Vandals hit Valley Gardens's popular cafe

Break-ins - The Magnesia Well Cafe in Harrogate's Valley Gardens.
Break-ins - The Magnesia Well Cafe in Harrogate's Valley Gardens.

A popular cafe in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens has been plagued by a spate of break-ins and vandalism this summer.

The police have been called several times to the Magnesia Well Cafe this summer, said the tea rooms’ manager, Martin Hampton and have attended the scene checking CCTV footage and taking other measures.
But, he said the wave of costly attacks had forced him to take extra security measures to protect the cafe with its distinctive pagoda-shaped tower in the heart of the award-winning park.
Martin said: “It will cost two to three thousand pounds to repair the damge to the shutters and the glass windows.
“We’re also going to install better CCTV and stronger, reinforced shutters.”
It’s far from the first time the cafe, which has been a popular fixture of the Valley Gardens since at least the 1920s, has been hit by attacks.
Previous managers have endured similar problems.
Martin, who has been in charge of Magnesia well Cafe for ten years, said: “It’s to do with the school holidays, I think. It always happens towards the end of them as if youngsters were having a final blow out.”
Part of the problem, Martin says, lies in the lack of lighting around the area of the cafe, which serves a variety of hot and cold drinks and light meals and is also renowned for offering Ripley Ice Cream.
Martin said: “There’s no lighting near the cafe now. I’ve noticed that dog walkers aren’t coming down here these days. If they did, it might help at least with break-ins and vandalism being reported a bit quicker.”