While doing some family history research on my
paternal grandfather, Thomas Frank Toogood, I located your web site.
What I know from notes provided by one of my aunts (T.F.T's daughter Alice
who was born at that hotel) is that:
"Father worked for a while serving the Vanderbilts in New York. He then
returned to England, and on November 26, 1902, bought the newly built
Station Hotel, Hellingly. At that time this was a tiny ancient village on
the Sussex downs, the hotel and railway station some distance from the
village. Here the hotel business was fairly prosperous for the first few
years during which a large mental hospital was being built a few miles away.
There was a constant flow of workers coming by train, inspectors, etc., but
once the building was completed and filled with patients, only a few
visitors came. The medical superintendent encouraged hiring teetotallers on
the staff and business at the Hotel dropped off. Becoming short of funds,
Father went back to the Vanderbilts to earn some money, starting May 6,
1906, and returning April, 1907, when he went to work for a former employer,
Sir Daniel Cooper, at New Market, Cambridgeshire, after one day's holiday."