What was the former Central Hotel, the ‘station hotel’ of Glasgow Central Station was opened in 1899 to a design by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. Over the years many famous names were associated with it – kings and queens of various countries, also Laurel and Hardy and Sir Winston Churchill, who had a suite here at one point during World War II.
Winston Churchill is also associated with another Glasgow Hotel, now the Millennium Hotel in George Square, where he met with Harry Hopkins, special advisor to the US President, in an attempt to persuade America to enter the war.
Roy Rogers and Trigger stayed at the Central Hotel, though Paul Lyons points out that it is a Glasgow myth that the cowboy’s horse, Trigger, shared a room with Roy Rogers. (In fact, the horse was stabled at Maryhill Barracks.)
Paul Lyons also showed us the station manager’s stairs, that Trigger was said to have been ridden up and down, and also the main stairs of the hotel, where, again, the horse was taken up and down. Trigger on the stairs of a hotel is a story also associated with the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh, likewise a railway hotel.
The Central Hotel was also the first place that witnessed long-distance television pictures, these being transmitted by John Logie Baird to the hotel in 1927.
To finish, Paul Lyons points out that there is a wealth of stories associated with Glasgow Central Station since it opened but that it is still a vital and functional piece of architecture that Glasgow and Scotland should be proud of.