Licence to Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall to be revoked?

Wandsworth Council are considering revoking the licence to the 70 year old Chelsea Bridge Tea Stall. Poor owner Vito is on the edge of losing his beloved shop. Watch our 2009 interview with Vito about his stall here. Another attempt to please the rich?

Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall adjacent Chelsea Bridge, Queenstown Road, London

Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall adjacent Chelsea Bridge, Queenstown Road, London

The ‘high class’ salesmen seem to look down on the simple and tasty snacks and warming drinks Vito is selling. Before we know it, we will find this stand being replaced by a Michelin star finger food stall.

Susan Ekins, a regular visitor who is fond of the Tea Stand, says:

As you may know, this stand has been there for at least 70 years, and is much appreciated. The residents of the new blocks did not like the biker gatherings, and as I understand it, these have, in general, being closed down and parking kept away from close proximity to the stand. I use that bridge at all hours, but have never noticed any litter or noise – which is not to say that it has not happened.

The application for review has been handed in on the 9th of January 2014. It has been made on the following grounds, according to Wandsworth Council:

”The current conditions on the licence have failed to uphold the licensing objectives of the prevention of public nuisance and the prevention of crime and disorder in the premises is giving rise to unacceptable levels of noise, litter and general anti-social behaviour.”


Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall adjacent Chelsea Bridge, Queenstown Road, London

Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall adjacent Chelsea Bridge, Queenstown Road, London

Surely the council is not just cooking up excuses to continue to socially cleanse the area around the so called Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea “Opportunity” Area. Seems one person’s opportunity is another’s loss of livelihood.

Find here another objection, from Keith Garner, architect and member of the Battersea Power Station Community Group.

Dear Sirs,

Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall adjacent Chelsea Bridge, Queenstown Road, London, SW8 2R

I am writing to support the retention and renewal of the licence for the the Chelsea Bridge coffee stall which is a useful local facility for residents and people working in the area, as well as a local landmark and institution in its own right.

I have lived close to Battersea Park for 28 years. As a local resident I know of no grounds for revoking or otherwise refusing to renew or extend the licence. In my experience, the customers of the stall have always been well behaved.  This is not to say that there might not be occasional lapses.  But is it important in an urban situation that everyone goes that little bit further to be tolerant and understanding.

The stall has been there for as long as I can remember.  I went there when the old “Chelsea Cruise” used to happen on Saturday evenings in the seventies and eighties. It certainly pre-dates the riverside flats by many decades.  The owners of the flats would have been aware of the stall before the moved in, and had the option to go elsewhere.  In any case the flats are some distance from the kiosk which is on the bridge itself.

The management of the riverside flats are being too sensitive. I know from my own recent experience that it is not even possible to stop and look at the view from the riverside walk at night time, without their security guards coming out.  The loss of the kiosk would further contribute to the loss of life and vitality on the riverside that these recent luxury flats represent.

The coffee stall makes Battersea more interesting.  It should be retained and valued.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Garner

Hopefully the objections will be taken seriously. All we can do now is wait for a final decision.

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9 thoughts on “Licence to Chelsea Bridge Coffee Stall to be revoked?

  1. I and most of the Residents of Battersea and from far afield absolutely deplore that Wandsworth Council and the rich want to revoke the licence of the Chelsea Bridge stall.It has been there as long as I can remember,and my parents use to take me there as a child coming out of the Funfair,then later on stopping there During the Chelsea cruise in the 70’s.Its Part of Battersea History and Gradually the History of Battersea is Dissapearing.Come on Wandsworth Council lets keep some of Battersea History for our Children..

  2. I am a resident of Battersea, and I think it would be a great shame to see the kiosk go at Chelsea bridge. Why should it go it can’t be noise not with the traffic passing,the residents knew there was a kiosk when they bought their flats why complain now .Don’t kill off another small business
    Kind Regards Sara Moore

  3. Here are my thoughts about closing the kiosk that I’ve sent to the council:
    I am writing to express my support to maintain and NOT close the kiosk near Chelsea Bridge. I was born and grew up in Battersea and there are many landmarks and iconic buildings that the borough is famed for and should be rightly proud of. Many of which have featured in movies and on television. So what does Battersea mean to people who picture up images of it? I can’t name them all, but here is a few. The park – a truly wonderful open space, the Dogs Home and clearly with recent TV exposure this has been elevated to world fame …… so how can I make that comment? Well I now reside in Rotorua, New Zealand and people here watch the show and talk about it. The power station that has sadly remained idle for some considerable time with the constant promise of someone snapping it up and turning into residences, commercial / retail outlets, recreational facilities etc. Then comes the kiosk.
    The kiosk is an icon. It is unique. Don’t throw away a unique classic. Preserve and respect it. It is a huge part of Battersea history and it has served and united generations both local and non local. I was talking to a friend who currently lives in Weybridge on the telephone tonight. We were talking about change. I mentioned the proposal and desire of some to see it closed. Her immediate response was, “Oh no. I know that, I’ve been there. It’s famous.” Just proof that it is not just Battersea die-hearts who want to keep it. It’s not people who don’t want to see a single change. We all accept change happens but this is a ridiculous proposal.
    If the kiosk goes, I suggest your next mission is to to remove all London post boxes as they are icons too and you clearly have no respect of our heritage.

    I welcome your response,

    June Jefford.

  4. My friend & I used to frequently use the coffee kiosk on Chelsea Bridge when visiting Battersea Park in the late 50’s onwards. It evokes lovely memories every time I pass it.
    I am appalled at Wandsworth Council’s reasons for wanting the kiosk closed because in the many thousands of times I have passed the site I have NEVER seen rubbish strewn by its customers, nor heard noise other than from the traffic, be it during any hour of the day or night. The only disturbance I’ve witnessed is from the new building’s security guards who object to the kiosk being there because it doesn’t appeal to their residents… If it doesn’t appeal, why on earth buy a place close to it, imbolsils! The only reason Wandsworth Council want to revoke the Kiosk’s licence is because it ‘doesn’t fit in’ with their ideals for the area & the new residents don’t like it – Another form of social cleansing opportunity… To appease all, why don’t Wandsworth Council build a new Kiosk, at the same spot of course, for the owner, or better still, the wealthy residents could all chip in, problem solved!!!!

  5. i have been using the tea stall since 1970 when i worked at Battersea fun fair.
    every morning i got my pie and tea from dave when it was a red four wheel wagon up until the fair closed down, then i started using it again when i was a van driver, i had to stop using it about four years ago when i got a ticket though the post for parking outside the stall. it would be very sad to see it close.

  6. Every time i hear about the closure or tearing down of a building in Battersea part of me dies…i get pain in my throat as a friend has died. People that have moved into the Battersea area cannot in a million years know how thst place has been more than a friend to us but its in our blood, we are Battersea and we see people invading our space…What would you do, obviously protect yourself…This haven on wheels isnt just a cafe or stall or whatever youd like to call it…its us, we own it yes I know that we dont actually own it but we have supported it from donkeys years ago and still do…so if you close it down for whatever stupid backhander reason you come up with you will kill…murder Its our memories not yours Council. so stop Kow Towing to the rich , WHO KNEW IT WAS THERE before they moved in and work for the people…all the people, because you were elected remember that…and you can be sent packing any time…grow up and do your duty SERVE the peole, leave the stall alone and pick on something your own size…

  7. My great grandfather Joseph Andrew owned the coffee stall on Chelsea Bridge on the ground of the LBSCR. He died in 1909 and this stall and two others he owned were left to my great grandmother. The point is the stall has been there alot longer that 70 years 115 years at least, such a shame if it were to go.

  8. Hi , I used to stop here regularly for a pie and a cup of tea in the wee small hours on my way home from a party somewhere south of the river in 1969. I remember stopping there having left the fun fair with my mum in 1958. Always good fare and friendly chat. Never heard of any trouble with the bikers either.

  9. This stall is one of the few things that I do remember about the sixties. It is part of battersea history.

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