HISTORY OF THE VICTORIA
Time Lines and some Facts
1819 - Queen Victoria born on May 24th
1837 - Following the death of her uncle, William IV, she is proclaimed Queen on June 20th
1840 - A small hotel is built by Samuel Herrick Surplice on Station Villas in Beeston, and named in her honour. The Victoria provides refreshments, accommodation and stabling for travellers between Nottingham & Derby.
1868 - The hotel is rebuilt on a new site opposite the Beeston Brewery, although ownership of the new building eventually falls to the Burton-on-Trent based Ind Coope & Co.
1897 - While the nation celebrates Victoria's 60 years on the throne, Ind Coope prepare plans to rebuild the Victoria for a third time. The proposals include the creation of 12 letting rooms, a dining room, 3 large recreation rooms, pleasure gardens, stabling and a coach house!
1898 - Whilst there is a delay, during which the brewers agree to 'set back the new building by 9ft to allow Beeston District Council to widen the road ( Ind Coope were paid 21 for this strip of land!), the architects submit a slightly revised design for the hotel, allowing for only one recreation room, to be used as a Billiard Room.
1899 - The Directors of Ind Coope open the new Victoria Commercial Hotel in June, with Sarah Lawton as the advertised proprietor. Sarah, who appears alone on the electoral registers of the time, had been running the hotel in its previous incarnation, and was to remain at the Victoria for the next 27 years
1901 - Queen Victoria dies, aged 82.
1906 - Plans are submitted to convert the coach house into a bath house, presumably for public use. The plans are approved but the conversion never takes place.
1925 - Rylands Road, the site of the Victoria Hotel, is rechristened "Dovecote Lane" (as it is still known today!). By this time George Augustus Lawton, whom we presume is Sarah's son, has taken over the mantle of proprietor, but both had left the premises by the following year.
1934 - Plans are submitted to demolish the billiard room and add toilets. (Whilst the former is a shame, the latter must have been a relief to it's customers!).
Late 1980's - The Victoria Hotel has fallen on hard times, and several prospective buyers come and go without visualising any great potential for a large Victorian edifice stuck at the end of a cul-de sac.
1994 - The Victoria was acquired by Tynemill Ltd (now Castle Rock) in March. It was a sorry sight, a railway hotel of some grandeur, which had fallen on hard times and been disposed of, first by a national brewery and then by a major pub company. Apparently the "Vic" had no future......
Tynemill Ltd see what others don't, and begin work to restore the shell of the Victoria to its former glory. Wallpaper, paint, sticky-back plastic and linoleum (and not a little filth and grime) are progressively stripped back to reveal diamond-cut glass panels, classic parquet flooring, and original back bar fittings, complete with mirrors! One of the huge etched-glass windows has survived intact and is used as a template to make replacements for others that had not stood the ravages of time. Outside, the fine brickwork, masonry and cast iron lamp brackets are painstakingly restored.
1994 - June 29th - Tynemill re-open the partially restored Victoria using the Vaults Bar and Smoke Room only. In December, things really take off when the downstairs refurbishment is complete with the addition of a further Lounge Bar, Dining Room and catering kitchen.
1999 - Victoria's Centenary Year sees the inaugural VICFEST take shape in the form of a food, music and beer festival which has been taking place for 16 days in July every year ever since. Just before the first festival takes place, the Landlord (and Tynemill's Development Director), Neil Kelso, undergoes open-heart surgery and misses everything!
2001 - Following Neil's recuperation - and marriage to Linda!, an amicable agreement is made between himself and Tynemill and the Victoria now operates under the banner of Hands On Pub Co. Ltd. Neil remains a non-executive Director of Tynemill/Castle Rock and of course the Victoria is proud to retain close relationships with Castle Rock and it's philosophies!
2004 - Ten years since the resurrection of the Victoria in its present form and ther is still plenty to do and celebrate!
2014 - TWENTY years on and still refurbishing and improving facilities! Still in the capable hands of Neil & Linda Kelso and their Staff. This year hosted the Vic's glorious 20th anniversary celebrations!