Recollections of when Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger visited Glasgow Central's famous Grand Hotel featured during a recent talk in Largs.

The local Opportunities in Retirement group were delighted to welcome Jill Scott and Bill Hicks to the November OIR General Meeting.

They gave a very interesting and amusing talk on the history of the building.

Jill and Bill had both worked as journalists for the Sunday Post for many years before taking redundancy in 2010. When asked to write a history of this amazing city icon dating from 1883, they did not realise the wealth of history it contained. Very little documentation had been kept over the years so there was a great deal of research to be done.

The hotel was built by the Caledonian Railway Company at a time when Glasgow was a prosperous city with a booming tobacco and tea trade and it was named the ‘second city of the Empire’. To serve many visiting businessmen the station had been opened and there was a need to provide comfortable accommodation close by. The hotel also provided a venue for weddings, dances and elegant celebrations.

Unfortunately it closed in 2009 when the owners, the Real Hotel Company, went into administration but luckily it was purchased and given a £20 million refurbishment.

The new Grand Central Hotel was opened in September 2010. There have been many improvements and renovations including the new Champagne Bar which is situated overlooking the station concourse. While restoring this part of the hotel a black and white marble floor was discovered. This had been hidden beneath four layers of carpet for many years.

The hotel has hosted many famous people from all walks of life. Perhaps the most unusual visitor of all was Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger and there was a photograph taken of them on the grand staircase of the hotel.

The next General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 6 December at 2pm. This will be an afternoon of musical entertainment for the festive season followed by tea and Christmas fare.