A tea room in Avebury Manor has found a solution to the problem of sore knees among its staff and volunteers.

The award winning National Trust Avebury Manor Tea-room has a good reputation among visitors for delicious cream teas in beautiful surroundings.

But the Trust’s staff and volunteers were less happy about a hidden problem caused by the building’s historic layout – sore knees!

The problem arose because the tea-room kitchen was located down two flights of stairs, so every time something needed cleaning or more cake brought up, 13 steps had to be negotiated whilst carrying baskets of crockery. This was not a problem occasionally, but when the tea-room was busy, it was a hard day’s work out to keep the visitors served.

The stairs also resulted in a difficulty in getting and maintaining willing volunteers, which the Trust, a charity, depends on. Volunteers would start with great enthusiasm but give up after a few shifts.

So in the interests of health, safety and morale, the National Trust started a project to try and find a solution. As the 16th century Avebury Manor is a listed building the solution was not simple. But after two years of discussion, and many visits to the drawing board, an answer was found. Two toilets adjacent to the tea-room were removed and in their place a new kitchen was built, including a state of the art dishwasher.

Natalie Sinclair, Tea-room Supervisor said ‘It’s been a huge problem, so we’re over the moon now. This means that we can open every day and for longer hours, so we can now serve not only cream teas and cakes, but also delicious light lunches.’

Eva Stuetzenberger, Visitor Engagement & Enterprises Manager continues ‘The tea-room in the old library is the jewel in Avebury Manor’s crown, such a special place with an atmosphere reminiscent of times gone past.’

The Manor tea-room can now also be booked for evening functions, for more info see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury.

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