Giggling Squid invites guests back after nearly 80 years!

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In 1940, a family paid a visit to the Dutch Tea House in Marlow (where Giggling Squid is now located). There were obviously far fewer cars around then, and the family easily parked right outside.

The dad took a photo of the family next to their car outside, and recently one of his sons who featured in the photo tried to find out more about the location…..

Esmond Clements told MyMarlow “I was fascinated by my father’s 1940 wartime photo of a family visit to a teashop in Marlow, showing my brother and I with our mother and grandmother standing by our car, and I was curious to know if the building still exists. Using Google Street View I began to tour the streets of Marlow.

“I quickly found it because I easily recognised the façade from the photo, and was amazed that it is unchanged after nearly 80 years.  The two small boys in the photo are now 83 and 86 respectively !

Mr Clements sent the photo to Giggling Squid owners, and in turn they invited him and his brother Michael to visit and enjoy a lunch on the house!

Pranee Laurillard co-founder of Giggling Squid told us “It has been a real pleasure to welcome Mr Clements to lunch in the building where he was photographed as a little boy. I hope the experience brought back his magical memories of those years. We are so pleased to be  part of his memory.” 

Mr Clements also provided MyMarlow with some extra details on the background to the photo, providing some fascinating insight into wartime life:

“Note the offside headlight masks and white painted bumpers and door sills.  This was compulsory during the Blitz to avoid any light being seen from the sky that could help the bombers.  Nearside headlights were disabled.  Driving was difficult and quite dangerous and I believe there were many fatal accidents.

We lived near Epsom but to escape the bombs we were temporarily living on a farm in Maidenhead. The picture was taken by my father when we stopped for tea on a brief trip home.”

Esmond and his brother Michael now both live in Farnham, Surrey and Esmond told us “We were delighted with the invite, and warmly welcomed at the restaurant for an excellent lunch.”

What a lovely story! The photo now takes pride of place in the restaurant as shown in the photos below 🙂

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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