1972: Kirkcaldy’s Anthony’s Hotel gets a new look and a new name

It has long since vanished from the landscape, but Anthony’s Hotel was once a hugely popular venue for dinner dances as well as a drink.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:00 pm

Fifty years ago this month, it underwent a major refurbishment, and a change of name after being acquired by the Reo Stakis Organisation.

The Albert Road venue was renamed the Royal Albert Hotel, and the new look was unveiled to the public in a special advertising feature in the Fife Free Press in January 1972.

The changes were made, said the new owners, “to meet the demand and challenges of the discriminating hotel guests of the 1970s.”

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The Royal Albert Hotel launches itself in Kirkcaldy with this advert in the Fife Free Press of January 1972

They cut the number of bedrooms from 30 to 22 to make sure each one had its own private bathroom as well as central heating, a radio, telephone, and if required, a television.

The new look came after a six month closure to allow all the work to take place.

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The Royal Albert Hotel set out to make a name for itself for food and drink and also capture the patronage of visiting industrialists - underlining how vibrant the town was back then.

The restaurant at the Royal Albert Hotel

Explained a Reo Stakis spokesman: “With the variety of industry now in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, there are a lot of Americans visiting the area. We have designed the accommodation with this type of person in kind.”

The doors officially opened on December 1, 1971 - it would now be called soft launch - and the main features of the refurbished promises were the raised standard of the bedrooms, the addition of a completely new part to be known as the Falkland Bar and the redesigning of the ballroom so that it can accommodate up to 250 people.

Several pillars were removed to create the extra space, along with the introduction of a modern lighting system which means that the room can be used on occasions as a discotheque.

The new Falkland Bar at the Royal Albert Hotel

It also came own resident dance band.

Manager, Colin D. Hay - who was due to move into a house being built by the company on site, said: “We have extended the dance floor area with strips of carpet which can be decreased or increased according to what’s wanted.

“We hadn’t intended initially doing this, but I was told that Fifers like a a large dance floor area so we changed the plans slightly.”

The new Falkland Bar was also created with distinctive alcoves and furnishings, the main point of interest being the wooden castings which decorate one wall - these are the original castings from which the moulds of an old railway engine were made.

Bar lunches are available mainly to accommodate students from the nearby Kirkcaldy Technical College, and live music was planned every week - although the bar also had its own resident pianist.

The venue reverted back to Anthony’s Hotel later on before, sadly, closing.

It was subsequently demolished and replaced by a care home which occupies the site to this day.

But it’s name will still conjure many memories among folk who enjoyed some great nights out there …

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