Hollesley: Hotel owner and caterer to the stars is remembered

Barry Rey, who has died aged 70

Barry Rey, who has died aged 70 - Credit: Archant

A former hotelier, who turned an Elizabethan Suffolk manor into a thriving country club, has died at 70.

Barry Rey bought Woodhall Manor in the 1980s. He transformed the Grade II listed estate - parts of which date back to medieval times - into Wood Hall Hotel & Country Club, adding a nightclub, squash courts and functions rooms. The manor is now a popular wedding and function venue.

Born in south London in 1943, Mr Rey’s first career was as an officer cadet in the Merchant Navy. After which, he spent time in the Australian outback in the oil surveying industry. He went on to pursue several ventures, including a printing company, before buying Woodhall Manor and eventually settling in nearby Hollesley with his family.

During his time at the hotel, Mr Rey began what became one of the largest film and television location catering companies in Europe, Woodhall Catering Ltd, supplying many renowned television shows including The Bill, Eastenders and Lovejoy, and films such as Pride and Prejudice, The Englishman Who Walked Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain and Harry Potter.

Among his many other achievements, Mr Rey co-produced a video entitled Journey to Lourdes, which was granted a reception hosted by Cardinal Basil Hume at Westminster upon its release.

He will be remembered as a kind and generous host, a loving friend, husband, brother, father and grandfather.

Mr Rey died suddenly but peacefully on November 25, after suffering a heart attack. A funeral service will be held at Seven Hills Crematorium, Nacton, on Wednesday, December 11, at 1.30pm.