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cafe and toilets at Delville wood. Guillemont.


20th Division
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Got back from a trip ( mid August) and pleased to report that the Toilets are OPEN at the S.A.Monument at Delville wood---but the Café remains shut. I believe the museum here was open too---but cannot confirm as the call of nature was our priority! Don't know whether the toilets will remain open outside of "the season". David.

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I was there last month and the toilets were open but the information centre remains closed.

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Visiting the Somme on my own this time last year a map showing the location of loos (not the battle) would have been convenient. Plenty of maps showing trenches, cemeteries etc but no loo guides.

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They were shut this time last year too. It seems that once the schools go back - that's it - season's over.

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Never known the cafe / information centre to be open in the 4 - 5 years I've been taking school trips around the area. However on every occasion we visit, (late April), the South African memorial has been open, even to the amazement of our students when no staff appear to be present. Can't imagine this happening in the UK. Saw lots of deer in the woods on the visit this year.

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i was there yesterday,the café AND the toilets were shut.sorry state of affairs really.

I think that back in the days when Janet and Tom Fairgrieve were in charge, and the cafe and toilets were regularly open, Monday was their day off. If the current warden follows this tradition, this might explain your finding them closed yesterday, jacktar. Toilets only, that is. Like other Pals, I haven't seen the cafe/visitor centre open for a long time.

Tom

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I had occasion to complain about the loos not being open on a day other than Monday. I established that they are closed on National Holidays. I then established that the National Holidays refer to French and South African holidays. On pointing out that many of their likely visitors would not be familiar with these they agreed they would put details on their web page. I trust this still continues, I must admit I haven't checked recently.

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I think that back in the days when Janet and Tom Fairgrieve were in charge,...

Since those days the focus of remembrance at Delville Wood seems to have shifted somewhat. The SS Mendi incident has taken on great importance. (I'm not decrying anything, but politics has taken a grip here).

The chances of the café / shop ever reopening seem remote.

Tom

edit - sorry - nb, Delville Wood is at Longueval, not Guillemont.

Edited by Tom Tulloch-Marshall
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  • 2 weeks later...

What a strange situation.

Delville wood is such an important monument--especially during the run-up to the centenary! In addition to the fact that the toilets AND the café are shut outside "The Season"--- the Café (s) in Longueville are not open either( in our experience).

I often wonder why, in the land of "Haute Cuisine",----- WHY OH WHY are all the eating places on The Somme---"closed for lunch"?????

Thank goodness for the old fashioned British invention of " sandwiches"!!---Suggest any visitors take these "iron rations" on their travels around The Somme Battlefields. David.

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The last time I remember the cafe and toilets being open was in the year following the leaving of Tom & Janet. it was a regular stop for us during Tom & Janets time there, a coffee and a chat, they were the days

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  • 3 weeks later...

Indeed they were the days.

With the centenary approaching, surely there will be more not less tourists wishing to visit his historical site? David

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Politics enters into everything sadly and is the reason why the enlarged museum is there in the first place. This was built and enlarged by the Apartheid White South African government in the 60,s I believe expanding the site of the original memorial. At a time when they were becoming increasingly isolated it represented an attempt to remind a former Ally, France of a debt owed, for obvious political purposes rather than a sincere memorial to the brave men of the S African brigade.

With the present government, maintaining and staffing a monument,principally to what they would regard as an oppressive colonial or Imperial government is not much of a priority,

I would not expect the situation there to improve. SG

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Ho------World don't change much eh?

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