Midland Hotel advertisement

I noticed this attached to a piece of artwork in Smithfield Market. The Midland Hotel was built by the LMS railway company to serve their York Road station, which was the terminus of the service from London via the Heysham steamer.

Its claim to fame, other than the stark modernity of the early 1930s design, is that Laurel & Hardy stayed within its walls on several occasions.

Following the amalgamation of transport services in Northern Ireland under the UTA, in 1948, it fell into the same administrative bag as the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle which had been built by the B&CDR in the pre-war era.

There have been several initiatives to demolish the now-vacant hotel and replace it with car parks or dull office buildings but thankfully it still abides.

If you have read this far you may also be interested to know that the current York Street halt is not the same as the original York Road station! York Street was opened in 1993 when the Larne line was extended and redirected to connect with Cross-Lagan link for access to Central Station.

Addendum: lots of good ( colloquial ) gossip and period images of the hotel here