Friday, April 19, 2013

Tontine Hotel, Ironbridge, Shropshire, England - Anglophile Friday

Tontine Hotel, Ironbridge, Shropshire

After landing at the Manchester airport, the first thing we did was drive south to Ironbridge. There on the bank of the River Severn  sat the Tontine Hotel. It piqued my curiosity because that was only the second time in my life that I'd heard the word 'tontine.' And where was the first? On a Miss Marple movie - '4:50 From Paddington.'

So, what is a 'tontine'??

From:  The Free Dictionary

"An organization of individuals who enter into an agreement to pool sums of money or something of value other than money, permitting the last survivor of the group to take everything.

The holders of tontine life insurance contracts enter into an agreement to pay premiums for a certain amount of time before they gain the right to acquire dividends. In the event that a policyholder dies during the tontine policy, his or her beneficiary will be entitled to benefits, but no dividends. The earnings that ordinarily would be used to pay dividends are accumulated during the tontine period and subsequently given only to policyholders who are still alive at the end of the term. This type of policy is known as a dividend-deferred policy..."

*Underlining is mine. You can see that this would be a good setup for a murder mystery, right?

 Joan Hickson as Miss Marple
4:50 From Paddington, one of my favorites!

From Wikipedia:

"Elspeth McGillicuddy has come from Scotland to visit her old friend Jane Marple. On the way, her train passes another train running parallel to her. Then, a blind in one of the compartments flies up and she sees a woman being strangled to death. Only Miss Marple believes her story as there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The first task is to ascertain where the body could have been hidden. Comparison of the facts of the murder with the train timetable and the local geography lead to the grounds of Rutherford Hall as the only possible location: it is shielded from the surrounding community, the railway abuts the grounds, and so on. Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a young professional housekeeper and an acquaintance of Miss Marple, is sent undercover to Rutherford Hall.

Josiah Crackenthorpe, purveyor of tea biscuits, built Rutherford Hall. His son, Luther, now a semi-invalid widower, had displayed spendthrift qualities in his youth. To preserve the family fortune, Josiah has left his considerable fortune in trust, the income from which is to be paid to Luther for life. After Luther's death, the capital is to be divided equally among Luther's children. Luther Crackenthorpe is merely the trustee of Rutherford Hall and hence, according tp the will, cannot sell the house. The house itself will be inherited by Luther Crackenthorpe's eldest surviving son or his issue."  - in other words, a 'tontine.'

So, evidently, in this case, the last surviving shareholder got... a hotel.

From The Tontine Hotel's website:

The Tontine Hotel was built in 1784. Erected by hard-headed Ironbridge shareholders, it is rich in character and of historic interest. The exterior has changed little since the exciting days of the Industrial Revolution. In the hotel foyer there is a quite magnificent tiled floor (made by Maw & Co. of nearby Jackfield) which is splendidly preserved.


You can find 4:50 from Paddington on Netflix. I wouldn't bother watching any version other than the one with Joan Hickson. She is perfect.


Two years ago I wrote a photo post about Ironbridge, Shropshire, including photos of the actual iron bridge, after which the city is named. If you like Dark Satanic Mills, the River Severn, and iron bridges, you might enjoy that post.


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E. said...

i love Miss Marple - such a good show. ( :

Denise said...

Enjoy your Friday posts.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Sounds like a good mystery!!

Sandra said...

so beautiful and the church up there behind it is stunning. i love the way the buildings are stacked up in the photo. great shot

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We've been watching some old Miss Marple movies on Saturday afternoon on Turner Classic movies...they sure are fun! Love your beautiful photos! Happy Friday!

Ruth Kelly said...

We had lunch in Manchester but didn't stop to photograph anything.

Debra Hawkins said...

How have I not read that one? I own almost every single Agatha Christie book, it is an addiction. ;)

Yenta Mary said...

Completely and utterly charming! I think my favorite phrase is: "Josiah Crackenthorpe, purveyor of tea biscuits ...." :)

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Love Miss Marple! And you are so right, Joan Hickson is the best. Didn't remember the word "tontine" though, might have to re-watch it.

Debra at HOMESPUN: said...

I used to read all of those books but I've never watched a SHOW about miss marple...uh oh I might have to see about that ! :)

podso said...

I enjoy your posts on England, and this makes me want to watch Miss Maple -- never have -- as soon as we are finished with current series. Have a good weekend!

Olive said...

I recall reading every Agatha novel before the age of 15. I have reread many of them several times again. She was brilliant.

karen said...

What a wonderful blog! Shropshire is a lovely part of the country.
Joan Hickson who played Miss Marple, was a wonderful person and probably the best Miss Marple too!
Looking forward to your next excursion! :) xx

Unknown said...

I've never watched a show either - but have read all the books!
Somehow once I've read a book I love the t.v. shows always ruin them for me - BUT I may have to read them again!
There was an American version of Mrs Maple that I love too - can't remember her name Mrs. Poll.....something...........?
Great Anglophile post as always Judy!

Unknown said...

Mrs. Pollifax!!!!!!!!!!
Just came back to me lol

Terri D said...

How very interesting! Thanks for the information. I've definitely learned something new today. I've watch the Miss Marple mysteries before, but don't recall hearing that word. It most likely would not have stuck in my brain anyway - but I know about it now!

Ladies Holiday said...

i always enjoy your photos and commentary around England! have a great weekend & thanks for sharing on ladies holiday photo friday!

laurie said...

I learned something new! Interesting post!

J_on_tour said...

I'm unfamiliar with most things in this post except the 4:50 from Paddington ... nice railway nostalgia & feel good film.


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