Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Trust Houses Forte

From Graces Guide
March 1972.

Hotel and catering group

1970 Merger of Trust Houses with Forte Holdings Ltd. to form Trust Houses Forte (THF). The new group had 215 hotels in Britain, 13 hotels outside Britain, 250 restaurants and cafés, and 1500 canteens, supplied catering for 50 airlines, operated 10 piers, 7 motorway service areas, and 4 amusement parks. Further expansion followed but there was tension between the managements of the 2 parts of the group.

1973 Acquired Travelodge International Inc, operating or franchising about 450 motels and hotels throughout America

1977 Acquired 35 hotels, including several major London ones such as the Cumberland and Strand Palace and Regent Palace hotels in London from J. Lyons and Co Ltd. Sold Terry's chocolate business.

1981 THF bought the entertainment interests of Thorn-EMI, including three London theatres

By 1986 the chain of service areas had grown to 16. Five of these were located on trunk roads, rather than motorway. There were also 270 Little Chef restaurants, 16 of them forming part of service areas; seven Little Chefs included overnight accommodation.

1986 THF acquired Hanson Trust's interests in enterprises which previously formed part of Imperial Group PLC, namely Anchor Hotels, Imperial Inns, the Welcome Break motorway service areas and the Happy Eater roadside restaurants.

By 1987 there were 38 Post House hotels.

1991 The corporate name was changed to Forte plc.

1992 Sir Charles Forte relinquished the chairmanship to his son, Rocco, and was named life president

1996 After a fierce takeover battle, Granada gained control of the business.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Competition Commission report [1]
  • Biography of Charles Forte, ODNB