Mavis’s festive reminder of her ‘lovely Royal Glen’
- Credit: Archant
An historian turned a 110-year-old print of a Sidmouth hotel into Christmas cards in memory of her late husband.
Mavis Ellis was reminded of her honeymoon at the Royal Glen more than 50 years ago after discovering a postcard of the hotel in a Sidmouth antiques shop last month.
On the back of the card, dated May 31, 1905, there was a note from a guest at the hotel to an address in Clapham saying that a package had arrived safely.
The 73-year-old recreated the print to send to family and friends across the globe.
Mavis moved to the town in June after the death of Stanley, her husband of 51 years.
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Stanley, a former Barclays bank manger and avid stamp collector, suffered a stroke shortly before the couple’s golden wedding anniversary. He died earlier this year at the age of 86.
The couple met on a bus in 1960 as Stanley was on his way to work at the Barclays in Beeston, Nottingham.
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They married on August 31, 1963, in Papplewick, Nottinghamshire, and travelled down to Sidmouth on the train.
They stopped overnight at the Rougemont Hotel in Exeter before arriving at the Royal Glen.
Mavis said: “I remember how full of hope we were for the future. I am glad we were together for nearly 52 years. The card reminded me of the wonderful time we had on our honeymoon.”
She said that the building shown in the postcard was how she remembered it 52 years ago, when it was under the management of Orson and Jean Crane.
Mavis added: “It [the hotel] is actually the same colour as when we were there in 1963. Even now, there is still the little veranda where you can sit and have coffee, even if you are a non-resident.”
The Elysian Fields resident said that she would have moved to Sidmouth earlier had it not been for her husband’s career in banking.
She said: “People used to go abroad - in the 1960s Majorca was a very popular place. When I left the Royal Glen at the end of my honeymoon, I said ‘oh goodbye my lovely Royal Glen’.”
The couple returned to Sidmouth over the years with their daughter, Angharad, but stayed at the Westcliff Hotel as it was the only one with a pool.
Mavis said: “My daughter used to say ‘oh goodbye my lovely Westcliff’ every time we left Sidmouth. Her father had the joy of comforting her.”
The Royal Glen held another historical connection for the 73-year-old, as Queen Victoria came to stay there in 1819 with her parents.
Mavis used to write a history column in the Nottingham Post, including articles about the life of the monarch’s housekeeper, Elizabeth Smith, who lived nearby in Hucknall.
This historian said she is interested in finding out about the other hotels in Sidmouth, including the former Cedar Shade in All Saints Road, where her parents visited in 1964.
Mavis said: “We are so lucky to live in Sidmouth. It still has the Belmont and the Victoria.
“I would be interested in learning about the Cedar Shade Hotel and wondered if any of the readers could help.”
If you can help, email email@example.com.