There are, and have been, a number of hotels in the Old and New St John’s Road area. One of these, the Sarum Hotel, has been a fixture on the road for almost a century.
Sarum Hotel Limited bought the property from Florrie Emily Soloman, widow of Francis Bert Spencer, in 1970. Florrie and her husband had themselves bought the Hotel from Edward Boxwin Arthur in 1960. Mr Arthur was the owner of the Sarum Hotel during the Occupation but before this troubling time began, he was quoted in newspaper articles about the prospects of the summer season for tourists in Jersey.
At that time the hotel was the local headquarters of the Workers’ Travel Association, which was a group that had been set up in the UK in 1921 by the Trade Unions and the Co-operative Movement to offer organised, affordable overseas travel to working class people.
In March 1940 Arthur told the Evening Post that the Workers’ Travel Association had informed him that a specially chartered plane was due to arrive in Jersey with a full complement of visitors for the Easter holidays and that bookings, both by boat and plane, were coming on very satisfactorily. Numerous enquiries were also being received at the Association’s offices and it was hoped that a regular air charter could be established.
They were not to know that a few months later, the Occupation was to begin.
Mr Arthur made the decision to evacuate from the Island with his wife, Dorothy Edna. On his application to return to the Island in 1944 it was noted that he was “anxious to take part in the reconstruction of my native island in any capacity”.
Having been vacated, Sarum Hotel was requisitioned by the Germans in November 1940. Requisition orders relating to the hotel show that items were taken from and transferred to the property so that the occupying soldiers could use them.
Mr Arthur's return
The Evening Post reported that Mr Arthur returned to the Island on the mailboat on 24 July 1945 and he began to put appeals in the newspaper asking that silver-plated articles marked Sarum be returned to the hotel.
He had bought Sarum House from George Eason Stolworthy in 1933. He then went on to expand the business by buying Septah House next door in 1937 from Henry Edmund White and Valencia Cottage from George Edward Grant in the same year.
George and Alice Stolworthy
Mr Stolworthy bought Sarum House with his wife, Alice Frances, née Rolland, in 1925.
He was born in London on 27 September 1885 and his wife was born in St Peter but there are Aliens Registration cards for both of them in the Archive. It seems that he left England from Liverpool in October 1905 on the ship Columbia and was naturalised as an American citizen on 20 June 1914 in the Southern District of New York.
The couple applied for a US Passport in January 1919 in order to travel back to the UK. The reason on the application form was noted that Alice’s father and brother had died and her mother was unwell.
After their trip to Jersey, they returned to America and appear on the 1920 census in New Jersey. They applied for a passport once again in 1922, by which time George was listed as a Superintendent, in order to visit their parents for a few months.
Evidently their plans changed during their time in the island and they decided to stay. Their Aliens Registration cards note that they moved to 21, New St. John’s Road in March 1925 and then they bought the property from William Charles Jones and Augustine Nouguier, his wife, on 2 May of that year. It is noted in the contract that the property was also known previously as 3 York Place.
George Stolworthy died during the Occupation in January 1942 at The Limes. His obituary said he was 57 years old and he was a former proprietor of the Sarum Hotel. It went on to say that he had sold the hotel to Edward Arthur a number of years previously, after the death of his wife. He maintained a connection to the business as a guide and sports manager and was very popular with the visitors.
Le Gros daughters
The three properties – 17, 19 and 21 New St John’s Road – that were later amalgamated together as the Sarum Hotel started out as a terrace of houses together under the name 1-3 York Place. On 9 June 1855, George Le Gros gave one of the properties to each of his daughters.
Elizabeth Le Gros, wife of Philippe Gabeldu, received 1 York Place; Susanne Le Gros, wife of Jean Pallot received 2 York Place; and Jane Le Gros, wife of Jean Charles Ahier, received number 3. He had received them as the tenant after the bankruptcy of Philippe Deslandes.
It's not entirely clear when the houses were originally built but they appear on the Le Gros Map of 1834 and 3 York Place is mentioned as being occupied by a surgeon, John Paddock, in a Fire Insurance Register dated 1831.
Notes and references
- ↑ It has been suggested that these were staff, rather than guests, but we are not convinced