The Old Hydro Hotel. - a Memory of Bridge of Allan.

In 1952 this beautiful hotel was owned by the Scottish Cooperative Wholesale Society (SCWS) and represented a weekend retreat for people who could afford it. I'm not very sure what that meant but that's how it was told to me by someone who knew. I remember it for another reason - during the winter of 54-55, I got the job of delivering the weekend morning milk for the local Coop. This involved rising at around 5 am on a usually freezing or snowing morning and travelling around hanging off the back of a "TROJAN" delivery van with up to a dozen bottles of milk in your hands and jumping off backwards when the van slowed at the appropriate corner. Even in those days I realised what a dangerous exercise this was yet, as far as I can recall, no one was ever injured! Two hours later and about 3 tons of milk lighter, we made our last delivery of the day - at the Hydro! We shunted loads of milk upstairs to the kitchen, then took our gloves off and settled down before the fire and the cookers to defrost our blood. We were then served with bacon sandwiches and pint mugs of sweet tea! I was once given a bacon sandwich with HP sauce on it and have been in love with that recipe for the remainder of my life (I had one this morning on 31-12-2008 a full 54 years later!).

In 2004, I returned to the "Hydro" for the first time in 50 years with the intention of taking a room for a few nights. No such luck - this beautiful building has been re-designed, renovated and sold as apartments to individuals. The "Hydro Hotel" is no more.

A memory shared by Alastair Macdonald on Dec 31st, 2008.
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