Platform cafe to open

The Lawsons
The Lawsons

Anyone passing through Inverurie will soon have a chance for a “Brief Encounter” as a local couple plan to open a coffee house on the station platform.

Jennie and George Lawson, of Barclay Road, have worked through an enormous amount of ‘red tape’ to be in a position to open a quality coffee house in Lord Kintore’s former waiting room, with just the matter of planning consent still in abeyance.

It has taken the couple four years to get this far. Jennie said: We just kept negotiating and have now signed the lease.”

The ‘B’ listed building required permissions from many quarters but the former waiting room is set to provide an ambient environment to eat sandwiches, panninis, home made soups, all made from locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by a variety of beverages which will be available either in the cafe or as carry outs.

Jennie was keen to explain that the building works will be in keeping with the original. She said: “The work we are doing is restoration work, so it is a long, slow process. We want it to look as though it’s always been like that, even the kitchen will be in keeping with the style of the station.”

Husband George added: “Our aim is to provide a viable Coffee House within Inverurie station, to support the continued expansion of the station as well as the rapidly expanding town of Inverurie. Our intention is to use the room called ‘Lord Kintore’s Waiting Room’ as the main seated area and the room next door as the entrance and kitchen area. Inverurie Station is situated in the heart of the town and is very much a key part of the Council’s Local Plan.

“We will be refurbishing the rooms in keeping with the heritage of Lord Kintore’s Waiting Room, as well as acquiring the necessary kitchen equipment to enable us to provide quality coffee and food in a relaxed and stylish atmosphere, for the discerning public and commuters of Inverurie.”

In paying homage to the Loco Works, the couple wanted to find a suitable name for the coffee house and said: “Inverurie was an extremely important town in the history of the railways with the Loco Works providing employment for many in the area. We wanted to recognise this in our choice of our name. Originally we wanted to call it ‘The Works’, but found there already was a cafe of this name and our fifteen-year-old daughter Hannah came up with ’Coco Works’.

Coco Works will be run by Jennie and will provide employment for full and part-time staff. Daughter Hannah will also help out.

The deadline for objections and comments must be submitted to Aberdeenshire Council no later than Thursday, November 3. The Lawsons hope to be granted planning permission by the end of November and hope to open their cafe in January, 2012.

THE station at Inverurie formed part of the Great North of Scotland Railway, which opened a route from Aberdeen to Inverurie and Huntly in 1854. The GSNR laid the line along the former Inverurie to Aberdeen Canal, which they had purchased in 1847.

The original station at Inverurie was built in 1852, situated at the end of Old Station Road. The “new” station was built in 1902 in its present location and also served the junction line that ran through Lethenty and Fingask to Oldmeldrum, which operated until 1931.