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Stephenson Street

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
I just put together a panoramic of my existing 2011 photos of the Midland Hotel



Where I was standing at the time, it wasn't possible to get the hotel all in one shot.
 

Shortie

master brummie
The Queens Hotel was what is now the building(s) on the left hand side of this photo of Stephenson Street. I don't remember anything but a sign saying 'Queen's Hotel', nothing about North Western Hotel at all. The last time I remember using the station was in June 1963, I think it was demolished the following year, when the Bull Ring was built.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Shortie the Queens view must have been based on a much, much earlier view as the Midland Hotel in Ell's photos was built in 1875. The postcard is 1918, so they either chose to ignore the buildings opposite Queens Hotel/ St Station, or it was artistic licence. All the same it's a good promotional picture. And as you say Shortie, probably made to look much bigger, grander and enticing than the actual building, which by 1918 would have been very dark and grimy and enclosed by the buildings on the opposite side of Stephenson Street. Still, a very sad loss. But be interesting to see if the modern adaptations to the station are an improvement on the 1970/80s station I used a lot. It really was a souless place. Viv.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
A few quotes from Wikipedia Birmingham New Street Station

LNWR station

The station was formally opened on 1 June 1854, although it had already been in use for two years. The station was constructed by Messrs. Fox, Henderson & Co. and designed by Edward Alfred Cowper of that firm. When completed, it had the largest single-span iron and glass roof in the world, spanning a width of 212 feet (65 m) and being 840 feet (256 m) long. It held this title for 14 years until St Pancras station opened in 1868. The main entrance building on Stephenson Street incorporated Queen's Hotel, designed by J. W. Livock, which was opened on the same day
1960s rebuild

The station was rebuilt in the 1960s as part of the West Coast Main Line modernisation programme. In 1964, demolition of the original New Street station and Queen's Hotel began and was not completed until 1966. The new New Street station was finished in 1967. The 1960s station is currently (as of 2013) being redeveloped.

The main entrance building to the old station on Stephenson Street, incorporating Queen's Hotel, c1910
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
I agree Shortie there are potentially a lot of flaws with this postcard. It claims to be the ONLY railway hotel in Birmingham. But what about the Great Western in front of Snow Hill? Makes me think more and more it's a promotional card involving a lot of artistic licence! Viv.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
It wasn't. Would you class the Grand Hotel on Colmore Row as a "railway hotel"?

I recently noticed that the HSBC tower above HSBC on New Street is going to be converted into a Premier Inn. A budget hotel, compared to the Burlington Hotel nearby.
 

Shortie

master brummie
Viv - I am sure there was artistic license used, and possibly the reason the other buildings were not featured is that the postcard was only to publicise the Queens, not anything else, and may even have been drawn from an artists impression during the planning stage. The entrance to the station was actually incorporated into the building. Demolition was the worst thing they could have done. Not only was it soulless (and still is) it was dark and dreary, whereas the old station had a glass roof. I was interested in the description of it being the only station hotel, which to me possibly points to the fact that entrance to the station was in the hotel, like at St Pancras. The Gt Western Hotel only fronted Snow Hill. Had it been left alone, it might even have been modernised and turned into a grand, fabulous place. We can dream..........
 

Shortie

master brummie
Ellbrown - No, The Grand Hotel is not a station hotel, the station was a few yards down the road, not behind or above it. The Grand was built circa 1880 - owned by the same person, Isaac Horton, who started his business life as a pig breeder, then butcher, then property magnate. Hortons' Estate still exist. When I was still at work, Hortons' was our client and I even worked along side Peter Horton. That's how I knew about the beginnings of the Grand
.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
The Pallasades was built on the site of the hotel. Along with Ladywood House.

Here's a view of the redevelopment of the station, with the shiny reflective surface.

I think the hotel must have been in this location.



And a view from the brand new Stephenson Street entrance, looking left down Stephenson Street.



Artists impression Metro New Street photo copyright Centro - Network West Midlands
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
Hotels will be part of Snow Hill's future (not on the station site). As the JFK Tower / Snow Hill Plaza is being converted into a Holiday Inn Express.
And the Grand is being restored.

Yes I know that Horton's Estate still exists. I found several buildings in that area that they own.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Ell. Looks like your info on Queens Hotel shows it beat the Great Western Hotel at Snow Hill to the post. The GW hotel was opened in 1863. So maybe the statement of Queens Hotel being the only B'ham railway hotel at the time was true. This woud therefore place the original drawing/painting depicted on the postcard as between 1854 and 1863. Thanks! Viv.
 

jennyann

master brummie
Staff member
Having worked at New Street Station for a couple of years in the later l950's, this post card portrays what I saw everyday when I went to work. Forays into the
Queen's Hotel were fascinating. I wasn't scared of "exploring" buildings even back then also the Event Hall in the Exchange Building when I was at school in Corporation Street age 12. As someone who left Birmingham in 1963 and have visited over the years several times, I was shocked at what I call a travesty...not so much the demolition of the Queen's Hotel, don't think Brum Corp bothered too much about restoration of buildings back then but what replaced the Exchange Building in Stephenson Place, the unimaginative entrance to New Street Station and the endless blank wall stretching along Stephenson Street where the Queen's Hotel stood.
 

Shortie

master brummie
Ellbrown - the hotel stretched a long way, from one side of what is now the ramp, right along to about Temple Street, but yes, where the shiny frontage is now. I know which I prefer, but then I am a dinosaur. The station and hotel may have been designed by E A Cowper, but the glass roof is attributed to John Henderson of Fox, Henderson and Co. This firm also built the Crystal Palace, again to John Henderston's calculations, but to Joseph Paxton's original design. There are other railway roofs attributed to Henderson, too. I have a whole load of information on this man, but it's not within my reach at the moment, being in the loft. Whether St Pancras was his, I cannot remember, but another London glass roof still there is his too. The main concourse of the station was wooden, and instead of whole walls shutting off views to the platforms, there were wooden advertising hoardings. Steps down to the platforms were also wooden, but they had iron treads and if I remember rightly, with a diamond pattern on. I can smell the station now, and hear the steps of the people along the wooden concourse - fabulous memories, but then I loved the railways.
 

Shortie

master brummie
Hortons' owns a huge slice of New Street, plus much more. Also half of Wolverhampton too. I have a fairly conprehensive list of what they own, sadly the Burlington has been sold and is not a Hortons' Estate property any more.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jennyann. We must be on the same wavelength as I was just looking at a similar view but from the other side! My picture is later but I was trying to work out the name circling under the platform numbers, now you've given me the answer! Holbrooks.There's a lot of advertising even in these early days including a large sign for Rowton House. Thanks, a nice view. Viv.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361658570.469204.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
According to the Warwickshire railways site, the Great western hotel was taken out of public use and used as offices from 1912, as it was not popular with passengers because of noise and smoke, so the statement about the queens being the only railway hotel was accurate in 1918.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Mike. That sorts that one out!

The Queens Hotel was what is now the building(s) on the left hand side of this photo of Stephenson Street. I don't remember anything but a sign saying 'Queen's Hotel', nothing about North Western Hotel at all.

Shortie. I'd always assumed Queens started out as the building to the left in the corner, near the old Exchange building on Stephenson Place. I too wonder when, or indeed if, the whole of the expanse along Stephenson St was ever formally named the 'Queens and North Western Hotel' i.e. was there just an amalgamation of the two distinct buildings? This sketch implies the whole building on Stephenson Street and the building in Stephenson Place were known as Queen's Hotel with a nodding acknowledgement to LMS. So maybe calling it Queen's and North Western Hotel on the postcard in post #18 was simply advertising to highlight the NWR train service. Viv.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361700178.006658.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm a little late with this, but up to 1873 the hotel is just listed in directories as the queens Hotel. From 1876 to 1921 it is The Queens & North Western Railway hotel, but by 1932 it is the Queens Hotel (NMS Railway)
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Mike. Interesting it was known as Queens & NW Hotel for 45 years! I'll bet it was informally referred to as Queens. I think you can always rely on the Victorians to give you an all-embracing, comprehensive title for something, where one word would do! Viv.
 
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