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Bell, Henry (1767–1830), hotelier and developer of steam navigation, was born at Torphichen Mill, Linlithgowshire, on 7 April 1767, the fifth son of Patrick Bell and his wife, Margaret Easton. He was educated at the village school and then in Falkirk. Despite the reputation of Scottish schools, his education served him badly and for the rest of his life he was unable to spell and made many grammatical errors in his extensive correspondence. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed as a stonemason and then in 1783 as a millwright—two trades much in demand at a time when Scottish industry was growing rapidly. In 1786 he began work in the shipyard of ...

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Butlin, Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne [Billy] (1899–1980), fairground proprietor and founder of holiday camps, was born in Cape Town, Cape Colony, where his parents had emigrated, on 29 September 1899, the elder child of William Butlin and Bertha Hill (d. 1933)...

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Forte, Charles, Baron Forte (1908–2007), caterer and hotelier, was born on 26 November 1908 in the hamlet of Mortale, outside the village of Casalaticco, in an area of Italy known as the Ciociaria, the eldest son of Rocco Giovanni Forte and his wife, ...

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Joseph, Sir Maxwell [formerly Max] (1910–1982), hotelier and property dealer, was born Max Joseph on 31 May 1910, at 21 Whitechapel Road, London, the second of the three sons of Jack Joseph, a journeyman tailor and property dealer, and his wife, Sarah Orler...

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Keyser, Sir Polydor de (1832–1898), hotelier and politician, was born on 12 December 1832 in rue de l'Église, Dendermonde, Belgium, the younger son of Joost Constant Fidel Armand de Keyser (b. 1801) and his wife, Catharina Rosalie, née Troch. Constant de Keyser...

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Pontin, Sir Frederick William (1906–2000), founder of holiday camps, was born at 127 Edward Road, Walthamstow, Essex, on 24 October 1906, the eldest of the six children in the family of Frederick William Pontin, a cabinet-maker, and his wife, Elizabeth Marion Silyard. Unpersuaded by his father's attempt to steer him towards a job in a local bank, ...

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Ritz, César Jean (1850–1918), hotelier, was born on 23 February 1850 at Niederwald, Switzerland, the son of Anton Ritz, a peasant farmer. At the age of twelve he was sent as a boarder to the Jesuit college at Sion, and at fifteen, having shown only vaguely artistic leanings, was apprenticed as a wine waiter at a hotel in ...

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Smith, Sir George Reeves- (1863–1941), hotelier, was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, on 17 July 1863, one of at least two sons of George Reeves-Smith, who was for a time manager of the Brighton aquarium. Educated at Brighton College, Reeves-Smith was apprenticed to Bordeaux...