Station House at Miller's Dale has transformed into a pop up cafe

Three teenagers have taken over Station House in Miller’s Dale and have transformed it in to a pop up cafe to raise funds for their gap years.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 12:44 pm
Friends Grace Toward, Emily Goulding and Grace Campbell have set up a pop up cafe in Station House, Miller's Dale on the Monsal Trail

The cafe, which opened on Saturday, July 10, will be welcoming customers to sit and take break from the Monsal Trail with a slice of homemade cake until Thursday July 22.

Three college friends Grace Toward, Emily Goulding and Grace Campbell who have all been planning their gap years after finishing college and sixth form knew they needed to raise funds to get them on their way.

It was Grace Toward’s parents who suggested turning Station House, which they let out as a holiday rental, into a cafe.

The busy Miller's Dale station in it's heyday

She said: “It was a great idea and we jumped at the chance to take it over.

"It’s in a great spot not just for tourists but locals too who use the Monsal Trail so hopefully we will be nice and busy.”

Station House was bought the house in 2019 and her parents had toyed with the idea of opening up a cafe but Grace and her two friends have made it their mission to rise to the challenge.

The 18-year-old said: “The last couple of months has really been intense. We’ve had to apply for licences from the council, take a hygiene course and practice our baking but it will all be worth it.”

Seating at the new pop up cafe at Miller's Dale Station House

The three friends will be putting all their profits into their gap year activities.

Emily Goulding, 18, will be heading to a Christian holiday centre near Birmingham where she will be working at the camp organising various activities for younger children.

Grace Campbell, 18, also has designs on heading to a church-based gap year down in Devon but for Grace Toward her outreach program in Uganda was cancelled earlier in the month.

She said: “I was meant to be going out for six months before I headed off to study law at Exeter next year but Covid has stopped that at the last minute so I think I will try and join a camp over the summer and do something.

Friends Grace Toward, Emily Goulding and Grace Campbell have set up a pop up cafe in Station House, Miller's Dale on the Monsal Trail

"For us we knew our gap year projects would cost money but we didn’t want to just ask for it we wanted to earn it and we thought the cafe would be great way to do it.

"It’s a beautiful location and a really busy route with walkers and cyclists and we hope we can raise money to help with our gap year dreams.

"I’d love to say we will be able to take hundreds of pounds each away from the cafe but I just don’t know how popular it will be. If its a rainy day we may not do so well but if it starts with nice weather and then becomes rainy people might want to take shelter and wait for the bad weather to pass.”

The girls will be doing all the baking of the scones and cakes and will be selling drinks and ice creams throughout the day.

The Station House at Miller's Dale is becoming a pop up tea room

Their menus include vegan, gluten free options as well as decafinated hot drinks as well.

Grace said: “We’ve tried to make a simple menu but one that caters to a lot of people and different tastes.

"It’s been fun trying things out before and seeing what has worked and what hasn’t.”

The pop up cafe has outside and covered outside seating and people can sit and enjoy the lovely gardens and take in the great view over Miller’s dale and look at the old historic pictures of time gone by when 125,000 passengers would come through this station.

The house was the original Station Master’s House when it was built in 1880 and was part of the Millers Dale railway station was situated which was built in 1863 by the Midland Railway as an extension of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway from Rowsley.

And Station House in the rural Peak District has it’s own unique history to be proud of including serving one of the largest stations on the line and was one of the few stations in the country to have a post office on the platform.

Changing at Millers Dale often involved a wait and way back in November 1900 it was affectionately referred to the station as Patience Junction.

The station was later immortalised in the 1964 song Slow Train by Flanders and Swann.

The station closed in 1967, but trains continued to pass through until 1968, when the line was closed.

This old line now forms a traffic free route for 8½ miles of walking and cycling, passing through some of the Peak Districts amazing limestone valleys. Tideswell, Buxton, Bakewell, Castleton and Chatsworth are all close by.

The house is not set up to be a cafe so the girls, all from Sheffield, and found they did not have enough teapots to serve everyone on a busy day so Grace Toward’s grandma has stepped up and provided a full set of crockery and teapots from her church.

Grace added: "We know there are other cafes but for us we are only going to be there a short time and we would really love it if you could support us while we are open.

"We can promise nice tea and cakes too.”

The cafe will be open 10am to 5pm until July 22. To stay up to date with the adventures of the three teenagers and their pop up cafe more information is available on their Facebook page Station House Pop-up Café Fundraiser