Beers for 40p and steel workers on strike - hotel renovation work unveils slice of the past from 40 years ago
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Renovation work at an Aldeburgh hotel has unveiled a treasure of documents which date back 40 years.
Back in January 1980 Michael Pritt, owner of the Wentworth Hotel, hastily scribbled himself a note as cupboards in the hotel’s reception were about to be blocked up during a building project.
Mr Pritt addressed a letter to the ‘finder of this cupboard’ and added some information about the hotel’s prices.
Fast forward four decades and the Wentworth Hotel is being renovated once again as it looks to come back from the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Pritt is still at the helm of the hotel which has been in his family for 100 years and the ‘finder’ of the notes was actually himself.
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“We are enlarging the reception,” he explained.
Despite being the one to hide the letter and some brochures all those years ago, Mr Pritt was still surprised by the find.
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“I thought I would have put a report about Ipswich Town in,” he said.
“I would have thought that would have been the main thing on my mind but I must have done it quickly.”
Mr Pritt did, however, comment on the important news stories of the time which included the USSR invading Afghanistan and steel strikes under Mrs Thatcher’s government.
He also noted down that the price of beer was just 44p a pint, while a whisky would set you back the princely sum of 38p.
Among the other items in the cupboard were old hotel brochures showing the building in all its late 1970s glory and hotel prices which showed that a huge 15% increase was on the way for visitors.
The hotel shared it’s special discovery on Facebook, much to the excitement of former employees, who took the opportunity to remember their own time at the Wentworth.
Mr Pritt said he was very pleased with the response.
“I think a lot of people have happy memories of us,” he said.
“We have always had nice staff and we have always been nice to our staff.”
The find has come at a significant moment for the Wentworth Hotel as 2020 marks 100 years since Mr Pritt’s grandfather bought the hotel, which has remained in the family ever since.