THE SON of a former owner of Ayr’s crumbling Station Hotel has backed the campaign to save it.

Andrew Melvin has revealed incredible stories of growing up in the hotel in the 1950s to campaigner Esther Clark who chairs the Ayr Station Hotel Community Action Group

His father W R Melvin was the owner of the Station Hotel from 1949 to 1963, and Andrew who grew up in Yorkshire, recalls his memories as a wee boy spending his summer holidays at his father’s hotel.

W R Melvin has earlier purchased he Royal Hotel in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow in 1938. Also a fan of Burns, he took over the Station Hotel and set about improving it, adding rooms with the extra luxury of an en-suite and an American grill.

Andrew has reflected on his time staying at the hotel, recalling the many characters that were to be found inside it’s grand walls – now held up by scaffolding.

Memories include a French manageress, who he would call Mrs Moody, to catching trout from the River Ayr with one of the bar staff.

Andrew said: “One person I did spend a lot of time with, was the hotel porter, mainly because he would let me ‘drive the lift’ a beautiful wooden contraption with a trellis gate, and a big brass handle that would make a ‘clacking’ sound as it shut.”

He also recalled a barman who would make a colourful Tiger’s Tail cocktail, with a mix of fruit juices. Andrew would also meet entertainers who would pass through the hotel, including actors, and actresses, comedians, and magicians who would show him a trick or two.

Andrew said: “The station was the one place that was out of bounds to me. I was not allowed out of the back of the hotel, but from the first floor I could see them, hear them and see the steam rising outside the window.”

Now Andrew has backed calls to save the former hotel.

He said:” It is a beautiful building and should be restored, if only just for the sake of the history.”

Esther said: “Andrew ‘s story is just one of many tales about the hotel. It really is a magical place, he couldn’t believe what he saw when he visited it with his granddaughter.”

The full memoirs of Andrew Melvin’s Station Hotel experience will be made available soon on


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