Stoke by Nayland: Hotel, golf and spa centre launches holiday lodges

SEVEN former Land Army girls have returned to the site of a hostel where they lived and worked during the 1940s, and which has now been redeveloped with luxury holiday lodges.

They were guests of honour at the launch of the new holiday lodges that have been built on the derelict site at Stoke by Nayland. It was once home to 70 land girls, and to honour its history, a former water tower has also been restored and is now a museum serving as a permanent tribute to the Women’s Land Army.

Fittingly, the holiday lodges have been designed with a nod to the 1940s, and the launch party featured swing dancers, vintage music and original WWII army vehicles and memorabilia. An ‘all clear’ air-raid siren marked the official opening in true 1940s style.

Guests of honour at the launch were chief executive of Visit England, James Berresford, and the former land girls, including Phyllis Rose. She remained in the area after meeting her husband during her time as a land girl, and has worked on the Peake family farm and at Stoke by Nayland resort since the disbanding of the WLA in 1950.

Phyllis said she was delighted that the former hostel site was being given a new lease of life, without losing sight of its heritage.

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Tamara Unwin, director of the Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, which owns the lodges said: “We’ve received many compliments on the way that we’ve restored the original water tower and housed within it a collection of memorabilia and old photographs of the Land Army girls, in a very conscious effort to celebrate all their hard work.”

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