The Crown Hotel

WHEN I WAS GROWING UP one particular friend of mine had parents that were licensees they ran two bars one called the Raven the other the Crown. These bars had originally formed part of a very large five star hotel which had closed for business some many years before. They lived in avery pleasant flat, two or three stories up and sandwiched between all the very many now derelict bedrooms.

FOR US AS KIDS it was a wondrous playground with seemingly endless rooms to explore all pretty much left as they would have been last occupied. At the heart of the hotel was the remains of a once opulent ball room and my Father recalled many occasions where he and his band had played there in its hay day. The glitter ball was still in place at the centre and one wall was completely mirrored though for some reason there was a gaping dangerous hole inthe middle of what was once the dance floor. We rode our bikes around this many times always careful not to actually be claimed by the death trap below the glitter ball.

THE ONE THING I CLEARLY remember was the smell, not unpleasant at all, but unmistakable, it would be too easy to just say musty the smell spelled out far more, it said forgotten, unwanted, unneeded. There was years of build up of dust in every room from the huge kitchens still housing the cookers to the long forgotten snooker rooms with once vibrant green felt now greyed with time. Everything just shouted out “use me” but in reality it was long past that ever happening again so we as children made it our unofficial playground.

AT TIMES IT WAS SPOOKY as you could find yourself alone in an area and it could be several floors away that the rest of your playmates were exploring. Though no harm ever came to us it was almost as if the building welcomed us and craved the action and attention. Later it was taken over by the ill fated Woolworths and now the ground floor is some type of pound shop the bars are still open but I would love to know what happened to our upstairs playground.


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Short Story
writing markBrad
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