According to a BBC news story yesterday, the asylum in Lincoln has been bought by Stokes – a 112 year old coffee company based in Lincoln – with the intention of turning it into a coffee roasting house and visitor attraction.
The building has been the central theme for the Weekend at the Asylum steampunk event held once yearly in the historic city. However, it’s been sat vacant with Lincoln City Council actively trying to sell it for the past three years. VSS (Victorian Steampunk Society – who organise Weekend at the Asylum) have been asked by eager and interested steampunks if they were interested in buying the property.
Stokes have been based in Lincoln for over a century and have enjoyed success with their High Bridge Cafe that they’ve been in since 1937. The strategy for the Asylum building is to make a roasting factory where visitors can tour and view the process as it happens. There will be some that will have a thought of Willy Wonka in their heads, but it will be more likely akin to Cadbury World.
I contacted Stokes to ask if they have any plans to co-operate with the famous event but they’ve yet to answer. Thadeus Tinker, member of the Victorian Steampunk Society who organises Weekend at the Asylum, confirmed that they’re talking to Stokes about collaborations but it’s too early to confirm anything yet. He said “The VSS are delighted that Stokes will be taking over The Lawn. They are a first class family business with an excellent pedigree in Lincoln. Furthermore they have supported the VSS and the Asylum steampunk festival since its inception. We are looking forward to seeing their full plans for the complex and wish them the very best of fortune with the project. We also hope to work with them on steampunk projects in the future.“