English | 2013 | ISBN: 1490333398 | 186 pages | EPUB | 28,5 MB
This lavishly illustrated book provides the first full, detailed history of each and every hotel built in Britain and Ireland by the railway companies. When Euston station was built in 1838 the directors of the London and Birmingham Railway earmarked the land at the front of the site “to promote the success of the railway by providing for the comfort of families and individuals who travel on it”. They started a tradition of hotel ownership by railway companies which was to last for 132 years and encompass more than 150 properties. These varied in size and shape from a few rooms within the station buildings at Scarborough, to magnificent 400 bedroomed palace hotels. They pioneered lifts, electric lighting, hot and cold running water, private bathrooms, air conditioning, double glazing and sound-proofing all making their debut within their walls. Initially, they accommodated those changing trains, waiting for a ferry, travelling on business or breaking a long journey. Then they began to create opportunities of their own with “destination” hotels for leisure breaks, where everything was provided on-site. They laid out the golf courses and built breathtaking hotels which have now become legendary venues at Gleneagles, Turnberry and more. From the imposing Gothic masterpiece which fronts London’s St Pancras Stattion, to the sleek Art Deco of the Midland in Morecambe, the hotels created by the railways became iconic structures. Railway hotels were where Rolls met Royce, where David took Victoria, where Kings and Queens were welcomed, but the Beatles turned away. This book takes each of the 152 hotels in turn, explaining their purpose, their history and their fate.