Ipswich couple turn kitchen into American diner in celebration of Elvis Presley
- Credit: Archant
An Ipswich couple with a burning love for all things Elvis have been leaving their house guests all shook up with their authentic American diner – crafted right in their own kitchen.
Howard and Shirley Brown of Bramford Lane were both teenagers when the King first broke onto the music scene in the 1950s – and the pair couldn’t help falling in love with his music.
And having fostered a lifetime love of the rock ‘n’ roll star’s music, they have created an authentic American diner with Elvis artwork on the walls.
Shirley, 67, said: “It started off with a jukebox for his [Howard’s] retirement three-and-a-half years ago when he was a truck driver.
“We said it would be great to turn the dining area into an American diner. We have always been into that era of music and having the jukebox just makes you want to play his music – it sits really nicely with the diner.”
It soon became a pet project for the couple, who managed to find a firm in Colchester to create the distinctive table, before collecting various Elvis artworks and vinyl-inspired placemats to further finesse the look.
After 18 months their diner was complete – and has become a popular part of the couple’s dinner parties where guests are required to dig out their blue suede shoes and don their ‘50s frocks for a true rock ‘n’ roll experience.
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“We got hold of pieces and just snowballed from there,” Shirley said.
“We have had a couple of parties and dress up – they all come dressed for the era and it’s just great.”
This weekend marks what would have been the Pelvis’ 82nd birthday, and as the couple explain ahead of the occasion, his music will never die.
“It doesn’t matter who else comes along, Elvis’ music just lasts, it just goes from decade to decade.
“We have teenage grandchildren and they love the early rock ‘n’ roll stuff. It was looked upon as a bit daring and teenagers love that even today.”
The couple have been inspired by previous visits to the USA, but Shirley says it is a lifelong dream to visit Graceland and iconic venues such as Sun Studios and the Grand Ole Opry where Elvis first swaggered onto the scene.
So what is the next endeavour for the jiving duo?
“I don’t know,” Shirley added. “I think it’s enough for the time being, but other rooms need decorating so I might just go a bit further with one of those!”
Elvis clocked up a remarkable 21 number ones in his career and countless other recordings that are universally loved. But which of his hits gets Shirley and Howard rocking the most?
“I know Howard’s favourite is An American Trilogy,” Shirley said. “Mine is probably Jailhouse Rock or Heartbreak Hotel. I like the early years of Elvis best, but he still had good music in his later years.
“We love anything from the ‘50s but he started it all and he is the king of rock ‘n’ roll.”