Fears for Grindleford cafe after boss dies, 63

THE future of Grindleford Station Cafe is in doubt after the death of its eccentric owner Philip Eastwood last week.

Phil, aged 63, had a heart attack while dancing at a party. The funeral is tomorrow at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium, Sheffield.

The former chippie, nightclub bouncer, debt collector and hot dog seller had run the cafe, once the station waiting rooms, for over 30 years.

Well-known for its Full English Breakfasts and pint mugs of tea, it was open even on Christmas Day, and was a favourite with climbers (who left 'See you at K2' notes for each other on the boards), ramblers and walkers.

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The cafe was famed for the notices Phil stuck up everywhere warning against uncontrolled children and dogs, using the toilet without buying food, mobile phones, dumping empty plates on the counter and being a social worker.

Phil also had a deep antipathy to mushrooms and they were never part of the Full English.

The interior of the cafe hardly changed over the years although Phil built toilets and a spring water bottling plant.

In 2001 he founded the British Rural Independent Party to express his own particular views.

They could be said to be right wing and anti-vegetarian.

"When vegetarians walk in you know there's going to be trouble.

"While all the rest of the customers are standing there waiting patiently, they want to know what's in the vegeburgers or what's your cooking oil," he once said. He had also at different times at odds with his neighbours – who opposed his expansion plans – and authority in its various forms

But he was also a very generous man with a heart of gold.

"He was one of a kind," said cafe assistant Stacey Bailey. "When the customers heard, some cried."

Philip leaves a son, also Phillip, aged 19.

The cafe will be closed tomorrow and the funeral is at 3pm.

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