Birmingham Mayfair.

The Birmingham Post newspaper/Dining and dancing.

The impressive flight of stairs which connects the Mayfair’s main entrance hall with the reception rooms. The glow from the illuminated balustrades is reflected in a giant mirror at the head of the stairs.


Patrons arriving by car and bus can reach the Mecca banqueting suites under cover. The suites are connected to the auto-car park and the Midland “Red” bus depot in the block of the Bull Ring Centre by a Pedestrian bridge spanning Smallbrook. A covered way giving access  from New Street Station is due to be opened shortly.

The suites can also be reached directly from the street by way of two flights of escalators.

Women in evening dress will appreciate the covered approaches in bad weather.


Skilled catering staff recruited to serve the banqueting suites had Continental experience to ensure a high standard of cuisine.

The general manager of the Mayfair is Mr. Peter J. Haworth, who has worked in the France and Belgium. His catering manager, Senor Enrique C. Campos, is a Spaniard, who has also French experience. In addition, Chef Oliver, has had training in leading hotels and the patissière  learned his craft in Switzerland.

Kitchens are ranged down one side of the Mayfair Suite. When the Mayfair and Prince Charles Suites  are divided by a partition the kitchens give service to both parts; and when  the suites are for large functions they can serve 900 diners.

Equipment is placed to reduce to the minimum the amount of movement by kitchen staff. It consists of a range of gas ovens and hot plates supported by Swiss-made electric deep friers of advanced design which can cook together such different foods as fish and pineapple rings, yet ensure there is no transfer of taste.

Gas is used for heating a down-draught grill that employs fans to blow heat on to meats and other foods placed below the burners. This technique greatly reduces grilling times.

A metal-walled cold store is large enough to take the carcass of a beast. Delivery lorries unload in a basement bay and provisions are carried up to the kitchens in two large lifts.

Ornate ceiling weighs 40 tons.

Work on fitting the Mayfair and Prince Charles Suites in the Bull Ring Centre took 41 weeks. At peak periods more than 50 men were engaged on erecting wall and ceiling decorations, heating and ventilating systems and electrical installations.

One major task was the erection of the ornate suspended plaster ceiling, made up of more than 200 panels, each weighing  2 cwt. Total weight of the suspended ceiling exceeds 40 tons.


Another important installation was of a 100-foot-long sound-proof  partition dividing the banqueting hall into the Mayfair and the Prince Charles Suites.

The screen is 13 ft. high and consists of 20 sections which slide out from the side walls guided by channels in the floor and ceiling. Once the sections are in position magnetic seals provide  sound-proof joints and electrically operated looped silk curtains lower from the ceiling to mask both sides of the partition.


Operation is easy – the whole unit can be slid into place by two men in twenty minutes.  When the panels are retracted the wood-covered end sections blend with the general wall treatment;  and the recessed floor guide channels are covered with carpet to give an unbroken floor level.

The suspended ceiling offered a possible route for noise transmission between the suites. An anti-crosstalk barrier has therefore been fitted between the false ceiling and the underside of the roof slab to complete the noise seal provided by the partition. (…)

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