Reservation for “None”- Lorain 365- Spitzer Hotel

March 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm 2 comments

Photo- Lisa Miller 365 Blog

The two lassies of Lorain who have started their own –Lorain 365 2chix 2pix every day

published the above photo a couple of days ago- and one of the comments made

“This is really sad to think all the people who participated in events at the hotel and now it just sits there with the silenced piano”

All the people who participated……. took me back to a happier time and Burlington Bertie and “High Tea” – the picture from the front page of the “Tempo/ Arcade” entertainment Morning Journal magazine is somewhat wrinkled but then again so am I now……..

Yes that was a time when the piano accompanied “high tea” and a shabby Burlington Bertie surrounded by china, and silver and twinkling crystals in the lobby… and now Burlington Bertie – well both the actress and the hotel are worn, frayed, and forlorn and what is left is the diminishing echoes of laughter , good times, songs on a now silent piano

The Spitzer Hotel as it is now:


but other actresses will play Burlington Bertie- “HE” will be resurrected – as for the Hotel………. who can say ?


“Burlington Bertie” is a music hall song composed by Harry B. Norris in 1900 and sung by Vesta Tilley. It concerns an aristocratic young idler who pursues a life of leisure in the West End of London.

This song was parodied in the now-much-better-known “Burlington Bertie from Bow” (1915) credited to William Hargreaves and sung by his wife, Ella Shields, who performed the song whilst dressed in male attire. Unlike the original song, Bertie’s pretensions to gentility are belied by his residence in Bow, in the poverty-stricken East End of London, though his status as an idler ironically links him to the leisured aristocratic class, who reside in the West End.

Betty Grable in the part of vaudevillian Myrtle McKinley Burt performed the song in the musical film Mother Wore Tights (1947).[1]

Julie Andrews, also dressed in male attire, gave another rendition of the song in the film Star! (1968).

It was sung on episode 201 of The Muppet Show by a custom Bertie Muppet performed by Jerry Nelson.

At the Royal Variety Performance in 1981, it was performed in the customary male evening dress by Anita Harris, who brought the house down with the line “I’ve just had a banana with Lady Diana” from the Buckingham Palace verse of the song. Although the Diana was originally Lady Diana Cooper, Prince Charles had married Lady Diana Spencer earlier in the year.

The two songs about Burlington Bertie are both predecessors of Irving Berlin’s song “A Couple of Swells”. In all three songs, a woman dressed in a ragged form of male finery brags about how well connected in society “he” is, while clearly demonstrating an actual state of poverty.

I’m Bert
( shortened version as I performed the the piece for the afternoon teas at the hotel)

P’raps you’ve heard of me Bert You’ve had word of me, Plodding along Hearty and strong Living on plates of fresh air I dress up in fashion And when I am feeling depressed I shave from my cuff all the whiskers and fluff Stick my hat on and toddle up West

I’m Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty and saunter along like a toff I walk down the Strand with my gloves on my hand Then I walk down again with them off I’m all airs and graces, correct easy paces Without food so long, I’ve forgot where my face is I’m Bert, Bert, I haven’t a shirt But my people are well off you know. Nearly everyone knows me from Smith to Lord Rosebr’y, I’m Burlington Bertie from Bow.

I’m Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty – My pose, Tho’ ironical Shows That my monocle Holds up my face, keeps it in place, Stops it from slipping away. Cigars, cigars, I smoke thousands, I usually deal in The Strand But you’ve got to take care when you’re getting them there Or some idiot might step on your hand.

I’m Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty And Buckingham Palace I view. I stand in the yard while they’re changing the guard And the queen shouts across “Toodle oo”! The Prince of Wales’ brother along with some other Slaps me on the back and says “Come and see Mother” I’m Bert, Bert, and royalty’s hurt, When they ask me to dine I say no. I’ve just had a banana with Lady Diana I’m Burlington Bertie from Bow.

Entry filed under: Arts, blogs, history, Link -ups, Uncategorized. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Wow! How’s that for some hotel history!
    Thanks for the link and the story 😀

  • 2. Renee Dore  |  March 31, 2012 at 1:58 am

    I miss those days…not only the hotel being open and the dining, and gatherings there-but so many other activities during those times. It sounds as if it was sooo long ago but it really wasn’t. I really thought that the hotel would have been a lasting place no matter what. Too bad they couldn’t open it as a Holiday Inn Express or something-maybe not the entire place but at least a portion for rooms & a place for dining, meetings, ect. And the nice small cocktail lounge was even a good place to have a quiet drink. There’s a lot of luster lost in the past 10 years. Renee

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March 2012

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