The leading lady of Morecambe’s promenade

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As the Broadway Hotel is set for demolition David Hodgson has researched its remarkable past.

It all begins with a lady with a rather large appetite for land.

Much of Morecambe owes credit to this mistress who pumped wealth along the promenade.

Mrs Maud Bourne, a Yorkshire woman, was left a widow at a young age with a growing family.

Having set up a name for herself in Blackpool, building £150,000 worth of property including 30 small hotels costing £4,000 a piece, she set her eyes on the biggest prize.

A drive down Morecambe promenade after the opening of The Midland hotel in 1933 led Mrs Bourne to notice a vacant site on the corner of Broadway and Marine Drive at the edge of the old golf links.

After the astonishing extravagant display of The Midland, Mrs Bourne seized an opportunity to sink her teeth into a valuable piece of land.

Weeks later she purchased not just one location but all the front land between Broadway and Thornton Drive.

On the corner came the new Broadway Hydro, whose foundation stone was laid by Mayor Townsley in December 1936 and opened in three different ceremonies in 1937; the hotel by the variety star Lupio Lane, the swimming pool by the Mayor and the remedial baths by Dr Waterson.

Mrs Bourne didn’t stop there.

On the western side she built several medium sized hotels like the Strathmore and the Headway, all of which were soon sold to other managers.

The Strathmore, named after P & O’s recently launched ship, built in Barrow, was the biggest ship in their fleet at the time.

The ship was built for the service between Europe, India and Australia.

The Mayfair was another to add to Mrs Bourne’s growing collection. Like all of her hotels The Mayfair started life with three floors but was the first to have an extra floor added, to be followed indue course by all the other hotels. It was run by Mr and Mrs Prada and is still owned by the family as the Mayfair Residential Care Home.

Thanks to David Hodgson for the photographs.