When Antrim Castle burned down in 1922 'Lord
and Lady Massereene' had a suite of rooms there until
Clotworthy House was fitted out for them. Frequent visitors were 'Lord
and Lady Dunleath','Lord Hamilton' and
'Mrs Irvine Buick', daughter of Dr.
Alexander Irvine author of "My Lady of the Chimny Corner"
and other books. During the World War II American and British Army officers
also stayed here. In 1972 High Street was bombed and the Hotel was closed
for eight weeks and again in 1974, this time it only received superficial
damage. They used to have great trade and more so when the new airport opened
but when they put in the M2 and redirected the traffic away from Antrim town
it was the beginning of the end for the hotel. Sadly in 1978 it closed its
doors for the last time as it had been bought by the Wellworth group and was
pulled down to make way for their shop and later on they too fell by the wayside.
The people of Antrim sadly missed the closing of the hotel as it was a great
place to eat and of a Saturday night a great place for the weekly dances.
It was that good that they used to run special buses from the City Hall in
Belfast to the Hotel and back again after the dance.
The locals would be there to meet the buses hoping to spot new talent to meet
at the dance. The 'Rythm Rascals' were a regular
group who played there consisting of local people, 'John Nutt','Leslie Allen',
John Carson'(drummer) and 'Frankie Boal'; 'Jimmy Beggs' provided the
Here is a list of some of the staff
who worked in the hotel, I know there are more so please feel free to email
me so I can amend the list and also if you have photos inside or outside
of the hotel, in fact anywhere around Antrim, I would like to copy them
to preserve our local history.
Alice Fleming, Mrs Meekin and Maureen
Gaynor. Dining Room: Margaret McGurk, Maureen
Kennedy, Susan Conway and Marjorie Higgins.
Kitchen: Susan Summers, Molly McBreene and
Mr and Mrs Adam Gillespie. Position Unknown:
Mrs E. Walker.