s all thanks to our grandmother. She was a remarkable lady and it is fitting that her name should be over the door.
“I hope many more people will be able to enjoy a cup of tea here, thanks to Doris, whether they are a volunteer or a family thinking about giving a forever home to one of the many animals helped by NCAR.”
Glynn, a firefighter who shares Doris’ love for pets, said: “It is perfect that our grandmother’s name should continue with this cafe – I am sure that she would have loved to have seen it. She did like a cup of tea!
“She also worked in a cafe in Llangollen during her long and varied life, and must have served up thousands of cups of tea and coffee to all sorts of people in her time.
“When David and I first came to NCAR to hand over the cheque from our grandmother’s will, we were very impressed by the centre and the work it carries out to re-home dogs, cats and other pets. I hope the cafe will help the centre to continue with this excellent work.”
NCAR fund-raising manager Nicky Owen, whose parents Anne and Neil run the centre, said: “When we found out that Doris worked in tea-rooms for most of her life, in Llangollen and also at Bletchley Park, we thought it would be fitting to use her very generous legacy to create this much-needed cafe, and then name it after her.
“The team at Rubicon Garden Rooms has worked very closely with us to ensure that the cafe meets the requirements of Flintshire Council.
“They worked through some pretty dreadful weather to create the cafe, ready to be fitted out. We are very grateful for their efforts, and for the discount we received, which has enabled us to make Doris’ generous legacy stretch even further.
“Our supporters are always extremely generous – we received donations of catering equipment along with tables and chairs plus other items.
“One of our supporters, local landscape gardener Lewis Price, installed decking for free, to create an outside seating area, while the signs for Doris’s Bunker were supplied, also free, by Art Graphic Sonics Signs of Deeside.
“As well as a rest area for staff, volunteers and visitors, Doris’s Bunker will also be used for meetings with funders, volunteer training sessions and fund-raising events.”
Rubicon Garden Rooms founder John Lyon said: “As an animal lover I was delighted to be working with Nicky and the team at NCAR on this project. The cafe replaced the very cramped break-out area for volunteers and staff.
“This is the largest project we’ve worked on so far, and the first public space, as our garden rooms are usually for relaxing, home offices or extensions to provide annexes for dependent relatives.
“The site looks out towards the mouth of the Dee estuary and so is very exposed, and the design has taken all that into account to create a snug and warm area in which to relax.
“I hope it will help NCAR by providing a place to meet those making donations, to hold training sessions and fund-raising events, and for those planning to adopt a new pet.”
Rubicon Garden Rooms was founded by former Airbus engineer John Lyon, and its modular buildings are manufactured at its factory in Queensferry and quickly installed, usually without the need for planning permission. The bespoke, fully insulated top-of-the-range units are now used for everything from home offices to art or music rooms, yoga studios, teenage dens and annexes for dependent relatives.
More details at rubicongardenrooms.co.uk or call 01244 552813
NCAR needs to raise £1,000 a day to look after the hundreds of dogs, cats and rabbits in its care. More details at ncar.org.uk or 01745 560546.