East Register Street, Edinburgh.
Mr James McIntosh. 1892.
The Ship Hotel was one of Edinburgh’s oldest establishments, it flourished before hotels were erected in Princes Street and Cockburn Street. It was built away back before the nineteenth century. During the long years of its various evolutionary stages which the city has undergone and in 1892 was subjected to the hands of the renovator. The Ship had kept pace with the times and like the great vessels on the Clyde had been fitted up with the latest improvements.
The Ship was situated on East Register Street, off Princes Street, the busiest thoroughfare in the city. It was a stone’s throw of the General Post-Office and overlooked the Register House, two minutes walk from the Waverley Station. It was perfectly positioned near the Theatre Royal within distance of the Parliament House, Free Library, Sheriff Courts, Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat.
Mr McIntosh a well known hotel- keeper and restaurateur in Glasgow acquired the Ship at the beginning of the 1890s. He was responsible for a total refurbishment at that time, the local patrons did not recognise the place. The cobwebs and rubbish collected through the ages were removed from the interior of the building, the subterranean vaults underneath cleared out and a new stairway cut right through the centre of the building to the three flats above, the bar widened which was of the finest mahogany and a feature of the bar, the bedrooms were enlarged, the dining, smoking and commercial rooms were completely metamorphosised.
The furnishings were supplied by local craftsmen, Messrs. Taylor & Son, Princes Street did most of the interior design. Mr McIntosh was present throughout the entire refurbishment and watched every move to make sure every detail was perfectly finished. The completed reconstruction cost upwards of £2,000, was carried out by Mr Schillinghaw, builder, 30 Fettes Row. The sub-contractors were Barton & Sons, Forrest Road, decorators were Messrs. Dobie & Son, George Street.
Mr McIntosh was well known all over Scotland and had gone through every stage of the trade. He was born in Perthshire and was one proud Scotsman.