View Full Version : Transport Cafes

tony draper
25th Nov 2001, 16:57
Seem to be dying out in the UK.
One time Draper and his squad used to do a lot of motorway miles,most of our work was in Yorkhire, Lincolnshire and points south.
Lots of good transport cafes around then,now just seems to be Macdonalds,burgerking and Littlechef places.
One of the best used to be at Ledstone luck just off the A1 beside Leeds, you could get a roast beef and yorkshire pud dinner just like Ma used to make.
Just do more or less local work now, and that not very often, I just wondered if these institutions are still thriving in your neck of the woods.
Come to think about it all you pilots would probably throw your hands up in horror at the idea of eating in a motorway transport cafe, don't know what you missed. ;)

gravity victim
25th Nov 2001, 17:21
Ahh, the good old greasy spoons, I miss them too.

I recall that somebody once published a guide to the best and worst of these establishments. The testing technique involved ordering a fry-up, inverting the plate, and awarding points to anything that fell off. ;)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: gravity victim ]

tony draper
25th Nov 2001, 18:30
The trick was if you were in a area strange to you ,was to look for the place with most Waggons parked outside, and avoid like the plague places with Sierra's and Vectra's with Jackets hanging in the back parked outside.
Those reps would drink mud and eat turds, as long as it came in a cup and saucer and on a dainty little plate and the place had tablecloths. ;)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

25th Nov 2001, 21:24
Think the Super Sausage is still going on the A5. Yummm.

Also a good way of deciding which airfields to visit. Turweston do an excellent bacon and fried egg baguette, and you can get a decent fry-up at Thruxton. Old Sarum is excellent for the home made cakes and I do hope the rock cakes are still going in the Squadron over at North Weald.

Thinner on the ground up here in Scotland, but the Tipsy Nipper at Fife/Glenrothes is good for a Sunday lunch and, getting back to the greasy spoons, well Perth does a very reasonable egg chip sausage and beans with a huge mug of tea.

tony draper
25th Nov 2001, 21:42
Theres a good one right next to the runway at RAF Leeming on the old A1,Londondery Lorry Park its called, wouldn't quite make it into the three star transport cafe, but a good bacon sarnie and they serve a cheecky little mug of tea , and one could walk across the car park and watch the Tornado F3's at play.
Lots of those little towey caravan type places appeared the last decade or so, avoid them also, you can't do a good bacon butty on a hot plate,the couple at Scotch Corner were the exception to this rule, and had the benifit of toilets close by, little gold mines they were, gone now alas.
There were some very good sitty in, big Caravan type cafe's, one just past the old Wetherby roundabout spring to mind, could get quite crowded because of its smallness,and seemed to be very popular with plain clothed CID officers, strange how one can spot them a mile off, but a very good fried breakfast was to be had there.
Not the last time Draper was there mind, someone had broken into the caravan overnight and pinched all the bacon and sausages, bloody savages, enjoying the patronage of the Peelers, didn't help them. :(
ps, One assumes Plod quickly eliminated Jewish tree huggers from the're enquiries.

DAMM!!!Draper has missed Walking with Beasts by typing this ARRGGGHHHHH. :mad:

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

25th Nov 2001, 22:08
Walking with Beasts conjures up all sorts of images...
At first glance it looks like "Waking with Beasts". Something that can happen after drinking a few too many pints :D

tony draper
25th Nov 2001, 22:15
Or Walking with breasts, more fitting perhaps, as the program follows the rise of the mammal, and having tits is what mammals are all about. ;)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

25th Nov 2001, 22:34
Awooooga Awooooga !!

Digression alert !

before we work our way through all permutations of "wa*king with b#easts" [ *=n -> :eek: ]....

... any chance to get back to the subject of which airfield does the best bacon sarnie ????

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: Grainger ]

25th Nov 2001, 22:46
V.good txpt cafe on the A264 half way between Horsham and Crawley. Always has a full truck park.
Another good one on the A31 Hog's Back heading West from Guildford to Farnborough. Always stopped there for a real English stack-of-cholestorol brekkie en route to the airshow. Took a South African mate one year who complained that the Jumbo Breakfast contained no Elephant-- not sure if they knew he was kidding or not.
I suppose the CID use 'em because that's where things tend to "fall off the back of a lorry".

tony draper
25th Nov 2001, 22:46
Ok Mr G, threads do have a tendency to digress and bifurcate,(Draper loves that word and seldom passes up a oppotunity to use same). ;)

tony draper
25th Nov 2001, 23:04
Draper cannot speak for the Military type organisations, and the quality of the'r bacon sarnies, although he did instal a catv system fully interfaced for satellite at RAF Dishforth, no one offered one much as a pot of tea at that bloody place.
However many organisations, notably The Gas Board , Water Board, National Coal Board,Hospitals ect, used to operate the're own canteen's, If one was gainfully employes doing some task for these organisations one was welcomed in these eateries and very good they were too.
So if you were in a town that you knew had a good Hospital canteen,but lacked a decent cafe anywhere, the protocol was to just hang a avo meter off ones shoulder, or carry a small bag of tools and simply wander into the canteen,
as if one had just fixed said hospitals boiler, and one could dine cheaply and well.
As a strange aside and not wanting to upset Mr Grainger, Draper has often suspected that the carrying of a tool box or wearing of a boiler suit rendered one invisible, I suspect Draper could don a boiler suit carry a tool box and wander past all the security at ten Downing st, walk into the cabinet room when Tony and his crew are in heated debate, pick up his wide screen TV and walk out with same with not a single person seeing him.
Draper has often wondered if he was busy working in some office obviously completely invisible, if he stripped off his boiler suit, would he shimmer into view like one of those Klingon Warbirds uncloaking.

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

The Guvnor
25th Nov 2001, 23:27
The staff canteen on the top floor of the Belgrano also does a decent lunch for not many spondooliks ... visitors welcome!

Does that count as an Air Transport Cafe, I wonder? :D :D :D

25th Nov 2001, 23:31
The NAAFI @ Aldergrove does THE best Ulster Fry bar none!

26th Nov 2001, 00:21
I haven't seen or been in a Brit transport caff for years so what I would like to say is as well as the introduction of McDonalds and BurgerKing I wish the American Diner chains of Dennys...Hardees...and other such, who (admittedly with American bacon which is not a patch on Brit bacon!) serve all day breakfasts that are pure joy would open up here in UK!! Add to their menu, black pudding and fried bread and they would be on to a winner! There is something perfect about knowing you can get a good breakfast at any time of day/night!! So while we in the UK may moan about many of the American "institutions" that have destroyed more taste buds than vindaloo curry, I really wish to petition for these all day diners to think about the Brit market!!! Please??!!! :D

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: brockenspectre ]

tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 00:46
I agree there, its something the Americans do well, seems in the UK you have the choice of down market like the transport cafe,and you have to know which one, or upmarket,The Bridge at Walshford is the only one that springs to mind near a motorway.
I like a Macdonalds, but sometimes you feel like someplace with a bit more variety.
Can't stand Burger King,and that was all you could find North of the M62.
I think a Mcdonalds had just opened near the Darlington turn off. :(

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

Send Clowns
26th Nov 2001, 03:49
Mmmmm, agree with the original complaint of the thread. Bug-ger King and Little Chef seem to have driven all the independents off the market. I have done regular long journeys and absolutely hate these places, so it is a real pain to get food. :mad:

Why do people go to places just because they are the same as each other? I prefer variety. And anyway once you've been to one I'd have thought the fact that others were the same wouold warn you off the next !!! :eek:

26th Nov 2001, 03:53
Hey, draper - I met that girl once - the one you mentioned - the Darlington turn-off... :D

Capt PPRuNe
26th Nov 2001, 06:52
Mmmm... talking of transport cafes, I remember when I used to fly those old Dart engined 748's and we had the LPL-CWL-BRS-CVT-BFS run.After dropping off the Royal Mail at Bristol it was a mad dash to get to Coventry before 0200 where we had a two hour wait for the overnight parcels to arrive and be loaded on the a/c. If we were going to land after 0200 we used to call Coventry Approach as soon as we were within range and ask them to place an order in the staff canteen to be ready on out arrival.

This canteen catered for ll the burly loaders and other ground staff stuck on the night shift and was typically 'grasy spoon' in style. A quick request for the local weather and runway in use was followed with an order for "egg & bacon toasted sandwich with a portion of chips and a mug of tea" and then hope for an expeditious approach!

Nothing to beat that smell of a good fry up and vinegar as you walked in to the canteen and thne a snooze while you waited for the load to be sorted and then a final sector into Belfast by 0630! Don't get much of that now in the jet league! :(

Anyone know if the transport caf in Coventry is still operating?

26th Nov 2001, 13:58
Dunno about Coventry, boss, but on the apron at LPL is "Caspars Café" - great place for a stop-off on the mail runs. Never had time to have a full fry-up, but the do a good cuppa to go with a great sausage and egg buttie!

tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 14:58
I've often wonder if these TV cooks that create these culinary masterpieces, ever just throw a couple of links of sausage into the frying pane and do themselves a good old sausage butty, when they at home.
The only one I can picture doing that is Keith Floyd, Draper likes Keith Floyd, can't stand any of the others, especially that snot nosed young whippersnapper that dives around like he has just snorted half a pound of electric talcum powder up his nose.

Windy Militant
26th Nov 2001, 17:49
Another gem from The illustrious Mr Draper!
The tragic loss of such establishments from our highways and byways, is another sad example of the profit above all ethos that now rules this septic isle. Along with the village pub and the corner shop these bastions of individuality and sometimes even down right eccentricity have been driven to exctinction. I wouldn't mind so much if what replaced them provided decent provender to the hungry traveller. But the Homogenised processed microwaved Sh*te that they serve and the prices they charge are just taking the P*ss. For a last glimpse of what your going to miss Transport Cafe list (http://www.transportcafe.co.uk/cafelist.html) :(

Tricky Woo
26th Nov 2001, 18:43
What ever happened to old Keith Floyd?

That was the chap that persuaded me to give cooking a go. Loved to watch him getting sozzled on the telly whilst effortlessly chucking a few things into a pan.

Whatever Keith was making always seemed to involve a single frying pan and less than five ingredients... resulting in yet another culinary masterpiece.

Clever sod.


Anyone else think Delia Smith is a bit po-faced? Imagine waking up to that miserable bat every morning. Also, the average parts count in her recipes is somewhere in the thousands. Where the hell am I going to find a fresh nutmeg at 2:00am in the morning?

As for that Jamie Oliver: he's one of the reasons I left the country.


tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 19:50
Wow!thanks for the list Mr M.
There quite a few of them Drapers and his mob have visited.
Got a mate I have worked with off and on since 1967, he remembers the episodes of his life and the places we worked thru the Transport cafes we used to eat in,he will love it. :)

27th Nov 2001, 02:16
American Diner chains of Dennys...

Ahah !
For the benefit of our British readers, yer Denny's ain't a proper diner. No sir, to qualify as a diner requires meeting some pretty stringent qualifications which can be found here (http://www.dinercity.com/dinerFacts.html

Hmm.. can't get the bladdy URL to hide, here it is clickable http://www.dinercity.com/dinerFacts.html

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: PaperTiger ]

Capt Vegemite
27th Nov 2001, 05:01
Does anyone remember the British Midland caff at EMA?
Especially the old shrieking Harridan that presided over the place?
As a colonial it made me appreciate how bad things must have been during the war. :(

27th Nov 2001, 23:03
Capt PPRuNe,

The canteen at Coventry is no more and the area has been turned into an Executive Lounge for all the bizjet passengers who frequent the place.


28th Nov 2001, 06:56
Aye Mr. Draper, I am unable to assist ya with the transport cafe issue as I have never had the nerve or the inclination to drive automobiles in the UK: As you know, they are born with the steering wheel on the wrong hand side.

I do however remember vividly the time I purchased my first short-time from a lady of the night in a port called uh, was it either Liverpool, or is there a port called Teeside?
(Or Teeport?)
Her name was Polly and we, uh....
Perhaps wrong topic, but wait,we ate supper first.
On second thought, we did not eat supper.
Uhm, getting lost in thoughts and memories here.

Shall return later with more on the transport cafe issue, of which I know nothing about.
Well, my point is

Capt Vegemite
28th Nov 2001, 14:36
If you had in fact been having it off with Polly the scouser in your car,her mates would have probably knocked off the wheels. :eek:

tony draper
28th Nov 2001, 15:25
Oh yes Teesport, Draper remember falling in with two Meppo Ladies in a pub there,I thought they were Norweigian or something, because they spoke backslang all night.
Last time Draper was offered a short time was on Leeds station.
Do ladies still use such terminology.
Ooda ooya eekspay acslangbaa bay?. :rolleyes:

28th Nov 2001, 17:43
Capt. Vebemite:

The deed was not done in a car, but rather onboard a 31500 ton chemical tanker.
The problem was that we were offloading methanol at the time, and after Polly had introduced young TowerDog to the other side of sex (Uh, no not from behind, but paid for as opposed to free) she walked forward to get off the ship while smoking a cigarette.
Not the thing to do with thick fumes in the air.
The officer on deck caught her and TowerDog got in a bit of trouble.

Aye Mr. Draper, the answer is probably not.
(To play it safe as I am not sure what the question was.. :cool: )

tony draper
28th Nov 2001, 21:54
Backslang, or pig latin as its called in posh circles, was a language used by ladies of the night and minor criminale, they could muse about the possible size of ones organ and the fee they were going to charge one, among themselves without the punter understanding a single word.
Draper is Talking about the brass here, not the criminals.
Anyway the language is simplicity itself, one takes the first letter of the word, places it at the back of the word, and adds a aaa sound, osaaa histaa siaa akslangbaaa.
To listen to two fluent backslang speakers was truley amazing.
Draper did learn to interperate this strange idiom, but alas like all that was good about yesteryear it has died out now.
This language is not to be confused with that Polota thing, that was the secret language of the London shirt lifting fraternity, and actors of course , which is more or less the same thing.
One has to write backslang phoneticly, as there are no secret runes in which to write this language down, unlike the secret Geordie idiom runes,

avhaa a oodgaa aydaaaa Mr Owertaa Ogdaa ;)
Onytaa Raperdaaa.

PS just had a thought, this language could be revived and taught to cabin crew, they could then heap abuse and hurl cursed at their charges without even the linguists among them able to fathom what was being said.
Here is a example ,20 points for the first correct translation, remember the simple rules.
"Hattaa atfaa astardbaa inaaa eatsaa hirttyaa ootaa, ontswaa a upcaa of offeeecaaa. ownaa., wattaaa!untcaaaa!igpaaa

"Eyhaa! ishtaaa ilotpaa isaaa a ightraa ossertaaa".

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

28th Nov 2001, 22:49
Aye Mr. Draper, with all respect sir, one thinks paint-thinner is for uh, thinning paint and cleaning up the mess, not for sniffing for entertainment and pleasure.

An old secret laguage, hah, you can't fool this here TowerDog.
As they say in America: Ya can't BS a BSer.

Det er jo også unødvendig med nye språk når det er så mange andre..... :D

tony draper
28th Nov 2001, 23:04
Let Draper assure you sir, his post is perfectly true,every street kid when Draper was a tad knew a few words of backslang.
The fist time one had heard it spoken as a real language , at the same speed on would speak normal English, was as he describes above.
Honest Mr T, Draper sh*ts you not.. :cool:

Please Mr T, Draper is deeply hurt, go to google search, and type backslang ;)

There were many, many others, but, the usage is fast dying, and it will not be too long before it dies completely.

In fact, up until the early half of the 1900’s, there was also a strange language called ‘backslang’ in general usage in London which dated back for a couple of hundred years. It had almost gone out of use when I was a small lad, but, there were a few of the old boys who could still speak and understand it. It was used mainly among the cockney traders in the market places, and was designed to confuse any nearby customer or stranger. It was quite complex, and consisted of taking a word and cutting off the first letter and transferring it to the end of the word and adding another vowel sound. Again, while I know of a few examples of backslang, it is difficult to put into writing because the phonetic sounds produced do not line up with the words intended. There was no way that one could decipher the words as they were spoken, you had to be familiar enough with the technique to recognise the sounds being made, and know which word it represented.

Whilst on this subject of the English language, ..... I have composed a little poem which will emphasise just how peculiar it is, and in order to maintain your interest, I will include it in the next issue of ‘From over the pond’

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

henry crun
29th Nov 2001, 03:02
I can confirm all you say Mr D.
In my youth I discovered quite by accident that my mother could speak the London version of backslang.

I asked for a demonstration and this string of gibberish came from her lips that might just have well been Dzongkha for all that I could understand of it.

tony draper
29th Nov 2001, 03:23
Apparently it was in use in our Virginia Colonies up until the end of WW2, I think the only American slang word that Draper has heard with obvious a backslang root, is Ixnaaa meaning nix, nothing or none.
Draper finds language facinating. ;)

PS, Draper has also learned that Backslang was subject to regional accents also, so Geordie Backslang would be as difficult for a Cockney Backslang speaker to understand as the normal Geordie patoise.

pps, Draper suspects that those southern backslangers being somewhat limp wristed(compared to the more rugged hairy northern neigbours) probably spoke backslang with a posh accent.

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

29th Nov 2001, 05:32
Apparently it was in use in our Virginia Colonies up until the end of WW2, I think the only American slang word that Draper has heard with obvious a backslang root, is Ixnaaa meaning nix, nothing or none.

Mr D,

I have no first hand knowledge of these esoteric tongues, but I believe that the American version of backslang is "Pig Latin".

I'd be pleased if you'd peruse the following...

Most words in Pig Latin end in "ay." Use the rules below to translate normal English into Pig Latin.

1. If a word starts with a constant and a vowel, put the last letter of the word at the beginning of the word and add "ay."
Example: Happy = Yhappy + ay = Yhappay

2. If a word starts with two constants move the two constants to the end of the word and add "ay."
Example: Child = Ildch + ay = Ildchay

3. If a word starts with a vowel add the word "way" at the end of the word.
Example: Awesome = Awesome +way = Awesomeway

The sentence "Pig Latin is hard to speak." is written below in Pig Latin:
Gpiay Nlatiay isway dharay otay eakspay.

Notice how "Gpiay" is actually "Pig." Because the last character of pig is moved to the front, with "ay" added to the end, it makes Pig Latin very hard to read.

Decoding Pig Latin
Because Pig Latin is a method for translating words of the English language into a different language one can make up a code book for each commonly used word.

Pig Latin Plain English
airway air

ecoday code

phelay help

emay me

otay to

ethay the

Presumably by "constants" our cousins mean consonants :rolleyes:

[ 29 November 2001: Message edited by: Eric ]

tony draper
29th Nov 2001, 05:41
Huh!, Looks like they bug*ered backslang up as well as the perfectly good language we sent them across there with. ;)
Old English Backslang.
Atcaa =cat
Anmaa= man

29th Nov 2001, 08:28
Uh okay Mr. D and the rest of ya.

I am nearly convinced now.
(Sorry to have hurt yer fellings Mr. D, didn't know ya had any... :D )

So now if I dod a spelliug ur grmamar mistake, hah, it is backslang.
Yes, Sir, that it is.

(The saviour for the TowerDog: Come on over now spelling police, I have my P/C defense weapon handy. Backslang, or I could claim Ebonics: Do ya limeys know what Ebonics is?
Made in California by our black brothers and sisters, introduced as a new and unique language so the inner city schools would get more grants and state support. Don't ask...)

Aye, way of topic here as usual.
Soemthing about stopping for meals along the highway. Truck stops in the US.
Veikro in the old language.
Uh, my old man owns one of those in Northern Norway. Good food and drinks. (And free for the TowerDog. My favorite place... :D )

Gash Handlin
30th Nov 2001, 00:03
Can't believe I'm the first to post the answer to the puzzle!!!! woohoo 20 points, the riches, the fame, the fast living and the lose women can surely be just around the corner....

"Hattaa atfaa astardbaa inaaa eatsaa hirttyaa ootaa, ontswaa a upcaa of offeeecaaa. ownaa., wattaaa!untcaaaa!igpaaa

"Eyhaa! ishtaaa ilotpaa isaaa a ightraa ossertaaa".

That fat bastard in seat thirty too [sic], wonts [sic] a cup of coffee. Now., ****! ****! pig" (looks like backslang is a handy way past the sensor :D)

"Hey! this pilot is a right tosser"

must say we used to use the american version (ay on the end of the words) when I was at school 15 years ago.

tony draper
30th Nov 2001, 00:24
Heh heh heh, twenty points Mr H. ;) ;)
anktay eryay uchmay, ndaay oodgay ightnay.

[ 29 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

30th Nov 2001, 02:25
Tricky Woo.

I have it on good authority that Keith Floyd can be found on the telly (channel unknown) putting himself up as an expert on Indian cooking.

Having watched one of said programmes it looks to me like he only learned the recipes five minutes before the camera started rolling.

If you watch carefully you can see the cooking wallahs laughing in the background.

Didn't half make me hungry though ;)

Tricky Woo
30th Nov 2001, 14:59

Did your 31,500 tonne chemical tanker have a whiplash aerial and reclining vinyl seats? Must have been a bit of a sod to park behind the pub, but the inconvenience must have been worth it if it pulled the birds.

What colour was it?


No doubt the various cooks in the background were laughing with joy at Keith's god-like ability to cook whilst p!ssed as a rat. If you think it's easy, then try it at home.

Come to think of it, when else do people want a curry? Exactly! When they're just back from the boozer, and ready to eat a tandoori rat if they could find one. Maybe old Keithy is simply trying to educate us in the art of cookery whilst inebriated.

Must call Channel Four, there's mileage in this one. Could be the start of a whole new TV genre:

Cooking whilst p!ssed.
Gardening whilst p!ssed.
Antiques collecting whilst p!ssed.
Origami whilst p!ssed.
Shagging whilst p!ssed.

'Changing Rooms whilst p!ssed' has already been done. Clearly.

You heard it here first.

Herr Draper,

Intrigued by the possibilities of this backslang thingy. Could come in handy during meetings... let's face it, the phonetic-abortion that is the tongue of the Swiss-German deserves a competitior.

TW: iaa ontdaa uckingfaa arecaa hatwaa ouyaa uckingfaa watstaa hinktaa, tiaa ontwaa uckingfaa orkwaa. Nyoneaaa otgaa nyaaa Obleronetaa?

Nowt to it.