My granny (Connie Toller - nee Broom) talking about her first school in Russell Street, Cambridge c.1918 onwards
My granny (Connie Toller) talking about the house she lived in when she was very little(c.1915-1920's), on Russell Street, Cambridge.
This is my Granny (Connie Toller) talking about when she was little and lived down Russell Street in Cambridge. This is her tale of her brother Russ and the balloon - this little incident would have taken place about 1919
Last night (8/07/2010) I stayed in a hotel in London called ‘The Grand Royal’, situated at no’s 1-9 Inverness Terrace, London – just to the north side of Hyde Park. To my surprise, after settling in, I noted that the hotel bar was named the ‘Lilly Langtree Bar’ as I waited at the reception to ask why the bar had been named so I also noticed that there was a glass display cabinet in the lobby containing several old frames photographs of Lilly Langtree. When I asked the lady at reception what the link with the hotel and Lilly Langtree had been, she was unsure but duly printed off a history of the hotel for me. According to the brief history which I was given, the hotel had been built/renovated at the turn of the last century, commissioned reputedly by Edward VII as a private residence for his mistress Lilly Langtree. The architect was Charles Mews who had just completed the London Ritz. What was unusual about the renovation was the addition of a private theatre – which is now the ‘Lilly Langtree Bar’ – Lilly Langtree was a famous socialite and actress and the hotel I stayed in last night was created, supposedly, as both a love nest and a career bolster for Lilly.
I took some photos of the pictures of Lilly Langtree displayed in the hotel lobby and some of the theatre bar which you can see below.
The theatre bar originally consisted of two rooms, the front circular and domed (the auditorium), the second (the stage) rectangular with a proscenium arch between them. It is a very intimate space with mirrored walls and Venetians glass chandeliers with soft plush velvet seating. The wonderful, original Edwardian theatre seats are still there and in very good condition.
My interest in this and surprise came from the fact that I had ended up in a place once frequented by my great grannies friend! My great granny was Ada Broom (previously Cruden, nee Hatchman) and when she lived on Russell Street in Cambridge she would let out rooms. Lilly Langtree had stayed at my great grannies house in Cambridge several times when she had been playing at the ‘New Theatre’ in Cambridge, which was just down the end of Russell Street on Hills Road (no longer there). My granny (Ada’s daughter) remembers Lilly Langtree staying at the house well. One of the tales she tells is how Lilly had a little dog she would carry under her arm (not too dissimilar from the Paris Hilton’s of today), granny told me how one day Lilly came rushing into the house calling “Mrs Broom, Mrs Broom!” and how grannies mum had come running to see what was the matter. Lilly had said “Oh Mrs Broom, it’s my poor little dog! He has hurt his foot!” Great granny had said “Alright dear, give him to me; let me have a look…now tell me what happened.” Lilly replied by explaining how she had been in town (Cambridge) and had gone to Boots (still there today!) and at the entrance to Boots there was a revolving door and as she had gone through the door her little dog had got his paw caught. She had rushed straight back to great grannies house on Russell Street. Great granny bandaged the little dogs paw and saw him alright.
Granny told me how Lilly left a box of chocolates on the sideboard for her dog to have as a treat and had told great granny to give them to her dog every now and again when she was out. Granny said how her mum had said “Now dear, you are not to touch those chocolates coz they’re for the dog” and granny had replied “but they’re real chocolates for people” and granny still says today “they were you know!”
So what a nice surprise it was last night to spend a night in a hotel where Lilly had once slept too!
This is the school my granny (Connie Toller nee Broom) - now 95 years old - went to with her older brother Russ. It hs now been converted into flats but the is a small modern school next door.
This is a short clip of me chatting to my granny, Connie Toller (nee Broom) about where she grew up in Cambridge. Granny is 95 now; she spent the first part of her childhood growing up down Russell Street in Cambridge. In this clip she talks about the cows that used to come off of Coe Fen and down Russell Street to the corner where it joined with Hills Road, where there was a dairy. She also talks about the old cattle market which used to be at the corner of Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road in Cambridge. The old cattle market has now gone and in its place today stands the Cambridge Leisure Complex.
1924 to 1944 - George Cruden, Russell Street, Cambridge.
Cambridge Community Archives
Cambridgeshire Transport Section and my great Uncle Arthur, who lived on Russell Street and then Oxford Road, Cambridge
Cambridge Community Archives
My great uncle George (on the right) with his friend standing in back garden of house in Russell Street, Cambridge. Notice the little girl in the background on the right - we think that this is my granny - Connie Toller (nee Broom).
Cambridge Community Archive
George Cruden was my great uncle, when this photo was taken he lived with his family in Russell Street in Cambridge.
Cambridge Community Archives
About Michelle's Archives
This is a blog page for the archives in in my own collection. It includes many of of my personal family archives, tales and scrapbook items to all kinds of general archive items mainly from around Cambridge and East Anglia but some even more further afield. Search for items or subjects of interest under the categories below, by date or keyword, name or place etc or keyword search in the search box above. Any problems finding something or if you've any questions or comments please do get in touch by using the 'Contact' page on this website.