Do you recognise this building? Appeal from son to trace guesthouse where parents spent honeymoon in 1939

PUBLISHED: 10:15 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:36 28 February 2020

Mr Forrester's father took this photo of the honeymoon guest house in 1939. Picture: Lawrence Forrester

Mr Forrester's father took this photo of the honeymoon guest house in 1939. Picture: Lawrence Forrester

Lawrence Forrester

A man whose parents spent their honeymoon in Ottery St Mary in 1939, just weeks before World War Two began, is on a quest to trace the guest house where they stayed.

The honeymoon accommodation of Mr Forrester's parents, 1939. Picture: Lawrence ForresterThe honeymoon accommodation of Mr Forrester's parents, 1939. Picture: Lawrence Forrester

Lawrence Forrester contacted the Herald after trying unsuccessfully to find the building himself, driving around Ottery armed with photos his father took during the honeymoon.

He believes the accommodation was in a farmhouse, but has no idea where it was.

He is now hoping someone will see the photos and recognise the building.

Mr Forrester, who lives in Dorchester, said his parents had met and got married in Kent. They travelled to Devon by train and bus after their wedding in August 1939, and used the guest house as a base for exploring the area.

"To the best of my knowledge, neither had left Kent before and the journey through the West Country must have been fascinating for both of them," he said.

"From their guest house they went off on day trips to, among other places, Glastonbury Abbey, Sidmouth and Exmouth where my mother, who couldn't swim, watched my father slip farther and farther from land in his leisurely side-stroke.

"Unsurprisingly, I suppose, they were very happy; happy with each other and delighted by their surroundings. I imagine the days passed all too quickly; just seven days, then back to Kent and harsh reality."

The reality became even harsher when war was declared in September. Mr Forrester was born during the wartime years, in 1943, and was an only child.

He grew up in Kent but left in 1964 to attend teacher training college, spent a year teaching in Canada, and then moved to Dorset where he brought up his family.

His parents remained in Kent, where his father died in 1996 aged 85 and his mother two years later, aged 80.

"My parents did visit Devon again, just once in 1954, for a holiday in Exmouth, an arduous journey on our motor-bike and sidecar," he said.

"We went out for day trips and may have visited Ottery again, though my memory of those events of nearly 70 years ago is a little vague.

"If anyone can identify the house, I shall certainly want to visit it and walk along the lanes they used on their honeymoon."

Do you recognise the house? If so, please contact Philippa Davies, philippa.davies@archant.co.uk, tel 01392 888 508, and I will pass on your details to Mr Forrester.


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