Letters: Memories of stars who have stayed at the King’s Head
HAVING read the article by Roger Guttridge, ‘England Roy of the Rovers in Wimborne’, and the mention of Margaret Thatcher who stayed at the Kings Head Hotel for one night in 1982, brought back memories of other guests who stayed there.
I was employed as head chef at the hotel for a number of years and can recall several famous and well known people from all walks of life who stayed or visited the hotel. Margaret Thatcher’s visit was indeed a great honour, as was Princess Anne who stopped for lunch on her way back from Blandford Army Camp.
Great sporting personalities stayed there - Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Freddie Trueman - to name a few well known ones. Many a football team stopped for lunch en route to matches. Film star Richard Todd was often seen eating Sunday lunch and one Sunday we had Richard Todd, Freddie Garrity (from Freddie and the Dreamers),Wendy Richards and local comedian Billy Burden. Needless to say that was an entertaining lunchtime for all the other guests.
Sir Harry Secombe and Roy Castle also stayed there in 1984 whilst preparing an edition of Highway which caused chaos in the town when their horses bolted. John Lowe the dart player, wanted to have a warm up before his exhibition, so we took him to The Bell as we never had a dartboard. Imagine the faces of the locals when he walked in, played several games and signed autographs.
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Then there was Jim Bowen from Bullseye, Paul Daniels, Max Bygraves, Brian Johnston the well known commentator, singers Peters and Lee, pop group 10CC, Pam Ayres, Harry and Matthew Corbett with Sooty not forgetting Sweep, Bill Odie and the Springwatch film crew on several occasions.
So many great names and there has been many more and no doubt will be for years to come.
One of the most famous I think was a man in a red coat and white beard who brought lots of joy to many a child over the month of December; that of course was Father Christmas. Good luck to the hotel with their much needed and most elegant refurbishment