hHello Forum Members,
I am at the London College of Communication producing a local history project on the London Park Hotel.
I have managed to assemble a good deal of information about the history of the building but what I am really interested in are any stories that anyone in the area may have about it.
Has anyone any memories, tales or anecdotes relating to the hotel?
I am interested in absolutely anything and everything, even any rumours that may exist about it- something someone may once have told you about the place, but you were never quite sure whether it was true or not, yet it stuck in your mind?
Also if you have any strong feelings about the building at all, either in its current vacant state or in any of its past incarnations, I would love to hear about them.
All responses will be gratefully received.
I remember seeing coachloads of Dutch tourists who used to pile in. Cheap weekend in London it might have been, but I always wondered what impressions they had of our capital. Though I actually like the gloomy red-brick shaded by trees. It could be the set for a Victorian horror movie.
I also remember the bad days. One of the mums I knew from playgroup was from Kosovo. When the war started and refugees flooded in, she became an interpreter. Many of her client group were housed in the London Park, and quite a high proportion of the women were pregnant. The Government had just tightened up on benefits for asylum seekers and they had no money, so I collected second hand maternity clothes and was given a contact at the London Park who would take them and distribute.
Three big security guards tried to prevent me from even entering. As I had a name I was allowed to proceed to reception, but the hostile atmosphere was overwhelming and everyone, staff and residents alike, stared at me. It turned out that there had been a really nasty incident in the two days since I had arranged the drop-off, and all the women had had to be moved out of the Hotel for their own safety, and none were supposed to be allowed into the building.
I once met a salesman who had stayed there. He had talked with some of the refugee guys who were housed there. That guy told him that everything was stolen by other refugees and that they could be violent. The salesman told me he was glad to be getting out of the place in a few days.
I remember the.building well, especially the.big red sign....it lookedquite glamorous in the 70s, just like the dolphin square sign did back then.....I.d like to read more about the.history of the.building and some of its more dubious tales from people who worked or stayed there