But the red British telephone box that has stood in the centre of ‘Pudding Town’ for the past 25 years was recently looking decidedly the worse for wear and was hardly a shining example.
The need for a new lick of paint and a facelift caught the eye of Maj Gen John Henderson, GOC BFG, who was keen that this very British image remained as an object of pride for the military community.
Following extensive refurbishment, courtesy of the British Army based in the city, the now pristine box was re-dedicated on February 27, in a special ceremony attended by the Oberbürgermeister of Bielefeld, Pit Clausen, and Maj Gen Henderson.
The 53-year-old Germany Guard Service worker from Hessisch Oldendorf recently flew to Scotland to pick up the 46-year-old Bedford once used for sightseeing tours in Liverpool.
He had spotted the rare vehicle on eBay and decided he had to have it to make his 30-year-old hobby complete, having already amassed Magical Mystery Tour collectibles worth €100,000.
“It was a lot of fun driving the bus back from the port in Belgium with people waving and honking their horns at us. Some were filming and photographing us as we drove along,” said Simon, who let two friends do the driving and was joined by members from his local Beatles fan club.
The road to celebrating two decades of supplying expats and Anglophile Germans with the best of British produce has been anything but smooth for the London-born shopkeeper.
But The Tuck Shop’s raison d’être is down to Irene’s personal service and her many loyal customers, some of whom travel miles for their favourite UK treat.
The humble business, which started in 1994, is thought to be one of the first English food shops in Germany. Many others have come and gone since.
Seventy-one per cent of those personnel surveyed say their working hours have increased in the past two years, according to a survey carried out by the Army Families Federation.
During 2012 and 2013 the AFF received substantial anecdotal evidence from families that their soldier's working hours had increased and that it was having a detrimental effect on family life.
To establish the extent of the problem the pressure group focused on working hours in its annual survey.