Raising a cup to Auntie Louie

Our Louie's Place coffee bar had a lovely surprise international visit from family who'd driven the length of the country to see "Auntie Louie's Place".

The coffee bar is named after the late Louie Farn, a long-time volunteer and management committee member at Eastlea Community Centre. Her husband, Ronnie, is still a Trustee here.

Two of the couple's nieces, sisters Joan Watkinson and Marjorie Donley, along with Marjorie's husband Steve, set off from Kent this morning and were here for a drink before we closed at 1.30pm.

Joan had travelled even further to be here. She lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

They were touched at the tribute to Louie.

The coffee bar was set up in September, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, which allowed us to buy equipment and supplies from Northside Coffee Roasters, in Morpeth.

It is becoming increasingly popular, and is now a warm hub, thanks to a grant from County Durham Community Foundation, which means you can call in to Eastlea Community Centre for a free barista coffee, hot chocolate or tea, and enjoy the newspapers and the good company, from 10.30am to 1.30pm every Monday.