The North Euston hotel was built in the 1830s, when it became clear that the new railway system would reach Fleetwood. It was hoped that there would be a steady flow of long-distance travellers, all needing sustenance or a bed before continuing their journey to Scotland. Unfortunately, a couple of years after the Hotel was completed, a path for the railway was found over Shap Fell, so the Hotel never was quite as lucrative as it could have been. However, it did survive and is still in business today.
In the 1980s the North Euston was bought by the Cowpe and Johns families. Before they opened for business, they spent a few months carrying out major renovations. One day, one of the joiners had cause to go down to the cellar – but he came up again quickly, convinced he had seen an apparition of a young man. Nothing could convince him otherwise.
Jim Cowpe was a keen researcher into local history and, naturally, researched the history of the old building. He was interested to learn that in the 1860s, during the Boer War, the Hotel was used as a school of musketry. Whilst the officers lived upstairs, the lowly men in their charge lived and slept below stairs, in the cellars of the building, along with their horses. To his surprise, Jim then came across a story of a young fusilier from Enniskillen, who had become so desperately depressed and homesick that he took his own life, in his little room in the cellars. The young man has only been seen twice – but perhaps that’s because most people now refuse to go below stairs!
text copyright Melanie Warren