Probus en­joy their stay in com­pany of ho­tel ex­perts

East Kilbride News - - CLUBS -

East Kil­bride Probus Club en­joyed a talk about The Cen­tral Ho­tel in Glas­gow.

Pres­i­dent Alan Steven­son in­tro­duced the speak­ers Bill Hicks and Jill Scott, who had both worked as jour­nal­ists.

The duo were asked to write a his­tory of city icon, The Cen­tral Ho­tel Glas­gow, dat­ing from 1883 and they did not re­alise the wealth of his­tory it con­tained.

They started off at the Mitchell Li­brary in Glas­gow and, ul­ti­mately, they tracked down one of the orig­i­nal bell boys known as ‘Wee Des’ who had a wealth of sto­ries to tell of the rich and fa­mous.

Also, the Cale­do­nian Rail­way As­so­ci­a­tion had archives for when it was owned by the Cale­do­nian Rail­way.

In those early days there was even pro­vi­sion for the guests, who trav­elled with their own staff, to house the lat­ter in the up­per at­tic rooms.

The Prin­ci­pal Grand Cen­tral Ho­tel is a large four-star ho­tel in the cen­tre of Glas­gow.

The ho­tel forms the front of the Glas­gow Cen­tral rail­way sta­tion on Gor­don Street.

It was one of Glas­gow’s most pres­ti­gious ho­tels in its hey­day, host­ing res­i­dents as fa­mous as Frank Si­na­tra, Gene Kelly, Roy Rogers and Trig­ger, Win­ston Churchill and many oth­ers.

The world’s first longdis­tance tele­vi­sion pic­tures were trans­mit­ted from the Cen­tral Ho­tel on May 24, 1927 by John Lo­gie Baird.

A fourth-floor bed­room where it all hap­pened has a plaque in hon­our of this break­through.

There was an­other in­flux of busi­ness in 1938 for peo­ple at­tend­ing the Em­pire Ex­hi­bi­tion held in Bel­la­hous­ton Park.

In 1934 they wel­comed So­phie Tucker – the last of the Red Hot Mom­mas – and in 1947 Mae West was over­see­ing the pro­duc­tion of her own play ‘Di­a­mond Lil’ at the Al­ham­bra The­atre.

In 1963, Si­na­tra stayed there as he was ap­pear­ing at the fa­mous Glas­gow Em­pire.

This ‘grand old lady’ of Glas­gow goes on cre­at­ing more mem­o­ries and a so­cial his­tory of Glas­gow into the 21st cen­tury and be­yond, wear­ing its re­fur­bished grandeur with pride.

The vote of thanks was given by Ken Law­ton who said: “I thor­oughly en­joyed this trip down a per­sonal mem­ory lane.

“As a for­mer ho­tel man­age­ment stu­dent I was of­ten asked to be a func­tion waiter at the Cen­tral Ho­tel dur­ing the early 60s in the last days of grandeur.”

Speak­ers Ken Law­ton, Jill Scott, Bill Hicks and Al­lan Steven­son af­ter the talk

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