Banking & finance

Wontner, Hugh (9 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 9 (tape 5 side A): City supposedly scandalised by Sir Hugh's actions although without City's support, Savoy would not have survived. Savoy then bought Connaught Hotel although left it to run as before; most of the shareholders were women in northern England. Also assembled site in Knightsbridge for new location of Berkeley Hotel; the existing buildings housed hairdressers, a Kray brothers business, lesbian club. Became Master of the Feltmakers' Company and then an alderman of the City. The latter includes becoming a magistrate and a prison visitor. Next became a sheriff of the City, which was a step to becoming Lord Mayor of London. This involved a knighthood; Sir Hugh impressed by the Queen's knowledge of the recipients. On becoming Lord Mayor, Sir Hugh impressed by his wife's grasp of the job and capability.

  • 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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