Save The Three Cups Hotel

The Three Cups Hotel

Campaigning for preservation of the hotel where J.R.R. Tolkien stayed and gained inspiration for his mythology. Jane Austen, G.K. Chesterton, Tennyson and H.W. Longfellow were also guests. The hotel featured in the film, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. Please send articles to me, Andrew Townsend, at or add a comment. Thanks to David Moss for all his work. Comments are closed at WDDC for the plans to redevelop the site but you can still write to the papers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Protests continue

See "Lyme Regis: Youngster plans protest march for Three Cups Hotel campaign" in the Bridport & Lyme Regis News.

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Report in Bridport & Lyme Regis News

Click this link to read an article from the Bridport & Lyme Regis News about Palmers' report on the commercial potential of The Three Cups Hotel if its cultural heritage is ignored and reaction to it. I look forward to a report on the potential of the hotel taking into account its literary history and world wide appeal.

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This way for the debate

There has been some lively debate on the website. Click this link to access the relevant post and comments. Many thanks to Anonymous who commented on the post below and drew my attention to this other blog. Some interesting photos, too.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some mistake, surely

The report from TRi Hospitality Consulting commissioned by Palmers into the viability of re-opening The Three Cups as a hotel has been published. It obviously misses the point.

I don't wish to cast doubt on TRi's ability but it looks like they were given the wrong brief. Apart from a derogatory comment saying that the hotel is well known in the region because of its reported literary connections (which definitely casts doubt on my research and that of the staff at The Lyme Regis Museum), they have not considered the value of cultural heritage. Perhaps that was their brief but it misses the whole point.

This hotel can be differentiated on the world wide fame of its former guests. They should have put a value on that. If they and Palmers can't, they should sell the building to an entreprenuer who can or give it to the National Trust. The Three Cups is a national and international treasure. If Palmers can't see that and if they can't make a profit out of the building they should hand it over to those who can.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

What's the hold up?

The report commissioned by Palmer's into the viability of re-opening The Three Cups as a hotel has been delayed accorinding to a report in the Bridport and Lyme Regis News.

There is an interesting line in the news report which says that the terms of reference included "to appraise the site and the market for hotel accommodation in and around Lyme Regis". I hope the terms were broader than that because one of the reasons I have been running this blog for the past five years is the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien stayed many times at The Three Cups. In case it has escaped Palmers' attention, may I point out that the works of Tolkein and the films of his books are hugely popular all around the world. I would suggest that the UK and international market for cultural tourism should be included in the report. Otherwise, the findings may be a little skewed.

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It’s only one cheer so far

The Bridport and Lyme Regis News published a letter from John Grantham of Community Alert on Pubs on 23/12/09. As the title of this post indicates, there is some cause for optimism but a long way to go for Palmers to fully understand concepts such as corporate responsibility to the community. And as for West Dorset District Council serving the interests of their electorate ... Click on "Read the full post" below to read the letter.

"One cheer, not ‘three’, for Palmers’ of Bridport offer to waive 5 years rent on the Old Swan pub, Toller Porcorum.... saving maybe £25,000 total over 5 years – (though Palmers would anyway recoup this on beer sales). Why ‘one’ cheer?

Because Chesterton-Humberts, Palmers’ agents, appear to have omitted the re-start-up cost of about £300,000 needed to save/update the disintegrating, boarded-up, sodden, flaking building. (Palmers shut the pub 11 years ago, leaving it rotting, despite a Govt Inspector ruling it ‘viable’). Rainwater has flooded through the roof – (despite residents telling Palmers). Mr Connelly, of Save the Old Swan Group, said at WDDC in November that Palmers say residents would have to find the £300,000 start-up cost!

WDDC/Palmers have acted very slowly since the SOS November 2008 report requesting Compulsory Purchase. We know that in January, WDDC invited two Toller village individuals - ‘not there as representatives of the Parish Council’ – to a meeting with them/Palmers, begging the Parish-Council-mandated SOS group not to attend - or Palmers might cancel the meeting! (WDDC subsequently offered Toller £3k for a Business Plan, but delayed commissioning for months. Meanwhile Tollers’s B&B and Camping enterprises, etc go on losing bookings because there is no pub.)

Chesterton-Humberts say the 5-year rent-free offer - with the residents paying the £300,000 start-up cost - is ‘generous’! Others would say that - having already triggered a 6-figure loss on the Toller economy in 11 years by shutting, and after creating a ghastly eye-sore - Palmers could finally now sell the “pub” to the village for £1, or WDDC should at last use its powers to compulsory purchase.

Will Palmers - knowing their ancestors bought wisely into the business just over 100 years ago – share the community view that their wealth, then and now, actually derives from the community, and this small act of magnanimity, setting aside their ‘Dilapidate and Rot’ stance, would lead droves of people to return to ‘drinking Palmers’ in Toller and throughout West Dorset – giving all a ‘win-win’ – ringing in a communal ‘three cheers’!

John Grantham,
Community Alert"

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