The Old Stables tearooms at Erewash Museum may not be finished yet - but they are already looking fantastic.
Features include tables with old maps of Ilkeston, a Victorian image depicted on the far wall and a plush serving counter which is outlined by nostalgic images of old-style food brands.
The tearoom is situated in a former exhibit room at the award-winning Erewash Museum and opens on Easter Saturday. Volunteers are needed to staff what is expected to be a popular feature.
A number of people have already come forward, keen to help out.
Brian Spiby, vice chairman of the Friends of Erewash Museum, said: “Around 12 people are needed and we have five definites. The volunteers we have so far have experience in areas such as retail, there is a good mix of background and ages and they have plenty of experience between them.
“I have been amazed at how keen they all are and ready to take over. The more people we have, the more we can do.”
One of the volunteers is Wendy Wesley, who will bake the cakes for the tearooms. She said people can expect tasty treats such as carrot cake, orange drizzle and ginger cake.
Manager of the tearooms, Tony Lavery, said they hope to slowly build up how often they open the rooms, and they will be open longer during the school holidays.
He said: “We have sourced some aprons with Old Stables logos on, and staff will wear fancy dress for special functions.
“With it being a new venture, we are not sure how many people we are going to get.
“The advantage of being where we are is that we can keep the prices low, which is ideal as the area is a poor area. It is an ideal place to bring children and is a cheap and educational day out.”
The Victorian-themed Old Stables Tearoom is part of the new learning, community and exhibition centre development at the museum – completed thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant – and all will be showcased for the first time to the public at a launch event on Saturday March 26.
Volunteers will help serve tea, coffee and cakes. No cooking skills are necessary, just a friendly personality and a willingness to undergo some simple training for using the cash till and food hygiene.
Mr Spiby said: “For special events we have 600 to 1,000 visitors on a Saturday, that’s a lot of people to sell cakes to.”
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for culture and leisure, said: “Volunteers play a vital role in the running of our museum and contribute greatly to the visitor experience. The opening of the Victorian-themed tearoom is the ideal opportunity to get involved in an exciting new chapter of the museum’s history.”
The tearoom will be managed by the Friends of Erewash Museum and staffed entirely by volunteers.
To find out more about volunteering in the tearoom, email volunteer co-ordinator Rebecca Buck at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 907 1141. People will be able to try out the new tearoom at the Victorian-themed launch event to celebrate the completion of the HLF development on March 26.