When Walter Gent Lilly won the freehold to a London builder’s yard in a card game in 1924, he would have had no idea that he was making history. Capitalising on his good fortune, he set up in the building trade. His business was an immediate success and quickly grew to become one of London’s foremost construction companies. The business remained in the Lilly family until 1955 when it was acquired by the Y.J. Lovell Group, although it has always continued to trade as Walter Lilly. That same year the company was appointed to carry out the remodelling of London’s iconic Café Royal – a relationship that has continued to the present day.