News from Budock Vean

Remembrance Sunday 2020

On Sunday,  those of us on site at Budock Vean will gather in silence in front of the hotel to pause for the Two Minute Silence.

This year, Remembrance is a tribute to the men and women of the Second World War, and the service made by so many 75 years ago. As we pause to remember and honour the sacrifices made by the many we’ll think of those who passed through Budock Vean when WWII came to our corner of Cornwall and we’ll turn our thoughts to those who continue to serve and sacrifice for our freedoms today.

During the 1940s Budock Vean was a successful hotel, providing a temporary escape for some from the second world war with its isolated country setting. The hotel featured in several articles of The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, receiving praise for its facilities, location, food, and staffing. In his memoires, former owner Harry B. Parkinson recalls how sometimes sailors from the Royal Navy would turn up in large groups whilst they were docked in Falmouth. At this time, the ceiling of the cocktail lounge was decorated with a stuffed monkey – a Christmas gift given to Parkinson – which the sailors took with them as their lucky mascot.

When the US Air Force came to West Cornwall in 1944 the hotel was no longer open for civilians. It became an officer’s mess, catering for uniformed men and women. The main dining room was used as a ballroom and must have offered some light relief from the unimaginable stress of war.  On the 1st June 1944 many of the troops departed from neighbouring Trebah Beach for what must have been an absolutely horrendous five-day sail to Omaha Beach and the D-Day landings. You can see a memorial to these young American soldiers at the bottom of Trebah Gardens.

As we reflect on the sacrifices these young men and women made our thoughts return to today and the stressful world we are currently living in. Please do stay safe, stay home and our thoughts and thanks go to all the front-line workers and those fighting to keep us safe and free.

With huge thanks to Falmouth University and our History MA student for additional research into the history of Budock Vean.