11:00am Monday 18th March 2013
Former Packet reporter Mike Truscott contemplates the Green Lawns Hotel's recent name change and takes a look back in time.
So, after half a century, Falmouth's Green Lawns Hotel is no more, and we must start calling it the Merchants Manor.
I wonder . . . when the new owners one day move on again, what will be their favourite tale from the uniquely mad world of hotel life?
One thing's for sure - they won't have so much history to draw on as there is at the Falmouth Hotel, which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first foundation stone being laid. The hotel was completed in 1865.
A highlight from that quarter was recorded in the Packet of January 1, 1910: “Great excitement prevailed . . . a murder had been committed in the garden attached to the Falmouth Hotel and the murderer had committed suicide.”
Both were hotel “servants,” with a 20-year-old German man named as “the murderer and suicide” and a 29-year-old widow, Mable Burleigh, his victim. The bodies were found close to each other after a passing constable (wot that? - Ed) heard three shots.
Much more recently, David Glover, now retired, was recalling some of his own memories from 28 years in hotel management at the Falmouth Beach and the St Michaels.
“I had five deaths over the years,” he told me. “Fortunately, all happened at night. Each time, the undertakers came very promptly and left with the coffins before any guests could witness it.
“I also had one woman complaining about the sea view from her bedroom - not that there wasn't any but that it was the 'wrong angle.' She demanded a refund - I refused. Another guest complained that the weather forecast was wrong and I had to explain that we had no control over that.
“I never had any rats to deal with, but I can confirm that Fawlty Towers is definitely true to life!” I've pasted below a slightly amended Pendennis piece, assuming this has just been held over rather than rejected. If the latter, please let me know and I can supply another one immediately - assuming you still want these pieces from me, of course.
By Mike Truscott
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