Murderers, celebrities and Johnny the cocktail waiter - new book looks at the Alexandra Hotel in Bridlington

The former Alexandra Hotel in Bridlington
The former Alexandra Hotel in Bridlington

A new book which traces the colourful history of one of Bridlington’s most iconic hotels has been published - with eye-opening stories about some of the guests who stayed and the people who worked there.

Martin Wallace, who has retired as the Bishop of Selby, has collated tales from The Alexandra, which stood on the North side for more than a century.

Martin Wallace with his new book

Martin Wallace with his new book

It was formed by a group of local businessmen in 1866 and was demolished 110 years later, making way for the Alexandra Court apartments which are now on the site.

Mr Wallace said: “Characters along the way include John Haigh who stayed there in 1934 before going on to murder eight people, drink their blood and dissolve their bodies in acid.

“There is the link with Edward VII who, when Prince of Wales, was summoned to court to give evidence about his involvement in illegal gambling in Hull.

“One owner, Percy Newbound, married into a wealthy family, had great plans to expand the hotel but left after watching his nearby Floral Hall burn down, and ended up in London inventing a bizarre electric manicure machine.

“Then there is the maid who spat in the food before serving it, and a variety of famous guests ranging from author Vera Brittain and Sir John Wedgewood-Benn through to pop groupsThe Grumbleweeds and The Barron Knights and a visit from Adam Faith.

“One family from Germany, the Hatjes, who owned it during the Second World War, had to watch their hotel being requisitioned by the RAF who were bombing their home city of Hamburg.

“Lighter memories include couples who met there later to marry, hundreds who enjoyed the dances and parties, mischief in the corridors and everyone just adored Johnny the cocktail waiter.”

Mr Wallace, who has moved to Bridlington, said he has loved collecting all the stories and pictures.

The book has been published by Lodge Books in South Back Lane, it has 250 pages and more than 120 photographs.

“Describing the fun of bathing machines, complementary medicine, landscape design and hotel architecture, it is a book with a wide appeal,” said Mr Wallace.

It is available in the Old Town from The Georgian Tea Rooms, 49 Antiques and Retro, The Gallery and Information Point, The Priory Church Gift Shop and Lodge Books.

The book is also available online from Lulu Printers, and will soon be available to be bought through Amazon in both printed and Kindle versions.

Priced at £8.99, all proceeds are going to Emmanuel Church’s work with the homeless community in Bridlington.