After nearly 23 years at Lloyds -- Tom turned 65 this August and Roy 67 in March – we have ‘hung up our boots’ and on Sunday 18th October closed as a hotel and restaurant. As many of our guests will recognise, this was not our plan. Health issues have intervened, however. We will remain at Lloyds, using it as our main home. Our cottage, Cringoed Bach, which requires a lot of internal work to be comfortable, will be our ‘bolt hole’. Our dream to offer special breaks with dinner at Cringoed Bach will be kept under review. We hope to keep our hands in, from time to time entertaining friends (many whom we first met as guests) in Llanidloes.
Lloyds has been a hotel for over 130 years, and served its time well. While we were able to reduce the number of bedrooms so that each had en suite bathroom and lavish money on fittings and fittings, the narrow, steep staircase remained a quaint, but seldom appreciated feature. This and other shortcomings would mitigate against us realising a decent sales value (and the commercial property market has been depressed in mid-Wales for a long time).
Our first visit to Llanidloes to view Lloyds, in 1992, was on a sunny Saturday, the town was bustling, the street market busy, and we bumped into one of our neighbours from Llanerfyl (where our cottage is), who told us she regularly made the 30 miles journey to the town to shop for clothes and have her hair done. The town had style, this suggested – and still does. Small, specialist shops continue to thrive.
Tom has born and brought up in Beckenham, Kent. He graduated in Bristol with a BEd in 1972 and for several years taught mathematics there and in various London schools. His spare time hobby, singing with the Philharmonia chorus in Britain and Europe, encouraged him to train as a professional singer at the Royal Academy of Music for four years from 1979. The career openings for a talented, but not world-class baritone proving few, Tom joined the Lord Chancellor’s IT department, and from there moved to a private training company in Holborn, where he taught programing and systems analysis for four years before moving to Llanidloes and transferring to the hospitality industry, where his people skills have come into their own.
Roy was born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe - the African connection soon becomes apparent to guests from the display of art throughout the hotel. After graduating with a BA in hotel and catering management from the Scottish Hotel School (now defunct, sadly), part of University of Strathclyde, in 1972, he remained in the UK initially to gain experience, and then permanently as the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorated. A varied career, mostly in London, and including three years as chef manager for a merchant bank in Moorgate, led to some 20 years with the industry's statutory training board producing training material for the hospitality industry, editing and writing text books (12 as the accredited author), published by Pergamon, Heinemann, Macmillan Education, Thomson Learning and the Hotel and Catering Industry Training Board. Roy has also written on health and safety for Croners, and for thirteen years contributed a regular column from media reports on the industry, for the quarterly 'Hospitality Review', published until 2011 by Threshold Press of Newbury.