Latest News

As passionate hosts and historians, we’ll be writing regular articles about the past, present and future events at No.fifty6 and the Somme.

If you would like to know our latest news, as well as our insights into WW1, make sure you bookmark this page or sign up to our newsletter.

Nature, Lockdown Easements, Staying Safe, Ongoing Remembrance - May at No.fifty

Posted on 31st May 2020 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

Nature, Lockdown Easements, Staying Safe, Ongoing Remembrance  - May at No.fifty After 60+ days of full, strict lockdown, there was a slight easing of lockdown here from 11th May. Since then we have been able to go out within 100km radius of our home, while maintaining social distancing. So this has meant we have been able to do what we love to do – going out and exploring the wonderful Somme, visiting cemeteries and memorials, being mesmerized by nature and paying respects to the fallen. That first day we took a simple picnic and went to a favourite spot of ours, up on the bank behind the red dragon at Mametz. Just us, nature and the boys who remain there. It was chilly with a bracing wind, but there was something life affirming about it. We walked across the valley to the outskirts of the wood and watched the wind create rhythmic waves in the barley growing in Death Valley. That was the start of several journeys out for us. Not a problem social distancing, just us and those who lie in these green fields of France.

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Staying Safe and Well in Extraordinary Times - April at No.fifty6

Posted on 30th April 2020 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

Staying Safe and Well in Extraordinary Times  - April at No.fifty6 As we write this it is Day 44 of total lockdown here in France. Again, it is not the newsletter content we thought we would be writing this month, but we are aware that in many ways we are living history at the moment. These unprecedented times will be looked back on, evaluated, studied, commented on, argued over, for many years to come. We are fit and well and following government advice and hope, wherever you are, you are too.

Of course we have been closed. Those booked for May have trickled through their cancellations. Some for even later in the year, it is a rolling programme. There is nothing to be done, and we know our loyal guests and friends will be back to The Somme and No.fifty6 just as soon as circumstances and procedures and lifted restrictions make it safe to do so. We will weather the storm. Health is the most important thing.

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March News from No.fifty6. Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Measures

Posted on 31st March 2020 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

March News from No.fifty6. Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Measures Well who would have thought that in the space of a month since we wrote the last newsletter, we find ourselves in the middle of unprecedented times for our generation with the pandemic of Covid 19. So, like over half the world's population, we are in lockdown and this is not the newsletter content we thought we would be writing this month. We are fit and well and following government advice and hope, wherever you are, you are too.

In early March we had 2 guests, Paul and Jane from Rutland and just as they left, Europe started to shut down and we have had no guests since. Those booked for March, April and May have trickled through their cancellations. Some for even later in the year, it is a rolling programme. There is nothing to be done, and we know our loyal guests and friends will be back to The Somme and No.fifty6 just as soon as circumstances and procedures and lifted restrictions make it safe to do so. We will weather the storm.

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The Dawn of a New Decade at no.fifty6 - January 2020 News

Posted on 31st January 2020 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

The Dawn of a New Decade at no.fifty6 - January 2020 News No sooner were we celebrating New Year than January is over. There is something lovely about January here – yes, it is cold but the landscape is stripped back, you can see for miles and there is a winter beauty. The weather has been chilly, damp and grey – no snow unlike last January and hardly any frosts. It brings to mind Ivor Gurney’s Poem “On Somme”:

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Happy New Year from No.fifty6 as we head into 2020

Posted on 31st December 2019 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

Happy New Year from No.fifty6 as we head into 2020 As the dawn of a New Year and new decade breaks, we would like to thank everyone who sent us cards and festive messages and we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We spent a few days over Christmas in England with family and we are now back on The Somme ready to make plans for 2020. Julie is currently at Corbie, Monday to Friday for another 3 weeks of cardio readaptation. They are working her hard - it is almost like a boot camp! She will end January fitter than she has ever been! Her recovery from surgery has been amazing and she is back to her old self – giving David instructions and generally being Queen of No.fifty6.
2020 we hope promises good things. Julie’s operation is behind us, we know we have lovely people booked in to stay with us throughout the year as they make their own pilgrimages to this special place, and as you know there is always something going on here…

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