Former Lever Bros rest home, West Shore
In the 1930s this building was advertised as the Sandringham, a private hotel “facing sea and Snowdonian range”. It was open all year, could accommodate 40 guests, and boasted hot and cold water in all bedrooms. Guests paid between 12/6 and 15/ per day (equivalent to 62.5p to 75p in decimal currency).
Facilities included a large lounge for games and socialising, a recreation room, a quiet drawing room and a sun parlour overlooking the sea. All bedrooms were at the front of the building. There was space for three cars in the garage.
In July 1940, Lever Brothers purchased The Sandringham Hotel as a wartime recuperation and rest centre for its employees. The company had begun manufacturing Sunlight Soap in the 1880s. Its staff magazine reported in 1940 that the company recognised “the need for rest and relaxation for those suffering from mental strain as a result of war conditions, and the difficulty of finding suitable accommodation in a safe area at the present time”.
The hotel was initially available to all employees of the company in North-West England and their families, who could take holidays here. In the 1930s, Lever Brothers employed 250,000 people worldwide. Many worked at its factories and headquarters on the Wirral and in Warrington.
Staying at the hotel was free of charge for employees suffering from strain who were recommended by the company’s medical officer. Lever Brothers was well known for taking an interest in the welfare of its employees, as evidenced by the model village of Port Sunlight, adjoining its soap factory on the Wirral.
After the war, the house could be used by all Lever Brothers employees from anywhere in the UK. The recuperation centre was run similar to a private hotel, providing accommodation and meals for free while encouraging residents to spend time out of doors. It was sold in May 1961.
In 2009 it was converted into a restaurant with rooms called The Lilly.
With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum, Llandudno
Postcode: LL30 2BD