Saturday, 23 February 2013

The "Sixty - Six Hotel"

A rare view of the southern aspect of "Belvedere" in Montpelier Road, c.1935, after becoming a hotel.


  1. A lovely view, which as far as I recall, didn't change at all right up to the closure in 1969-70. For the record, the rather bland extension on the left was added in the 30s, along with the sun lounge- it couldn't have been much earlier as it was one of those Crittall metal framed jobs which clicked and creaked in the hot sunshine.
    Through the double doors was the entrance into the Hotels dining room, which occupied the ground floor bay to the left of the entrance. It was large, light and airy. To the right hand side, by contrast, was the lounge. This was rather sombre, with all its Victoriana intact, all red flock wallpaper with heavy mouldings and Lincrusta, all painted in a yellowish cream gloss. I found it a bit stifling, especially with the fire lit. In front of that bay in the sun lounge, not visible in the picture, were the stairs down to the underground games room, bar and ballroom. It was dark and as spooky as anything down there, but I always felt compelled to go down there and wander around anyway. I must have been crazy, but it was almost like I was daring myself to do it. Anyway I never saw any ghosts, but lets just say I was very aware of the people who had once danced the night away there in the years before it became unused and forgotten.
    Have you ever seen The Shining? when I saw that film, it really struck a chord of memory. That ballroom. I must have been a fanciful child, though as I said, I never saw anything like what Jack Nicholson saw!
    The block to the far right was an apartment for management, and I hardly ever went there. Above the sun room were the principal bedrooms. The bay to the right contained a room occupied by an elderly American couple, the Pollacks, who were sort of friends of my parents. From what I can remember, they had been involved with some kind of illicit racket in NY in the 20s or 30s, and for reasons they never went into, had been forced to up sticks rapidly and come to the UK, and they took up residence in the Hotel. whether it was the Feds or the Mob they were getting away from, I don't know. When the Hotel closed, they were forced to take a flat in Wick Hall, which they called "The Penitentiary". They were an odd lot altogether!
    Anyway, the rooms in the gables were staff quarters, and the kitchens, which even then seemed ancient and huge were in the apex between the old building and the annexe, invisible from this angle, which by the way is the West aspect, so the photographer is facing Montpelier Road.
    Thanks for this, its made my day (and more) seeing this again

  2. Thanks Mark. A great addition to the blog.


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