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Evesham business man scores globe to find World War Two tea car
Updated 11:25am Monday 7th April 2014 in News
TEA and coffee will be served from a rare original World War 2 tea car at Croome, near Pershore, which has been brought back to life by an Evesham business man.
The catering outlet with a difference is due to open at the National Trust parkland and house in time for a busy Mothering Sunday at the wartime visitor centre.
The quest for the van began over a year ago when Croome’s supporter group, the Defford Airfield Heritage Group, were scouring the country for a suitable vehicle for Croome’s catering team.
They discovered Ali Adlkish, from Avonside Motors in Abbey Road, Evesham, who imports classic and vintage cars.
Mr Adlkish then travelled 500 miles after tracking down a tea car in the Netherlands.
He said: "As soon as I saw her, I thought, what a find. It had become very apparent after many telephone calls and hours of research that there weren’t many left still in working order and I knew that trying to track down this type of rare vehicle was going to be very challenging.
"We were delighted and relieved when we located a lady in the Netherlands who had a 1941 Austin K2 YMCA tea car. We flew over to view it, and found the van to be in excellent order.
"The tea car revives many memories for ex-servicemen and civilians who experienced the war years and I will be extremely proud to have returned the YMCA Tea Car to what I feel is its rightful new home at Croome."
Photographs survive of a similar vehicle feeding the service men and women at the airbase during the Second World War.
The tea car would have toured the airfield where ground crews were working, bringing welcome relief to the team.
The van, affectionately called Bertha from the name written on its side, will be an atmospheric addition to the 1940s style restaurant housed in Croome’s Visitor Centre from Saturday, March 29.
Jayne Bosley, Croome’s catering manager, said: "We’re all very excited about our new addition to the catering team."
For more information call 01905 371006 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/croome.