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New business opens in Dales Countryside Museum

Hawes, March 11, 2015

The firebox – where the driver and crew of a steam train used to fry their bacon and eggs – has provided the inspiration for a new café that opens its doors next month in the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. 

The Firebox Café is being run on a franchise basis by Stage 1 Cycles owners Helen Pollard and Mike Allenby, who have also moved their cycle hire and repair business from Askrigg into the museum complex, which is located in part of the town’s former railway station.

The couple aim to give people a chance to refuel, recharge and relax after looking round the displays and exhibitions and taking part in the organised activities in the building before they go off to enjoy the attractions Hawes has to offer.

And, if they feel energetic, visitors can hire a bike and explore the surrounding countryside to get a better idea of what it is that makes the landscape so special.

Museum Manager Fiona Rosher said: “We would like to give a warm welcome to the café and cycle business, which are the latest additions to the ever-growing list of facilities both in the Museum and in the town as a whole.

“The café franchise offers a facility that our visitors have asked for time and time again.”

Helen said: “We are hoping the business will become a cycling hub in the town.

”We are aiming to create a quality destination allowing cycling to be accessible to all. We believe that encouraging the growth of a different sector of the visitor community to Wensleydale will be beneficial to all local businesses. For Stage 1 Cycles, the opening of The Firebox is vital for creating complementary opportunities for our cycling business – and for many cyclistssswwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, cakes and coffee are an element of a ride.”

The couple plan to celebrate the café’s official opening on the weekend of April 2 and 3 with a guided mountain bike ride for participants age 10+ on the Saturday. Departing Hawes at 5pm, the children will have an opportunity to explore the local hills by bike.

On Sunday they will host “Cycle for Cake Day” aimed at encouraging anybody from clubs and groups to returning cyclists to get on their bike and cycle to the museum. If they arrive on their bike and have bought a drink, they will receive a cake.

There will be a children's cycle trail on Wednesday April 6 from 10am to noon when families will be welcome to drop in at the recreational field in Hawes and follow a trail learning about the Wensleydale hedgerows in spring. Children’s bikes and helmets will be available to borrow.