The Duke of Edinburgh Hotel

July 31, 2008 at 13:30 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Duke of Edinburgh

AAAARGH! I was so preoccupied with various things yesterday that I completely forgot to post! Did you miss me? Do I get my wrists slapped?

Never mind. On with the show.

The Duke of Edinburgh stands opposite the railway station and what is now becoming known as Crazy Horse Corner after the statue of the late Emlyn Hughes. A railway town needed a railway hotel and when Barrow Central station replaced the old station in St George’s Square the Duke appeared. Once it was Barrow’s smartest hotel (for certain values of ‘smartest’, and as such no doubt housed dignitaries attending big launches in the days when launches were on the telly with commentary by Richard Dimbleby.

The hotel has, however, had a mixed history. When I returned to Barrow two years ago it had sunk to being an unsavoury joint called “The Duke”, decorated in headache purple and a venue for headache-inducing music. Now, I claim no credit for this but hardly had I unpacked my bags than the hotel underwent a long and painful refurbishment, to reopen once more as a hotel and upmarket (for some values of ‘upmarket’) bar. You can even get draught beer there, although it’s a tad pricey for Barrow.

The refurbishment included a good sandblasting, something that has happened to many Barrow buildings blackened by the long years of steelworks grime. Mostly this is for the better (Barrow is now as clean and wholesome a town as you’ll find these days) but with the Duke I can’t help feeling something precious has been blasted away. I remember it as black, with the hotel name in white lettering along those balcony railings you can see at the front. I stayed there once – it would be in the late sixties when my Nanna had one of her strokes. I can clearly remember lying on a high bed in a cavernous Victorian room, reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It seemed entirely appropriate.



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  1. time for a pint!

  2. Your round then, Ken 😉

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