Tributes to former Welwyn Clock hotel owner

THE family of a former hotel owner have paid tribute to her following her death.

Doris Mildenhall, who from 1972 to 1988 ran The Clock Hotel in Welwyn with husband John, died on January 4, aged 87.

Her funeral was held last Wednesday at St Mary’s Church in Welwyn,

Doris, known as “Doll” or “Dolly”, was born in Braintree, Essex, on July 1, 1922, and married John in 1944 – they would stay together for the next 66 years.

The couple started running cafes and bed and breakfasts around Braintree, before buying the land that was to become The Clock Hotel in Welwyn, off junction six of the A1(M).

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“It was just a roadhouse when we bought it,” John, 87, said.

“I had an idea for a motel, but it just grew.”

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Assisted by daughters Pauline and Pam, The Clock grew into a 98-bedroom hotel and entertainment venue, and attracted some of the big names of the era; Frank Carson, vocal group The Ink Spots, Jim Davidson and Michael Barrymore all performed there.

“They were great times,” John said. “And Doll was my partner. She was always my partner.”

Daughter Pauline added: “She was a dear mum, grandmother and great-grandmother with a sympathetic ear and time for us all, the voice of reason through all the ups and downs of family life and great fun to be with.”

The couple sold The Clock in 1988. Last year the site went up for sale for �2.5m and was bought by care home company Runwood Homes.

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