Banking & finance

Wontner, Hugh (3 of 11) National Life Stories: City Lives

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  • Recording date

    1990-16-03, 1990-20-04, 1990-18-05, 1990-27-06

  • Is part of (Collection)

    City Lives

  • Recording locations

    Claridge's Hotel, London, W1

  • Interviewees

    Wontner, Hugh, 1908- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Phillips, David (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 3 (tape 2 side A): Suggestion of Sir Hugh trying for Oxford but this also did not come about. Sir Hugh sent to France to learn language. Stayed several months with clergyman in northern France. Now feels at home in France. Returned and went to Pitman's to learn secretarial skills. Obtained job with London Chamber of Commerce. Lived reasonably well off, £4.50 a week; bought Austin Mini for £60. Lunch for one shilling in the City; suit and tie and always wore hat. Made rapid progress due to alertness, good manners and intelligence and social qualities. Sir Hugh a sensitive person which is a quality that has helped throughout life. Sir Hugh decided not to become a professional actor but to act in amateur dramatics and pursue business career. Applied to become general secretary of Hotels and Restaurants Association of Great Britain. Brown ink and good luck got Sir Hugh through two sets of interviews and in to the job.

  • Description

    Interview with Sir Hugh Wontner, hotelier and politician, who was managing director of the Savoy hotel group (1941-1979), chairman of the Savoy Theatre (1948-1992) and Lord Mayor of London (1973-74).

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