Squadron staff WO Larry and CI Marilyn Parker have just returned from spending 2 weeks at Talbot House acting as Volunteer Wardens. They have been visiting the Old House as visitors for many years conducting WW1 Casualty Research. During this time being welcomed by volunteer wardens from the UK and Commonwealth Countries.
Talbot House was opened in the garrison town of Poperinge, Belgium in December 1915 as a club for Everyman. Here soldiers of all ranks could relax and enjoy relative comfort after the sights and sounds of the battlefields.
When WW1 was over the Old House closed and was returned to its owner Mr Coevoet-Camerlynck. Then in 1929 the house was put up for sale and it was bought by Lord Wakefield who then generously gave it to the newly set-up Talbot House Association who were charged with running and preserving the Old House. After adaptation the house was reopened as the 'Everyman Club' in April 1931 and the Old House remains open today as a Living Museum.
In 2014 it will be 100 years since the start of WW1 and in 2015 100 years since Talbot House opened as a Home from Home. During this time hundreds and thousands of soldiers and pilgrims have walked and enjoyed the comforts of the house. For the last 3 years major renovation work has been taking place in order to preserve this important piece of history.
Last year when Larry and Marilyn were there saw the completion of the new kitchen, decoration of the dining room and the start of the work in the Upper Room the most important room in the attic of the house.This year the staircases and hallways have been redecorated and as they left for home the work started on the refurbishment of the garden.
Today the Old House remains open and you can come as a daily visitor to the Museum and House or if you are looking for a really special place to stay for B&B whilst visiting the WW1 Battlefields. You shouldn't expect 4-star luxury but you will be well rewarded by experiencing the atmosphere and authenticity of this unique place.
Visit www.talbothouse.be for more details.