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Stroud's canal side cafe opens

A report from Mike Gallagher

The Lockkeepers Café alongside Bell House at Wallbridge in Stroud is now open!
The lock-side café… “Will become a daily necessity for local coffee addicts” says proprietor Wendy Townsend.

Wendy describes her vision for this unique waterside venue… “It will become a place to dream as you escape the daily stresses of life… a comfortable place to meet your friends or read a book. We will offer the best prepared coffee in the area. It will be complemented by cakes and light lunches. Customers will also enjoy free newspapers, magazines and wireless internet connection”

Quality food & drink

The café uses local suppliers including Walkers bakery, Hania cheeses and ales from Stroud brewery. The cafe is licenced to sell local beer, cider and fine wines. The work of local artists adorns the walls and the lock-side garden is shared with the adjacent Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre.

Cafe Opening Hours

Monday – Friday 8.30am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 4pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm

How it came about

Wendy received news in October 2010 that she was to be made redundant. Her response was characteristically positive and energetic.

“I became bored with being at home all the time and was determined not to turn the TV on during the day. I trawled the internet looking for work and applied for many positions. I had a few responses and two interviews. One day while out walking I noticed how much litter there was everywhere. I rang Stroud District Council and told them I would like to do some litter picking."

"Then I spoke to someone about doing voluntary work on the canal towpath – I went to the Thursday Drop in Volunteering days at the Canal Visitor Centre. I loved it!”

“The volunteers are a fantastic group of people. One day whilst we were eating our lunch on the lock side lawn Sheila, a friend I have known for years pointed out that the former Lockkeeper’s bar was vacant. Sheila encouraged me to open the place up as a café. I jumped at the chance!” 

Wendy explains, “The place needed a total refit. So, I became a Project Manager. My sons Lee and Matthew (pictured right with Wendy) did the construction and fit out. They have been absolute stars for their mum!”