George Tipper
George Henry Tipper was born in about 1837. Describing himself as a cook and confectioner, Tipper already owned a restaurant and bakery at 15-17 Alexandra Street by 1895 when records show that he was carrying out alterations to number 17. This may have been when Tipper expanded an existing shop at no. 15 into the adjacent property. Much of Alexandra Street had been built in the 1870s and 1880s. In the 1890s, Dowsett was also expanding his fancy goods and ironmongery business at 25 High Street (on the corner of Alexandra Street) into nos. 3 - 7 Alexandra Street as well as no. 16 across the road. As business neighbours and being about the same age, it is evident that at least a relationship of trust existed between Dowsett and Tipper. Thomas Dowsett was Southend's first Mayor 1892-1893. Darbyshire's Southend Guide for 1898. includes advertisements for both Dowsett's and Alexandra Street Tipper's shops. The latter describes George Tipper as a purveyor to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh (1868), former manager of the Criterion, Picadilly (1873-82) and former proprietor of the Café de Paris and Haymarket Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. The 1927 town guide shows that a restaurant and bakery continued to trade on the premises under the name G. H. Tipper for many years after his death. Although this guide shows a single shop front, the building still exists today as a double fronted shop between the High Street and Market Place (recently 'The Basement' but vacant at the time of writing). In the same year (1895) that George Tipper was carrying out alterations to his Alexandra Street premises, he was also granted a licence from the Corporation of Southend-on-Sea to use the Refreshment Rooms at the pier head as a catering outlet. The agreement included a tariff of the maximum charges for the food and drinks being sold. Tipper's address was given as Stanley Road, Southend on the licence. In 1897, George Tipper submitted a building plan for business premises to include Tipper's Restaurant on the High Street. It is likely that Tipper's Hotel and Restaurant opened on the High Street the following year. This was a substantial building opposite Royal Mews at no. 14 High Street, only two buildings from Prospect House (no. 8) at the top of Pier Hill (where author Warwick Deeping was born, later the Royal Oyster Saloon and then Going's fishing store). By about 1900, Arthur Cotgrove had built a fish restaurant on the north side of the hotel which occupied both nos. 16 and 18 High Street. Tipper was a member of the Temperance Society and so his hotel was run as a Temperance Hotel. The building appears on postcards that have been dated by Essex Records to about 1905.
By Warwick Conway
1898 Tipper’s advert
Sadly, about five years after the hotel and restaurant opened, George Henry Tipper died on 5th January, 1903. The executors of his will were John Friday Bickers, and agent of the Temperance Society and Thomas Dowsett J.P., then described as an estate agent. The sum of George Tipper's effects was £3312-4s-9d. Kelly's Directories for 1906 and 1908 give the proprietors of the hotel as the executors of George Henry Tipper but by 1910 this had changed to the executors of Thomas Dowsett who had died in 1906. In 1912, Joseph Henry Harding was running the hotel (Kelly's). By then the name of the hotel had been changed to the Marlborough Hotel. A building plan dated 1913 shows that the Offredi (Offord's) family owned no. 14 High Street and were carrying out alterations to the first floor. Kelly's directories show that Sam Isaacs was running the Marlborough Hotel (as Sam Isaacs Ltd.) from 1914 until 1925 although an advert in the 1927 town guide gives the manager's name as J. H. Harding (who was running the hotel in 1912). In 1929, Nuthall's (Caterers) Ltd. took over the Marlborough Hotel to run as a restaurant which they called "Sam Isaacs Restaurant". Nuthall's also acquired the adjacent properties whereupon they used no. 16 as the business address where a resident manager could be contacted and used no. 12 as a second catering outlet. I remember no. 12 as the Sorrento Coffee Bar in the 1960s and where an early video juke box could be found. By 1969, no. 16 had become a carpet outlet while nos. 12 and 14 were Nuthall's restaurants and no. 18 was still a Cotgrove's restaurant. The carpet outlet later expanded into no. 14 and by 1985 the entire block of buildings was boarded up, still displaying a Sorrento sign and awaiting demolition in advance of the Royals Shopping Centre development.
1927 Tipper’s advert
Two Views of Tipper’s Hotel and Restaurant in the High Street
1927 Marlborough Hotel and Restaurant Advert
Sam Isaacs Restaurant and Sorrento Coffee Bar advert
1977 Southend Carpet Co with the Sorrento Sign above

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