London & North Eastern Railway - souvenir presented to the members of the International Hotel Alliance, visit to Great Britain, April 1926; LNER Hotels
A lavishly illustrated book issued to members of the International Hotel Alliance in 1926 this publication by the London & North Eastern Railway describes the network, places served and hotels owned by the company alongside illustrations and poster reproductions many of which are by Fred Taylor. The LNER, formed in 1923, was acknowledged as the most adventurous of the Big Four railways in terms of its publciity and advertising and by 1926 they were getting into their stride.
This copy of the publication suffers from only one flaw - printed by Adams Bros, and Shardlow, of London & Leicester, it is bound backwards so the covers appear upside down. It doesn't detract from the contents! I understand that the rival LMSR also issued a similar publication.
Given the book was issued to hoteliers it comes as no surprise there is a chapter on hotels! The railway companies were frequently large hoteliers in their own right, allied with sleeping car and train dining services, and the LNER was no exception. The actual estate varied over time but many of them, and those that survived WW2, survived to become part of the British Transport Commission's estate. Here the 23 hotels of the LNER are discussed and the section includes this fine black and white vignettes of various sites by one of the company's often commissioned artists Fred Taylor.
The Great Eastern, as does the Great Northern, commemorates the name of the pre-Grouping companies that first promoted these two buildings the former at Liverpool St station, the city terminus of the GER, and adjacent to Kings Cross. Elements of the Great Eastern, such as the famous restuarant & buffet, survived a little better in some respects that the Great Northern that opened in 1854 but that lay derelict for many years before being rejuvinated in the more recent revitalisation of the Kings Cross area.