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Station Hotel

The Station Hotel and its almost identical partner, The Randolph in Wangford Road, Reydon, were designed by local architect, Thomas Edward Key for Adnams Brewery in the early 1900s.The Station Hotel was planned specifically to serve passengers of the Southwold-Halesworth Railway but changed its name to the Avenue Hotel shortly after the First World War even though the railway continued until 1929. It has undergone two changes of name since: Pier Avenue Hotel and, more recently, The Blyth Hotel.

Note: Thomas Edward Key (1864-1911) was brought up in Leiston and studied at the Architectural Association in London where he won awards. His practice was mainly focused on the Suffolk coast and he maintained offices in both Southwold (No 1 Market Place) and Aldeburgh. As well as the Station and Randolph Hotels, Key also designed Southwold Hospital. He also accepted some private commissions for large, detached houses in central London. He designed the Constitutional Club in Leiston, elementary schools in Saxmundham and Carlton Colville and oversaw church restorations at Peasenhall and Dennington. His obituary suggests that he also designed several Arts-&-Crafts-inspired houses in North Suffolk but these remain unattributed.

We are grateful to Alan Hatfield of Leiston for supplying details of Thomas Key's career.

Miss Sarah Hatton - Station Hotel (K1908)

Miss Sarah Hatton - Station Hotel (K1916)
Evelyn C Marsh - Proprietor, Avenue Hotel (K1924)


Leslie H Moore - Proprietor, Pier Avenue Hotel (SGCH1930, K1933)

Leslie H Moore - Proprietor, Pier Avenue Hotel


Leslie H Moore - Proprietor, Pier Avenue Hotel

Mr & Mrs John Broadbent - Proprietors, Pier Avenue Hotel (CSP1953)

Mr & Mrs F Laurie Wilkins - Proprietors, Pier Avenue Hotel

c 1965
Dick and Ivy Shaw

Note: Richard Shaw served two terms as Town Mayor, the second in the early 1980s. Ivy Shaw came from a family of circus folk. Her parents ran the Scott Circus which toured the East Coast during the summer season in the 1920s and over-wintered in Walberswick. (Source: Katie Sullivan, granddaughter of Dick & Ivy Shaw)


John, Do and Ray Bennett take over the Pier Avenue Hotel from Dick & Ivy Shaw. (Source: Mike Wilkinson )

Note: Richard Shaw goes on to run the tobacconist and confectionery shop at No 1 St James Green, in partnership with Walter Rockall who has retired from trading at No 5 Trinity Street.

1984 (approx)
Jean & Neil Cameron (Source: Mike Wilkinson)

Mike Hawtrey-Eastwood and Anna Clifford - with their respective partners run the hotel for approximately two years.(Source: Mike Wilkinson, SST1992)

Denis Watson - Proprietor (Source: Mike Wilkinson)


John and Lynne Mckean -
Proprietors. The establishment is now renamed 'The Blyth Hotel' (Source: Mike Wilkinson)

Richard & Charlie Ashwell - Proprietors, The Blyth Hotel.

Richard & Julia Hoban - Proprietors, The Blyth Hotel.


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

The Construction of the Sation Hotel photographed in about 1900 from the Railway terminus. Blyth Road can be seen on the right.
Southwold Museum P2686
Click the picture for enlarged views.

1921 advertisement in the Southwold Golf Club Handbook. Although the railway station was still very much in operation just across the road, the proprietor obviously considered that there was little tourist appeal in the name 'Station Hotel', preferring to associate it with the Pier, the Common and the Golf Links.

1930 and the Railway is now closed. The new proprietor is firmly focusing on the hotel's commanding position at the top of Pier Avenue, the prime access to Southwold's seaside attractions.
Reproduced from an advertisement in The Southwold Golf Club Handbook of 1930.

A 1960s advertisement reproduced from the Southwold Golf Club Handbook.
Click the image to enlarge.

With thanks to Helen Osmer for providing the above advertisements.

A complimentary box of matches dating from the late 1970s or early 1980s

With thanks to David Baker for this image.

Click the picture to enlarge

1992 advertisement in the Southwold Summer Theatre programme soon after it had changed management.