WAGE slips have been helping dancers keep a spring in their step for more than 70 years at a Dovercourt hotel.

The rundown and derelict Cliff Hotel on Marine Parade, Dovercourt is being torn down after years of neglect left new owners unable to salvage the 130-year landmark.

It will be replaced with a new art-deco design building including 20 flats, a 61-bed hotel and a bar/restaurant.

But while removing the dance floor from the Marine Suite at the back of the hotel, workers came across some old wage slips made out to a Ron Howlett and dating back to 1946.

Mr Howlett, now 91, worked for Newton Bros builders in Harwich at the time. His daughter, Jill Marven said: “The former manager of the hotel, John Wade, happened to see them, and, as he knows me quite well, asked if they belonged to any relation of mine, as my maiden name is Howlett.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“I was very pleased to tell him they belonged to my dad, who worked for Newton’s and was about 19 at the time.

“They have been folded and used as packing pieces, with nail holes in them, but what I found quite touching that my dad, who is now 91, was the last person to touch them, and it was he who made those folds and holes.

“On the back of one of them is a plan of the floor to work out his timber cuts, so it is a very personal record of my young dad’s early working life.”

Jill believes her dad was a qualified carpenter at the time, as it is a reasonable wage for the time – one shilling and nine pence per hour in 1946, rising to two shillings and two pence in 1947.

He took home between £3 to £4 a week. 

She added: “My dad is still alive, and he said he can remember the job, but not the details.”