Banking & finance
Wontner, Hugh (9 of 11) National Life Stories: City Lives
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1990-16-03, 1990-20-04, 1990-18-05, 1990-27-06
Is part of (Collection)
Claridge's Hotel, London, W1
Wontner, Hugh, 1908- (speaker, male)
Phillips, David (speaker, male)
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.
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).