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illustration: Jan Barron, The Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay (2016)

This coming week we will see the handover of the Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay to new owners.

Bay Life understands that contracts have now been exchanged and that handover day will be this coming Tuesday (25 September) as a stockcheck takes place and all the details of the sale go through the right channels to see a seamless handover

This week we talk to manager of the Bay Hotel, Karen Hudson, about her plans to see the historic hotel tell the story of the people that have been on the guest register, scenes from the timeline to the hotel and something of the local and the unique place occupied by the hotel in the affections of the community.

Talking to Bay Life (September 20), Karen said “I want to fill every picture frame with the history of the hotel”.

Bay Life is to help in the search for unseen images over time from the Bay Hotel.

As well as rare images such as a pictures of the fifties star ‘Sabrina’, standing at the hotel entrance, once mooted as the English answer to Marilyn Monroe, also to be promoted and on display are to be some of the signatures of comedy legends and their families and fifties socialites that stayed at the hotel.

These signatures from the guest register include Tony Hancock, the father of comedy legend Peter Sellers and the socialite, Prince Aly Khan, son of the Aga Khan and third husband to Rita Hayworth.

The signatures were discovered by Lynda Leventon, scanning the guest register from the fifties and sixties. Lynda is daughter to Stan and Muriel Love, who were landlords of the Bay Hotel between 1954-71.

The signatures are also to appear as part of a ‘pop-up exhibition’ at the Bay Hotel at the end of October, sponsored by AD Signs and Graphics.

The sale of the Bay Hotel will no doubt see some renovations and changes, but the plan appears to be to see that the iconic hotel will continue to play a central role as a key protagonist on the stage of life that is Pevensey Bay.

Perhaps a revamped profile will capture some more the spirit of the endeavour that dates back to the building of the neo-gothic glory back in 1897.

When go-ahead Karen Hudson arrived in Pevensey Bay little more that a year ago, she told Bay Life “The Bay Hotel is what it is, the Grand Dame of Pevensey Bay, this is how I want to profile the hotel”.

Seems as if she will get her wish. The possibility of profiling the spirit of the hotel in her utilisation of unseen images over time is likely to chime with local people.

Read: Bay Hotel back in the limelight: Dressing the Stage: the Grand Dame in all her Glory, the feature interview with Karen Hudson and her team, about plans for the hotel, in edition 22 of the Pevensey Bay Journal, published on Saturday 27 October.