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Gallery: Dorset Miscellaneous

The Crown Hotel & 'Lillies of the Valley', Wimborne Minster, c. 1910

@iamtimbo / 5 years ago / 3990 views / 6 comments

Image Details

A detailed close-up of the front of the Crown Hotel - where Costa Coffee and Barclays are now - complete with coachmen and footmen on hand. The card lists the proprietor as Ingram Richards.

04/03/2017 - Image updated to higher resolution.

Hint: Drag the orange pegman to see the Streetview image...

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@iamtimbo on 04 Mar 2017 22:07:48

Having now received the original postcard, I have rescanned it at a higher resolution. It doesn't especially reveal any more detail, although you can more clearly the three-dimensional crown hanging from the main sign - which I've enlarged further here:


It also appears that 'Ellis & Son' is legible on the main window, on the left half of the building, although what they were in relation to the Hotel I have no idea....

David Atkinson
@david-atkinson on 26 Feb 2017 21:43:00

Very likely Ingram Richards at the door I should think, as he seems to be standing to attention! Interesting that the shop on the right was a chemists.  When we came to Wimborne in 1972, Boots was occupying those premises presumably having taken them over from an earlier independent proprietor. Boots moved to Crown Mead, when it first opened probably about 1980, from memory.

@iamtimbo on 26 Feb 2017 22:32:29

Boots must have taken it over fairly early on after this photo of the Crown Hotel was taken. You can see it as a Boots in this picture: 

@iamtimbo on 26 Feb 2017 00:06:03

The back of this postcard contains an intriguing message - apparently written by Ingram Richards himself.


The message reads: "Dear Sir, Will you please attend a meeting of the Lillies of the Valley tomorrow Tuesday here at 8 o/c. Faithfully Yours....", and appears to be signed 'I Richards'. 

No idea what the 'Lillies of the Valley' are or were, but it all sounds very intriguing. The card was sent to F Dukes - this could be Fred Dukes, who was listed in the 1911 Census as a gardener living at Hillbutts in Pamphill. 

Any ideas on the Lillies of the Valley? 14th February 1910 was a Monday, so Richards really did want Dukes there the next day!

@iamtimbo on 26 Feb 2017 22:17:19

After some robust debate on the Memories of Wimborne Facebook page, the suggestion there is that there may well have been a lodge of the Oddfellows organisation called the Lily of the Valley. There is certainly a mention of a Lily of the Valley Friendly Society on the National Archives website. 

For now, that certainly looks like the most likely explanation....

@iamtimbo on 26 Feb 2017 09:41:21

Looking closely, could that be Ingram Richards stood in the front door?