Tributes paid to ‘driving force’ behind the popular Mount Hotel

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Tributes have been paid to one of Scarborough’s most dedicated hoteliers who single handedly ran The Mount Hotel for more than half a century.

Helen MacArthur devoted her life to operating the 50 bedroomed establishment, which has been in her family for 65 years; standing tall on its hillside overlooking the Rotunda Museum and Spa Bridge.

Helen MacArthur

Helen MacArthur

Described as a “very strong woman” with a “great sense of humour” Ms MacArthur was a popular and much loved figure among both the hotel’s staff and customers.

Her cousin Helen Lothian, who has initially stepped in to take over the running of the hotel, said: “Helen was a very strong woman, and the driving force behind the hotel.

“The hotel meant everything to her. It was like her child, her world. She was very business orientated, and kept everything in her head. She had a gentle side to her too, and a wicked sense of humour.

“She will always be a part of this building. She is here in spirit in every part of it.”

As well as her love of the hotel, Ms MacArthur loved animals and always kept dogs throughout her life.

The Mount Hotel was initially purchased by Ms MacArthur’s parents in 1947.

Up until then they had run a boarding house in Dunoon in Scotland, which was where Ms MacArthur spent her childhood.

After the Second World War they bought The Mount and moved the family to Scarborough. However sadly not long after, while Ms MacArthur was in her early 20s, her mother died, leaving her to run the hotel.

The property was initially two houses knocked into one, but in later years Ms MacArthur purchased the neighbouring properties, almost right to the end of the street, extending the business to the 50-bedroomed hotel it is today.

Ms MacArthur’s funeral was held at Woodlands Crematorium on Tuesday. It was attended by family, friends, hotel staff and even a number of hotel guests who wished to pay their final respects.

The ceremony featured a bagpipe player in honour of her Scottish heritage. Her cousin Mrs Lothian said: “It was a really lovely farewell. We were really touched to see so many people there in honour of Helen.”

Speaking after the funeral a number of staff from The Mount Hotel spoke about how much Ms MacArthur will be missed. Tracy Smith and Stacey Smith, who both worked for Helen for 11 years, said: “She was a real diamond. She was strict but fair and would do anything for you. Helen thought of us all as family; the staff were her ‘children’. She will be missed by many.”