As a new member of staff here at The Crown in Wells, at the beginning of a new year, it seemed like a good idea to have a sort through my desk and office shelves to familiarise myself with things, get a feel for the place and get organised! As I was tidying and filing I came across some old photos of the hotel and left them on the desk for staff to have a look at when they passed through. It was not long before they were picked up and staff were seeing who they knew, how old the photos looked and how much the place has changed. It also seems apt that I have joined the team during a refurbishment of Anton’s Bistrot which is now complete. I could really see what the space was like before and as it is now with a good tidy up, lick of paint and some stylish finishing touches. As I have done some research on the hotel prior to my interview and now looking after marketing, including Facebook and Trip Advisor, I have seen some comments regarding the age of the building and the fact that, in places, it is a bit ‘tatty’. This reminded me of a coaching inn in the town I grew up in Norfolk. It was a beautiful old black and white building, full of character. Many happy nights I spent here in my youth drinking or singing on the karaoke, many weddings and birthdays celebrated. Even scenes for Dad’s Army were filmed here as the town was used as the location for Walmington-on-Sea. This old hotel had been the hub of the town for many years but now standing on the site is a cinema and some generic eateries after this beautiful old building was torn down.
When I read the history of the Crown, it had been built in 1450 and used for a variety of things throughout its life, the fact that it was boarded up when Adrian and Sarah took it on is so sad. They did not want this beautiful building left to ruin. I am so glad they did. It is the heart of Wells and has such character; the market place would not be complete without it. As I am typing, I wonder who has walked through this building over the centuries and although it is a bit draughty in places, and could do with a lick of paint in others (something we are continually working towards), it has a certain charm.
There are many chain hotels you can stay in which look the same from one town to another. What’s different about The Crown is that it is a truly unique, family run hotel and it is also very much loved by its owners and the staff who work here. We need to continue to breathe life into our old buildings, or they will be lost forever! So if you want to stay somewhere quirky and one of a kind, why not come and visit us? I'm certain you’ll be glad you did!