Travelodge has recently celebrated the opening of its first hotel in Horsham – the poetry capital of the South. Located on Worthing Road, the 67-room hotel represents an investment of £2.5 million and will offer rooms from just £19 per night.The new hotel has created 20 jobs in Horsham and is the budget hotel chain’s 460th opening to date.
Prior to the hotel opening Travelodge joined forces with the West Sussex County Times to go in search of a local modern ‘Shelly’ to pen poetry (themed around sleep or the beauty of Horsham) to adorn the walls of its new hotel.
The poetry competition – which went live in December 2010 – was extremely popular and proves that Horsham is full of budding poets of all ages.
The Editor in Chief of West Sussex County Times, Gary Shipton, chose the top three winning entries which were written by local Horshamites Gordon Judge, Maurice Packham and 12 year old Georgina Easterbrook.
All three winners were invited to a winner’s presentation and poetry recital at the official opening of Horsham Central Travelodge. The event – which took place on the 26th January ‘11 – was attended by the finalists, senior Travelodge management and the hotel team.
The overall winning poem was selected by Mr Shipton and Travelodge’s Hotel Manager, Aleksandra Rendjuk. The winner, 12 year old, Georgina Easterbrook, who is now titled – Horsham’s Sleeping Poet – won the competition and a three-stop literary tour where she and her family will visit the birth place of the UK’s most famous poets and writers plus receive £100 travel/spending money. The runners up won a book titled The Nation’s Favourite Poem’s which includes works from Horsham’s very own PB Shelley. All three winning poems are now displayed in the hotel’s reception area for customers to read.
As a result of the new hotel opening, Horsham is now set to benefit from an estimated £1million boost to its local economy as research suggests that Travelodge’s customers spend, on average, £36 a day in local restaurants, pubs and shops.
It is anticipated that Horsham Central Travelodge will benefit from both business and leisure travellers. Horsham is centrally located between the beautiful Sussex Downland (now a National Park) and delightful Weald landscape of the South East. It is just one hour by train from London, 30 minutes to Gatwick Airport and 40 minutes by car to Brighton and the coast.
Click for the winning poems on page two…