Life at the Londesborough Hotel - memories of growing up there in the 1950s

Angela's parents and grandfather outside the hotel in 1960.
Angela's parents and grandfather outside the hotel in 1960.

Seeing the burnt-out wreck of the Londesborough proved especially emotional for a visitor who spent much of her childhood living in the hotel.

Angela Coleman’s parents Fred and Elsie Smith ran the hotel for around 15 years, and she helped them by working alongside her other jobs.

Elsie outside the Londesborough

Elsie outside the Londesborough

She now lives in Chesterfield, but returns to Bridlington regularly and was back last week for the first time since the devastating blaze.

She went to see the building in West Street and spoke to the owners, telling them about her memories of growing up there more than half-a-century ago.

“It was part of our history and so it was a big wrench when I saw it all charred inside,” Angela told the Free Press.

“It was very upsetting because I remember how mum and dad used to look after that beautiful place.”

Angela regularly returns to Bridlington

Angela regularly returns to Bridlington

Angela had managed to find a selection of photographs of her family’s time at the hotel, and brought them with her to Bridlington last week.

She said: “We went to the Londesborough in 1948 and left in 1954 and went to a place in Hull.

“But we went back in 1958 and I married from there in 1965.

“The flats across the road now used to be the first Hilderthorpe School so I used to be able to go out of our front door and straight into school.

Elsie at the entrance to the hotel in the 1950s

Elsie at the entrance to the hotel in the 1950s

“I worked for a solicitors Osterfield Hall and Co opposite the war memorial and then as a secretary at Davis’ furniture shop.

“I remember when I got married, all the shopkeepers were lined up along West Street as I went to Christ Church.”

Angela said the office where it is thought last month’s fire started used to be her father’s office.

Recalling how the hotel looked 50 years ago, she said:“The big room around the corner was called the extension and only use d to open in the summer, the room on the corner was the residents’ lounge.

Elsie behind the bar more than 60 years ago.

Elsie behind the bar more than 60 years ago.

“We used to have 23 bedrooms and lots of staff, a full-time cook, two full-time cleaners, all the downstairs staff. It was a pretty high-end hotel when my mum and dad ran it.”

Angela working in the restaurant.

Angela working in the restaurant.