Blackpool tributes to former hotels supremo

James Farrow
James Farrow
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A Blackpool catering student who became a senior vice president of one of the world’s biggest hotel chains has died, aged 70.

James Farrow was successively the general manager of three leading Fylde Coast hotels - the Majestic at St Annes, the Queens Hydro at South Shore and the Imperial at North Shore.

In 1980 he joined Hilton International Hotels in sales and marketing an soon became the company’s senior vice president Europe.

When Hilton’s UK and Europe properties were acquired by Ladbroke’s, Mr Farrow became marketing controller for the group.

Born in Blackpool, he was educated at Roseacre School, Blackpool Grammar School and Courtfield Catering College. He began his hotel career in 1965 as an assistant at the old Majestic, becoming manager.

Recruited by the Queens Hydro, he became active in the Queendeans charity.

A move to the Imperial in 1975 saw him organising major functions and hosting the major political party figures, including Prime Ministers James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher.

After joining Hilton he travelled extensively but continued to live in the Fylde. He moved to Sunningdale, Berkshire, shortly before his retirement five years ago.

Mr Farrow leaves his wife Fraye, children Nina and Andrew, brother John Farrow, a Blackpool solicitor, and sister Linda Tolson MBE, the former head of Moor Park School, Blackpool.

“James loved his job so much it was like a hobby to him. He had many friends here and always said his roots were in Blackpool,” said Mrs Tolson.

The funeral will be at Wokingham on Wednesday, June 14.