Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Who and My Hotel


There have been several programs on TV lately (okay, telly lately) about The Who. First of all, let me just say, Roger Daltrey ... ummmm ... still fine ;) Ahem.

First, over the weekend I caught bits of the VH1 Rock Honors The Who, featuring OKC natives The Flaming Lips. Here's Babygirl with Wayne Coyne of The Lips. Just Because. Until she makes me take it down.
Then, on Monday, we caught a Top Gear program where Jeremy Clarkson mentioned The Who and my hotel. Then tonight was another program, The BBC Electric Proms, starring The Who. Roger was sounding a little scratchy in voice, but ahem. Look at him. Who cares. So it must be time to tell the story of MY hotel. It's not really mine. Just a connection.

So, long story short, there was a family legend on my mom's side about a big manor house in England owned by her grandmother's family. My mom sent me to find it in 1991 on my first trip to England (like one house would present itself to me and say 'Pam, here I am...") Of course, it was not to be found.

Fast forward about 14 years and in preparation for another trip to England, I dust off the story of this old manor house. Being the internet researcher that I am, I find other family history researchers on some ancestry sites and one thing leads to another, and after many weeks of digging, I come across the one clue that tells me the location of the house. But it wasn't a house. It was a hotel in Chipping Norton named The Crown & Cushion, and it was still in existence. I immediately booked us a night at the hotel and started contacting the local historical society (who were immensely helpful to us and gave us a tour of Chippy).

The Crown & Cushion is an old coaching inn that dates back to the middle ages. My mom's ancestor, Thomas I., moved to Chipping Norton and married the owner's daughter sometime in the 1700's. I have the exact dates somewhere. His son John inherited the inn and lost it evidently due to bad investments around 1776. John's brother, William, the second son and my ancestor, had a son also named Thomas I., who immigrated to the US about 1800-1804. I can't help but think that the wrong son inherited the inn!

Meanwhile, what turns up next is the fact that Keith Moon, legendary drummer for The Who, actually owned the hotel back in the 60's! Now, I ask you, how cool is that? And Jeremy Clarkson, on Top Gear, drives by The Crown & Cushion, mentions it by name in relation to Keith Moon, and what does he do, but goes on to drive a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool (ala the Keith Moon story).

We went back and spent another night at the C&C last September when Babygirl and fiance were with us so she could spend the night in a place we could really trace to our family as far back as the 1700s. The C&C photo is my own and I'm pretty sure the Keith Moon photo shows him at the hotel.

That's it for tonight, cheers ya'll!

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3 comments:

The Troll said...

Cool Story. You should buy the place and spruce it up a bit!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Great story Pam, we saw Top Gear too, love the Babygirl piccie.

Btw YOU'RE TAGGED for a fun one back at mine

pamokc said...

Troll - I'd love to buy that place and have it for my very own! One day when those lottery dollars flow my way ....