Don Riley, owner of the Menier Chocolate Factory and some interesting sculptures, also owns Edward Bramah's collection of historical tea and coffee artefacts. He has been trying, since the death of Edward Bramah in 2008 and the closure of the museum's site on Southwark Street, to create a new site for it but has come up against Southwark Council, planning inspectors and the Calvert's Buildings residents who took exception to his unauthorised excavation of land next to a listed building, in a conservation area.
On Monday last week, Riley's son Nicholas, Southwark Councillors Adele Morris and Tim McNally and Calvert's Buildings residents met to decide what happens next, and concluded with a win for the Museum: it will go ahead, open only on weekdays to minimise noise and traffic. How much traffic can a tea and coffee museum attract? All involved agree the museum, in its old and new incarnation, is basically a lavish indulgence of a hobby collector. But as it would be so close to Borough Market, that foodie paradise, and visitors are likely to leave highly caffeinated, the locals were right to express some concerns about a new visitor attraction opening in their midst. Watch this space for updates on the new museum - it will be back, with milk and two sugars. Image author's own