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Tributes paid to former Royal Lancaster GM Norman Lawrence

28 July 2020 by

Tributes have been paid to former Royal Lancaster London general manager Norman Lawrence, who died last month aged 92.

Eric Marsh, who runs the George hotel in Hathersage, Derbyshire and worked for Lawrence at both the Coylumbridge Hotel in the Scottish Cairngorms and then sister hotel Royal Lancaster, said colleagues described him as "flamboyant, totally unique and the best boss I ever had".

"I first met Mr Lawrence, as one addressed him then, in 1969, when I was an assistant manager to him as a very young general manager of Rank Hotels' Coylumbridge hotel in the Scottish Cairngorms," said Marsh.

"When he was promoted to their flagship Royal Lancaster Hotel in London he invited me to join him there, where we spent several memorable years working together. Like many who worked with him, such was his character that we were totally in awe of Norman, and recent recollections of those who knew him include ‘flamboyant', ‘best boss I ever had', ‘totally unique' and ‘a legend in my lifetime'.

"When he left The Lancaster I kept in touch, and we remained friends until he sadly passed away."

Norman Lawrence was a Londoner of modest background, who joined the army in the 1940s as an officer at Sandhurst, then left after four years' service to enter the hotel industry, where he flourished.

His early training was at the Savoy, which started an illustrious career in prestigious hotels all over the world, including: South Africa in the 1950s; France, Liberia and England in 1960s; Ghana, Canada and Puerto Rico in 1970s; and latterly USA in the 1980s, where he eventually settled.

Lawrence married three times before meeting Cynthia Muss, a hotelier with a number of properties in Florida, in America in 1980, and they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary two days before he died on 24 June 2020.

He had three children, Gregory, Rosalind and Tiffany, and eight grandchildren, in addition to seven of Cynthia's grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

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