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.