A TOWN councillor who was forced to close his beloved cafe after 21 years due to ill health, says he is grateful to be able to spend New Year with his family after a major heart operation.

Brian Edge, aged 76, is recovering from triple bypass heart surgery at the end of November.

Before the operation, he made the difficult decision to close the popular Cafe Edge in Tetbury.

Although he is now able to spend the festive season with his loved ones after the successful procedure, he reflected on the loss of his cafe, which he said had provided him with many memories.

Cllr Edge, who plans to work at his wife and daughter’s business, Cafe Lyndsey, when he recovers, said: “It’s a very, very sad occasion to close it because of all the memories, all my customers who come from all over the country and the world.

“It’s a sad occasion when you’re dedicated to the job, you enjoy the people.

“I enjoy meeting people; we’re always joking. Cafe Edge was always full of laughter going out the door.

“I did think about people to run it but I couldn’t have the stress going into the hospital with that. I’d like to say a big thank to my customers." 

Cllr Edge realised something was wrong with his health in August when he began to experience shortness of breath and could not walk very far.

He thinks the problems came about because he was pushinghimself too hard.

“I couldn’t walk. I was stopping and starting because of my breathing. I think I went over the top because I was working at Cafe Edge. It tires you out.

“I have my on and off days now. On bad days, there’s lots of tiredness.”

Cafe Edge opened as a tea shop in Tetbury in November 1996 after a 55-year-old Brian Edge from Bristol made the radical decision to buy the Church Street site.

"I just remember driving back and panicking: ‘Oh my god, what have I done?’

“I used to make freshly made omelettes and lasagne. Then the coffee days came. Before I was at Cafe Edge, I worked abroad. When I came back, I had two lovely daughters and I wanted to stay.

“You could move into Gloucester and Bristol and you’re just a cafe. But in Tetbury, you’ve got Highgrove. I think Tetbury’s got that edge about it.

“I was pleased I did come to Tetbury because I got my cafe and I became a councillor.”