The Midland Hotel - Morecambe

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Welcome to the The Midland Hotel - Postcard Section (1) 1933 to present day

Original LMS poster

A familiar, even 'iconic' reproduction of the original LMS poster

Postcard Collections

There's something about postcard collections isn't there? I am not a collector of postcards (as such) and yet I seem to have hundreds of them strewn over the house! Most of them, as I look at them nostalgically are from people I cherish who originally sent them as a means to let me know they had reached their destination safely or wanted me to know what a wonderful time they were having. Today, of course, that has been superceded by the use of text/sms or Skype or any number of other electronic methods which leave no physical trail - after all who wants to keep an 'arrived ok' or 'held up at the airport' or 'stuck in traffic jam' notification. The postcard at least is a very personal thing. I know that when I sent any, it was with the recipient in mind and wherever I could, I chose appropriately. I think only the Eiffel Tower matches the Midland Hotel for variations on a theme! It's interesting to follow the fortunes of the hotel (the Eiffel Tower of course has never lost its appeal) as my examples will show how the hotel became diminished after the war and throughout the 50s to well into the 2000s before its Renaissance in the first and second decades of the 21st century. An additional bonus of having so many images over the years, it gives us a historical record of the hotel. For my own part, I created a postcard with a chronological record printed on the reverse (not leaving much room for any messages) for the simple reason that having been involved for so long in the campaign run by the 'Friends of the Midland' and suffering so many setbacks, by the time Urban Splash took over I was seriously afraid that the hotel would fall down before it was saved. Luckily that was not the case.

I have an enormous personal collection of the Midland Hotel (a slightly lesser one of the Ocean Hotel and Burgh island) postcards and this page will be added to as I get time. If you are interested in seeing the enormous and varied versions of the hotel as shown via postcards please revisit this page from time to time.

I created my own

I was so impressed with a postcard that had been created for the closing of the 'Ocean Hotel' in Saltdean, that I was inspired to create my own when it was announced that after many disappointments and stop/starts yet another company, this time Urban Splash, were to take over the restoration. At the time we did not know Urban Splashs' pedigree and their success in restoration.

Front of home produced postcard

Still pretty derelict but rescue, hopefully was at hand - Urban Splash bring their equipment in - primarily at this stage to remove the asbestos!

Back of home produced postcard

Dialogue on rear of home produced postcard

And here is a 70 year chronology which I had printed on the reverse (like the old days when it cost less to write only 5 words on a pc) - there was just about enough room to write 'Wish you were here!' and your signature.

I sold the cards on ebay (to cover the printing costs) and gave away more than I sold, but then it was never about making money but to bring the Midland Hotel into the public arena further afield than just Morecambe!

Ebay - description for my postcard

"Limited Edition Commemorative Postcard of the Midland Hotel Morecambe 1933-2006

Exclusively produced limited edition postcard measuring 154mm x 110mm commemorating “this beautiful Art Deco building” which “was designed to be an extravagant gesture of hope in an age of uncertainty”.

“Built in 1933,. Architect Oliver Hill commissioned sculptor Eric Gill and artist Eric Ravilious to follow through his modernist vision into the interior of the hotel.” “The hotel fell into disrepair, but now the building, purchased by developers Urban Splash, are currently undertaking an impressive and innovative renovation, due to be completed by Autumn 2007.”

All information in quotation marks above is courtesy of the official Morecambe web-site.

Until purchased by Urban Splash there was a very real danger that the Midland would disappear from the Lancashire Coastline.  The hotel has had a chequered history which is lovingly recreated on the reverse of the card.  Interest in the Midland was heightened by its appearance as a backdrop to one of the episodes of the popular “Poirot” series starring David Suchet.  The episode in question was “Double Sin”, other buildings of interest such as the Midland’s twin the Ocean Hotel, Saltdean [also with a chequered history including being a Butlin’s’ Hotel and its wartime service given over to the Fire Brigade] featured in an episode entitled “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan” and the iconic Burgh Island used not only as a backdrop for the episode entitled “Evil Under the Sun” but was indeed where Agatha Christie actually wrote her novel.  Burgh Island, as you may know, also suffered from neglect and it too had a chequered history until restored by Tony and Bea Porter.  The Porters are “Friends of the Midland”, a group of aficionados, who have taken a lead in helping to “raise awareness of the international importance of this great modernist building and to help restore it to its former glory for the benefit of the local community and the nation as a whole.” – Quotation from the web-site of the “Friends of the Midland”.   One area I don’t have any information about it is whether or not it is true that the Midland was painted black during the war years.  If anyone reading this has any information about the Midland and would like to share it with me – I shall be only too happy to accept their experiences/knowledge/anecdotes etc.

I am limiting purchase of this commemorative edition to two per buyer to ensure as wide a spread as possible to enthusiasts who want to know more about the past and present history of the hotel and to avoid unlawful sales and supplies. The actual integrity and quality of the postcard is superior to the image you see – this is to prevent any pirated copies."

 

I enjoyed the exercise but would only undertake another one if I was passionate about the subject as I was about the Hucknall Byron for whom I produced a leaflet which was not taken up by the Committee.

Original Hotel Bond & Trade cards

Announcing the opening of the new Midland Hotel

On the front - announcing the imminent opening of the new Midland Hotel in 1933 - from my private collection

Bond confirmation

On the rear - confirmation of the dividend request - clearly postmarked 1933 - from my private collection

View of the curve of the hotel from a bedroom window

Another bond card with a view from a bedroom in the rounded section of the hotel looking and its curvaceous sweep - from my private collection

Edward VIII stamp

The reverse of the bond card above it - clearly postmarked 1937 and featuring a stamp of the uncrowned king Edward VIII who had abdicated in December 1936. Stamps featuring Edward VIII were available until early 1938 even though George VI was crowned King on the date, 12th May, originally set aside for Edward in 1937 - from my private collection

Reverse of the bond card featuring an Edward VIII stamp

The bonds/dividends were for investors in the National Scheme for Disabled Men - from my private collection

19th May 1919 - "The King on Monday issued a proclamation charging employers to engage disabled sailors and soldiers. and ordering- the names of employers who do so to be-inscribed on the King's National Roll. The Ministry of Labour-explained- at the same time that one place in •twenty in any establishment should be reserved for a disabled man, and that employers fulfilling the condition• would be permitted to use a special-design; with the words " National Scheme for Disabled -Men," on their business notepaper. It will thus be easy for the public to distinguish 'the patriotic from the unpatriotic employer."

RMS Olympic postcard

Rear of RMS Olympic with Midland Hotel Stamp

Detail from the reverse of the RMS Olympic card

 

The Ship that became Lovingly known as … “Old Reliable”

From SSMaritime.com "As we commence looking at the great RMS Olympic and knowing that she spent her years transporting not just passengers to and fro across the Atlantic, but also having served so well during World War I and was fortunate to survive, whilst so many others perished, including her newest sister, the Hospital Ship the Britannic. There was no doubt about it, but she was a beautiful ship and her lines were wonderfully clean for those days. When built she was the largest ship in the world and she was the first of trio, being a new and exciting class of great liners. The Olympic proved herself a very comfortable ship and she was sublimely fitted out and her First Class and even her Second Class décor was rather exceptional, in fact she was the most luxurious British liner to be built at that date! As the years continued it became obvious that this great ship somehow attracted countless repeat passengers as well as crew and this continued right through to her very last days and when her end eventually came there was such great sadness for she had been such a happy ship, more-so than most others!

RMS Olympic

As most will know the Olympic was the very first of a trio of Atlantic liners, which included Titanic and the Britannic. All these ships were built at the great Harland & Wolff shipyards at Belfast, Ireland." Read more here

1930s

The New Midland Hotel 1933

The New Midland Hotel - 1933 - from my private collection

THe New Midland Hotel - 1933 entrance

The New Midland Hotel entrance - 1933 - from my private collection (and one of my favourite views)

New Midland Hotel Architectural Review

The New Midland Hotel - original image used in the Architecture Illustrated review of the hotel in 1933 - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel 1933 general view

The New Midland Hotel - panorama of the frontage and entrance - 1933 - from my private collection

The New Midland Hotel approach from the promenade

The New Midland Hotel - approaching from the promenade - 1933 - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from Winter Gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Winter Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

Modland Hotel and Gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens, professionally tinted - 1933 - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel and Gardens 1933

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel and Gardens 1933

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel and Gardens 1933

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1937 bearing Edward VIII 1d red stamp) - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel and Gardens 1933

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from the public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1959 bearing Queen Elizabeth II stamp) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Promenade

The New Midland Hotel & Promenade -1933 - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel and Gardens 1933

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel and Gardens 1933

The New Midland Hotel & Bandstand (far right) from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (bearing King George VI 2d orange stamp year missing) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Bandstand

The New Midland Hotel & Bandstand (far right) from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1935) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel early colour pc

The New Midland Hotel & Bandstand (far right) professionally tinted from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1938) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from the public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1940) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from Public Gardens and Bandstand

The New Midland Hotel & Harbour Bandstand (first time officially confirmed by name on the postcard) from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1955) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel postcard numbered 6634

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 195? bearing Queen Elizabeth II stamp) - from my private collection

Midnaln Hotel and fancy lamp post

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1940) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Bandstand

The New Midland Hotel & Bandstand (far right) from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1950) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from Public Gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - (postmarked 1960) - from my private collection

Midnald Hotel and Bandstand

The New Midland Hotel & Bandstand (far right) from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Promenade gardens war memorial

The New Midland Hotel and 1939-45 Cenotaph from the Promenade Gardens - post-1933 - from my private collection

The Gardens and War Memorial

The New Midland Hotel and 1939-45 War Memorial/Cenotaph from the Promenade Gardens - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from Public Gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1936) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

Reflection of MH in pond

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens and reflection detail - 1933 (postmarked 1934) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1935) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens from atop a building

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1954) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1936) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1937 bearing red 1d Edward VIII stamp) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1954) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 (postmarked 1953 bearing a coronation frank over George VI 2d brown stamp) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

Midnalnd Hotel and Harbour Promenade

The New Midland Hotel from the Harbour Promenade - 1933 (postmarked 1936) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Harbour gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Harbour Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Harbour Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection (newly acquired)

Midland Hotel, bandstand and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens (and details of the Bandstand and decorative lamp post) - 1933 (postmarked 1938) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel, bandstand and public gardens

The New Midland Hotel from the Public Gardens (and details of the Bandstand and decorative lamp post) - 1933 (postmarked 1937) - from my private collection

Bandstand from the Harbour Gardnes

The Bandstand from the Harbour Gardens Promenade - 1933 - (postmark obscured but bearing Edward VIII stamps and sent to Pas de Calais, France) - from my private collection

Bandstand from the Harbour Gardnes

The Bandstand from the Harbour Gardens Promenade - 1933 - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Harbour Bandstand

The rear of the New Midland Hotel & 'New' Bandstand (foreground) - 1933 (postmarked 1934) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel and Harbour Bandstand

The rear of the New Midland Hotel & Harbour Bandstand (foreground) - 1933 (postmarked 1936) - from my private collection

The Midland Hotel and the Children's Paradise

The New Midland Hotel and the Children's Paradise from the Harbour Promenade - 1933 (postmarked 1939) - from my private collection

New Midland Hotel from the Harbour Gardnes

The New Midland Hotel - from the Harbour Gardens - 1933 - from my private collection (postmarked 1936)

New Midland Hotel from the Canal

The New Midland Hotel - from the canal - 1933 - from my private collection (postmarked 1936) - I love the little quirky pagoda bridge

Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Garden which accounts for the quirky pagoda bridge mentioned above (postmarked 1938) and a recent acquisition to my private collection

Midland Hotel and LMS enquiry office

The New Midland Hotel and LMS Enquiry Office (front) - 1933 - from my private collection

The Midland Hotel from the Promenade

The New Midland Hotel (side view) from the Promenade - 1933 (postmarked 1941) - from my private collection

The Midland Hotel from the Promenade

The New Midland Hotel (side view) from the Promenade - 1935 (postmarked 1941) - from my private collection

From the Sea

Midland Hotel from the Bay

The Midland Hotel from the Bay - I still have no idea how they staged this image - from my private collection

From the Jetty (Rear)

Rear view of Hotel from the Stone Jetty

Unusual view from the Stone Jetty - details unknown - with thanks to Mandy Sharp for the image

From the Beach (Rear)

Rear of the Midland Hotel

Rear of the New Midland Hotel - 1933 - from my private collection

Rear of the Midland Hotel

Rear of the New Midland Hotel - 1933 (postmarked 1933 bearing George V red 1d stamp) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel rear

Rear of the New Midland Hotel from the sea, professionally tinted - 1933 (postmarked 1936 bearing George V red 1d stamp) - from my private collection

Rear of the Hotel from beach

Rear of the New Midland Hotel from the sea - 1933 (postmarked 1935 bearing George V red 1d stamp) - from my private collection

Rear of Htel from the beach

Rear of the New Midland Hotel from the sea, same image as above but professionally tinted - 1933 - from my private collection

Semi deserted beach behind MH UJ flag flying

Rear of the New Midland Hotel with a semi-deserted beach, a UJ flag is visible but the windows on the conservatory area seem to have been touched up - an LMS reference places this as an early image but I have no further information at present and am seeking to add this card to my private collection.

Midland Hotel from the Stone Jetty

Rear of the New Midland Hotel from the stone jetty - 1933 - (postmarked 1939) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from the Stone Jetty

Rear of the New Midland Hotel from the stone jetty, same image as above but professionally tinted - 1933 (postmarked 1938) - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from the Beach

Rear of the New Midland Hotel from the stone jetty - 1933 - reproduced from a photograph - from my private collection

Midland Hotel from the Jetty

The Midland Hotel from the Jetty - 1933 - (postmarked 1936/8) - from my private collection

Overhead/Aerial Views

Overhead view of the Midland

The New Midland Hotel - built 1933 from the air - from my private collection

Midland aeriel view

The New Midland Hotel from air - 1933 (postmarked 1945) - from my private collection

Midland from the air

The New Midland Hotel and Super Swimming Stadium from air - 1933 (annotated with a date in 1945) - from my private collection

Midkand Hotel aeriel view

The New Midland Hotel from air professionally tinted - 1933 (postmarked 1938) - from my private collection

Midland from the air 1960s 70s

A rare colour photograph of the hotel used showing it still looking in excellent repair probably in the 1960s or 70s - from my private collection

Midland and Swimming Stadium

An aerial view of the Midland Hotel and Super Swimming stadium in full colour - from my private collection

Midland and Swimming Stadium

An early aerial view of the Midland Hotel and Super Swimming stadium - from my private collection

Midland and Swimming Stadium

An aerial view of the Midland Hotel and Super Swimming stadium in full colour (postmarked 1973) - from my private collection

Midland and Swimming Stadium

An aerial view of the Midland Hotel and Super Swimming stadium (in the far distance but still visible) in full colour - from my private collection

Painted Postcards

The images showcased below are all paintings of postcards which feature on this page, in addition to the familiar views of the hotel the set also includes one featuring the Bandstand and another the Super Swimming Stadium.

Painted image of the Midland Hotel from the Promenade

Painted image of the Midland Hotel from the Promenade

Sude view of the Midland Hotel in a painted image

Painted image of the Midland Hotel from the Gardens

Painted image of the Midland Hotel from the Gardens

Painted image of the Bandstand at the side of the Midland Hotel

Painted image of the Midland Hotel from the beach

Painted image of the Super Swimming stadium from the Midland Hotel

All the above images are from my private collection

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Page refreshed : 19th April 2017