Tom Spouge sent this postcard, featuring a photo of Whitley Bay’s Whitehall Hotel, where his regiment was stationed, to his mother on October 30, 1914. He is on the left of the top balcony of the hotel.
Tom, born about 1886, was the eldest of the six children of George and Mary Spouge, of Belph, near Whitwell, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
In 1911, George and Mary (nee Heppenstall) had been married for 26 years, and Tom was single and a joiner by trade. Service records reveal that Pte Tom Spouge served with the Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment, then the Army Service Corps in France in August 1915.
Whitehall Residential Hotel and Restaurant was part of the Avenue Hotel at the bottom of Park Avenue.
Originally built by T Patterson as a temperance hotel for proprietor Mary Alice Morgan, it opened in July 1907.
In July 1908, Mrs Morgan sued Whitley Bay Council after her café was flooded by faulty sewers.
In January 1914, Newcastle United players staying at the hotel caused a fire by drying their jerseys around a basement stove.
Mrs Morgan was granted a temporary licence at 1921’s brewster sessions, but the following year, magistrates decided that the Avenue could serve drinks providing there was no connection with the Whitehall.
The Avenue was bought by North Tyneside Council and demolished as part of the regeneration of Whitley Bay in February after standing empty for over 10 years.
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