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keithfazzani

Delville Wood Tea Rooms Open

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keithfazzani

After a gap of nine years (can it really be that long?) Delville Wood Tea Rooms are once again open. At the moment there is tea, coffee, soft drinks etc available. Michelle is hoping to extend the range. Obviously its survival like everything depends on the usage it gets.  If you do pop in you are sure to receive a warm welcome from Michelle. Incidentally when we there last week the temperature was certainly warm 32C and predicted to be 38C during the coming week. 

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KIRKY

What are the opening dates?

Tony

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keithfazzani

Not sure, but I certainly got the impression that they intend to open during the summer months. The web site says 11-13 and 14-17 

 

http://www.delvillewood.com/boutique.htm

 

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tootrock

Do they have toilets?

Martin

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AOK4
1 minute ago, tootrock said:

Do they have toilets?

Martin

 

There's toilets in the South African Memorial anyway.

 

Jan

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KIRKY
Posted (edited)

On the website :

Schedules

From early February to early April/mid-October to late November : 10h00-16h00

From early April to mid-October : 10h00-17h30

Edited by KIRKY

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Ken Lees

Only the females' toilets were open yesterday. The males' were locked and out of service. 

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Michael Thomson

It's good to hear this...the visitors' centre buildings in the carpark area have always been locked up and deserted each time I've visited...and the toilets were only open on one occasion. 

 

I guess the tearoom is in the building in the carpark? 

 

 

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Michael Thomson
On 26/06/2019 at 09:28, Ken Lees said:

Only the females' toilets were open yesterday. The males' were locked and out of service. 

 

 

 This is how I've found them on previous occasions too... 

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Ken Lees
8 hours ago, Michael Thomson said:

 

I guess the tearoom is in the building in the carpark? 

 

 

 

Yes

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chaz
On 26/06/2019 at 08:28, Ken Lees said:

Only the females' toilets were open yesterday. The males' were locked and out of service. 

not usually a problem for men we have passed parked in layby's

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Michael Thomson

Delville Wood is one of the most impressive memorials on the Somme (built by the 'old' South African government which was very fond of all things military, despite its faults) but as a South African, It saddens me that the facilities are now in a somewhat rundown state. The post- 1995 South African government doesn't really put much emphasis on the country's 'European' history except where identity politics can be brought up and sadly this shows in the lack of interest in the upkeep of the facilities at Delville Wood.  

 

It strikes me that the way the Canadians at Newfoundland Memorial Park have gone about placing young Canadians there as guides would be a wonderful way of fostering some interest in South Africa's history amongst young people of very varied South African backgrounds if a similar thing were to be done by the South African government at Delville Wood...but first they need working toilets. 

 

 

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AOK4

There are working toilets, inside the memorial (which is also a museum).

 

Jan

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keithfazzani

I would agree with the last comment. On an occasion when the gents was out of action I simply asked the chap inside the museum and he directed me to what I assume is the staff facility. Incidentally if you haven't visited the memorial/museum it is a must see.

 

It is one of those places amongst many, not least the new  Monash Centre, which leaves me in despair at the lack of British Commemoration and Museum. 

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Michael Thomson
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, keithfazzani said:

Incidentally if you haven't visited the memorial/museum it is a must see.

 

I absolutely agree. Both the museum and the Wood itself are a must-see. 

Edited by Michael Thomson

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Marilyne

Another reason to stop by!! 

Need to convince the Boyfriend!! 

 

m.

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Ken Lees
On 27/06/2019 at 23:01, Michael Thomson said:

Delville Wood is one of the most impressive memorials on the Somme (built by the 'old' South African government which was very fond of all things military, despite its faults) but as a South African, It saddens me that the facilities are now in a somewhat rundown state. The post- 1995 South African government doesn't really put much emphasis on the country's 'European' history except where identity politics can be brought up and sadly this shows in the lack of interest in the upkeep of the facilities at Delville Wood.  

 

It strikes me that the way the Canadians at Newfoundland Memorial Park have gone about placing young Canadians there as guides would be a wonderful way of fostering some interest in South Africa's history amongst young people of very varied South African backgrounds if a similar thing were to be done by the South African government at Delville Wood...but first they need working toilets. 

 

 

 

That sounds like a rather political viewpoint, Michael.

 

Are you aware that there were South African interns at Delville Wood last year?

 

Are you aware that the current South African regime has made significant investment to show a much more balanced explanantion of the involvement of South Africa and its people in the Great War?

 

And did you know that the South African government is supporting the new venture in the cafe? The facilities are no more run down now than they were under the previous regime.

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Michael Thomson
Posted (edited)

Ken, I was unaware there were South African interns there...there haven't been any on the last five visits I've made there.

 

I am well aware that the displays inside the memorial/museum have been used to honour and memorialise indigenous African troops and workers from disaters such as the S.S. Mendi, but it really does feel like not much is said about the events that took place in and around Delville Wood itself. 

 

Lastly, I was not aware that the South African government was supporting the tea room venture, beyond obviously allowing a tearoom to operate on the premises. Can you elaborate on the supporting role they are playing? 

 

Edited by Michael Thomson

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keithmroberts

Can we please move on and avoid the recent history of South Africa. 

I look forward to visiting the tea rooms again on my next visit to the Somme.

 

Keith Roberts

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mills-bomb

Walked a full circuit of the wood a couple of years back. Two things struck me;

1) How utterly serene, yet haunting, almost oppressive the atmosphere was.

2) I did not see a single other human being more than 50 yards from the museum complex.

 

I wonder what percentage of people who visit the site venture beyond the ‘only surviving tree’.

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Michael Thomson

Mills-bomb, you are absolutely right...it is exactly as you describe, serene (and so very green and beautiful) yet with a very eery feeling at the same time.

 

History is still visible on the surface in the form of craters and trenchlines but just faded away enough to be starting to blend with the natural landscape. I've never walked the entire perimeter but I have walked deep beyond the 'last tree' and also far into the Wood to the left and right of the central clearing. Utterly beautiful but chilling too. 

 

There are deer in the Wood too which one sometimes sees. 

 

On one occasion, quite bizarrely, we could swear we smelled the strong smell of cordite while walking. It came and went very quickly. 

 

Delville Wood is truely a remarkable place.

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