Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 17, 2016
Webpage updated: May 19, 2019

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The Royal Sailors' Rest in Albert Road on Monday August 24th 1970.
Author's Collection.

Following the loss of the original Royal Sailors' Rest (Fore Street) premises in April 1941, the Royal Sailors' Rest organisation took over the Royal British Female Orphan Asylum in Stoke Terrace at the top of Albert Road, whose inmates had been evacuated at the commencement of the War.

Once the War had ended the organisation had to find a new site because the Admiralty wanted to take over the site of their previous premises to enlarge the Royal Dockyard.

The foundation stone of a new five-storey building in Albert Road was laid by the Commander-in-Chief, Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Onslow on Friday May 23rd 1958.  The Anglican Bishop of Plymouth, Doctor Norman H Clarke, consecrated it.  Music was provided by the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines. 

Among those also present were the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman J G Wingett; Mrs G E Currey, who had been the trustee in charge for the past 20 years, carrying the responsibility during the Second World War and the subsequent rebuilding; and Miss E M Carr, the lady superintendent.

Mr A C Luxton, of Messrs Fouracre & Luxton, of Plymouth, was the architect and the construction was carried out by Messrs Hill & Lang (Plymouth) Ltd. 

The building was dedicated by the Reverend Clifford Davies, senior chaplain at the Royal Naval Barracks, on the evening of Friday December 18th 1959 and opened to members of all of the armed services the following day.

A similar but later view of the Royal Sailors' Rest after an extension had been added.
From a postcard.

For 3s 6d a night, a serviceman could have a bed-sitting-room, with hot and cold running water, an electric shaver socket, a combined wardrobe and dressing-table, and a bed with a foam mattress.  He could spend his entire shore leave here if he wished to.  For shorter stays he could have a cabin, exactly half the size of the bed-sitting-rooms, for 2s 6d per night.  Breakfast cost two shillings.

There was no accommodation for women they could use all of the day facilities, like the restaurant, quiet room, television room and games rooms.

Vice-Admiral Sir Saint John R J Tyrwhitt, Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel, officially opened the Royal Sailors' Rest on Friday May 27th 1960, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman F J Stott, and the Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, Admiral Sir Richard Onslow.  Also in 1960 a Royal Sailors' Rest Hall was opened on the naval housing estate at Barne Barton, Saint Budeaux.

This building was closed at the end of June 2001 and during 2003 was redeveloped to provide accommodation for University students.