Clarence Hotel, North Street

Memories of beer and fresh bread

by Martin Nimmo

A childhood treat
"As a child, we probably went out for lunch about twice a year, usually paid for by my grandparents. And we always went to the Clarence Hotel in North Street, probably because my step-grandfather used to take his business clients there occasionally. The hotel had a bar and a dining room and smelled of a peculiar mixture of beer and fresh bread. The menu was limited in the mid-1950's, and we usually had soup, then roast lamb or roast chicken.

Tackling an ice cream!
Probably the threat of three courses and the lime juice and soda water which was my preferred tipple at that tender age meant that I usually felt a little unwell by the middle of the meal and had to 'retire' from the dining room for five minutes until I felt well enough to sit down again and tackle an ice-cream !

A kindly waiter
I recall one of the waiters in his white jacket and bow tie, a small man who seemed very old (probably only around sixty) who was very kind to us children. Perhaps only a few children ever made it through the hallowed portals in those days!"

text sent to website on 9-12-2002
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
I currently work at the Clarence Cafe, and am very interested in finding out the history, especially pre 1900. If anyone has any hints, pop in or email me.
By Jodie Coomber (09/07/2003)

Does anyone know whether a Thomas Baume, baker/confectioner worked at the Clarence Hotel between 1908 and 1930?

By C Ring (24/09/2007)

I believe that the waiter you are talking about was the Head Waiter. I think his name was Cyril. I was also taken there as a small child on numerous occassions and remember it very fondly, especially the revolving door which I thought was very clever.

By Jane Mudge (25/02/2008)
IĀ used to work at the Clarence Hotel in North Street in 1970 and worked with Cyril the head waiter. I was only 15 at the time he got me to save all my tips and spend them on clothes evey 2 months. I loved working with him and especially the waitresses called Doris, Gladys, Rene.
By David Patrick (20/07/2009)

Did you know the hotel was haunted at the rear?

By David Patrick (10/06/2010)

I worked in the hotel 1969-70 in the kitchen as a comme chef. I remember the waitresses as I think they were there a long time. My mother, Doris, worked in the bar. The boss' name was Rankin. If anyone would like to know more, please ask. 

By Derek Evans (15/09/2011)

I know my Father worked there as a cook at that time, and I know so little about it, I would like to know more Derek, how do I get in touch?

By Paul Hardy (23/06/2012)

I  worked at the Clarence in the '60s for about 2 years as commis waiter. Cyril was the head waiter, I also remember Doris who worked on the bar with Jean. Doris always made me laugh, she had such a dry sense of humour and was always well dressed. I would take the drink orders from the dining room up to the bar hatch and Doris would dispense. I remember her hair was gold or silver - a funny lady. I remember all the waitresses and still see one Ann who worked there. The manager was Mr Cox who was married to a Danish lady and they had a dog named Max, who I used to take for a walk. Think I was there  from '66 to 1970. A life time ago. 

By Chris (15/02/2014)

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