In 1962, I went up to Aintree to cover the Grand National for British Movietone News. Myself and the rest of the film crews stayed at a hotel in New Brighton. I thought it was called The Prince Albert (and if it wasn’t it should have been).
Driving up from London, we arrived around 9.30pm to find the place in partial darkness. Not a soul to be seen. Eventually, an old man, in his seventies, arrived while still pulling on his jacket. He was wizened and bent over. He announced that there was no food to be had “at this time of night” and, as a special service, he would open up the bar to allow us to have a nightcap.
They only had one drink behind the bar, it was Bass. Reluctantly, I took a glass. To me it tasted awful and I have never touched it since.
After the Grand National, which we survived on sandwiches, we left for home. This was before the Motorway link to the North West. There was a considerable crew who gathered at the Hinckley Knight Hotel which was on our route home.
There, we were able to partake of a substantial meal of Sirloin steak, peas and chips. This was accompanied by some Corbieres. The breathalyser had not been introduced then, but we never drank so much that we could not drive safely.
Next chapter: Chapter 45: Scottish Hospitality: