It is November 2004 and a stressed out bride, in full make-up and veil, is storming up a hallway of the Glynmill Inn. She is wearing jeans and a t-shirt and carrying a cup of coffee.
The Inn is packed, mostly with people in town for a Curling tournament. “Hey little lady,” calls a voice from a room, “what’s in the mug?” The bride answers that it’s coffee. The man raises a bottle of beer. “The next time I see you there had better be booze in that mug! Congratulations!” An odd but sweet interlude; the bride continues storming to her bridesmaid’s room in search of someone to zip up her wedding dress.
Looking at archived pictures tells me my wedding was not the first one at the Glynmill Inn and Facebook tells me it hasn’t been the last. Built in 1924 to house overseers of the mill construction, the Inn served as a major social centre. In “Putting the Hum on the Humber… the first 75 years” an interview with Doris (Herdman) Cross revealed that the administration was “a lively lot, and always planning something. When they had dances, … they had a ball, Easter Balls and New Year’s Eve Balls, and Armistice Balls, and everybody dressed up in beautiful long dresses and the men always wore tuxedos.” This social centre was meant for the management and senior staff, not the myriad manual labourers and mill workers who worked in bare feet to avoid falls on slippery mill floors.
Management Staff Dinner, 1945
While this division may have been the case in the 1920s, the Glynmill Inn was the first home to numerous clubs and societies that still exist today, and are much more open than their earlier counterparts. In 1925 The Marble Mountain Ski Club rented a room on the Inn’s third floor. The Blomidon Country Club also had its beginnings at the Glynmill Inn. The adult education classes that are now held in colleges were started at the Inn in the 1950s. Also in the 1950s the Rotary Club of Corner Brook had its inaugural dinner, and continues to have luncheon meetings there. The restaurant we all know as The Wine Cellar was, in the 1940s, a meeting space for the first Girl Guide Company.
Glynmill Inn, 1926
The Glynmill Inn was commissioned by the Armstrong-Whitworth Company Ltd. of England who hired Andrew Cobb to design the Inn. It was he who designed the Tudor-style house, and was later honoured when the street the Inn occupies was named Cobb Lane. Originally the rear of the building housed tennis courts and a livery. These were replaced by a parking lot. However, if you wish to see horses at the Inn, you can see them in the murals that dominate the walls of The Carriage Room, one of the two restaurants on the premises. The second, The Wine Cellar, is a well known spot even outside of Corner Brook. When I lived in Moncton I met a man who asked me if it was still in operation. He said he’d eaten there several times in the 1970s and enjoyed it very much. He’s yet to bring his wife for a visit, he said, but he wants to stay at the Inn and eat at The Wine Cellar again.
Andrew Randall Cobb, 1926
Another feature of the Inn is King Henry’s Pub, a cozy space that has hosted both The March Hare and The April Rabbit. The restaurants are open to all, and the ballroom is available for weddings. Or you can get married elsewhere and have wedding pictures taken there. At one time the Glynmill Inn was for the upper crust only. Now it’s a true community business and a lovely piece of history. Doris Cross recalled as a child, “We were all a big happy family there in the Glynmill Inn.” Which is how I felt by the end of my wedding night when I was led away from the dance floor, slightly tipsy and singing Celine Dion at the top of my lungs Ana Gasteyer style.