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 day hospital, 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. Julie also had a pleasurable encounter with 2 local pompiers (firefighters) as they came to sell their charity calendar for 2020...

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…

Treve De Noel/Christmas Truce Service Pozieres

On a damp, chilly 15th December we attended the Christmas Truce service in Pozieres church. This annual event really heralds the start of Christmas festivities for us. Poems are read, the choir sings in 3 languages – French, English and German and it is a time to reflect on the year and how important striving for peace is. 

We live streamed the evening via Facebook so that this special event could be shared with a wider audience. 


Christmas Trees in the Streets of La Boisselle.

Again, this year,  Christian Bernard, our Mayor, offered everyone in the village a real Christmas tree, as long as it was on the roadside and was decorated so that the village was illuminated for Christmas. Many families took part – including us - and they did look pretty. The Mayor took photos of them all and will declare the best-dressed trees at the Wishes of the Mayor Event in January. 

We also have new neighbours, Cedric and Chantal who are ambulance personnel, have moved in to the vacant house next door. It is good to see activity in the house again. We met when Cedric knocked on the door in his working capacity to take Julie to Corbie  - an ambulance/taxi is provided both there and back each day.


We have learned that Thiepval Memorial will be undergoing extensive renovation work from March 2020 through to 2021. During this time some areas of the monument will be inaccessible and there will be a new digital exhibition on site. Further details can be found on the CWGC website through the link here:


Practical Matters 

Our room tariffs for 2020 are on our website. Providing value for money is important to us but we have to cover all the bills too. We are pleased to say we have held our room rates going into 2020.   A single occupancy room is €65 per night and a twin/double room is €98 per night. Our rates include breakfast (with those super fresh hens' eggs). Our dinner rate continues to be €27 per person for 4 courses, locally sourced,  and drinks with your meal. 

The local Tourist Tax which must be accounted separately is 40 cents per adult per night and will appear separately as an addition to your bill. The tax which is imposed by Le Pays Du Coquelicot aids tourism in the area. 

Also a reminder that we do take payment by card (visa/mastercard) as well as Euros cash. We are thoroughly modern here you know! 

Our 2019 accounts will be winging their way to the accountant this month. We love paperwork and dossiers in France!

We have new fluffy, absorbant towels and face cloths made from Egyptian cotton in all rooms.

Bookings are looking healthy for 2020. We are taking bookings for the whole year, so if you have dates in mind when you want to come and stay do get in touch with us so we can pop your preferred dates in the diary - no deposit required.

Animal Postscript

While we were away for a few days at Christmas our lovely neighbours Chantal and Jean looked after the hens and Shere the tabby cat. Michel, the Chicken Man, delivered more food for the hens this weekend along with Christmas cheer in his inimitable style. All is well.

Happy New Year

All that is left is for us to wish all our wonderful friends, guests and the specil No.fifty6 community past and future, a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year. We look forward to connecting with old friends and new in 2020. 


Comments (35)

Bob Bournewishing says:

Wishing you both, Happy New,Year. Good to hear Julie is well on the mend. Look forward to seeing you both on our next trip in May.

Andrew bond says:

Hi Julie thank you very much for the email yesterday sorry to here that you have been off sentry duty for a while but it sounds like your on the mend now that’s great once again thank you and all the best to you both for the new year

ian lauder says:

Hello to you both.....I visited you in September 2018 and left you a copy of my booklet 'The Men of The Baltic Exchange Roll of Honour'.

Sorry not to have visited the Somme in 2019 and sorry to hear about Julia's Op. I've not been to the Western Front in a while as dealing with my wifes 'many' health issues.

Best wishes for 2020

Ian lauder

Nick Ward says:

A happy New Year to you.

Chris Prince says:

Happy New to you both, and wish you the very best for 2020. Pleased to hear Julia is doing so well that is great what they are doing for Julie. Congratulations on your win with the Christmas Tree Decoration, would have been great to see them all. Glad all is well with your animal family. Take care and looking forward to reading your stories for 2020. Best Wishes Chris & Bill xx

Jon Hill says:

So good to keep up to date with what is happening, despite not having visited for some time.
Best wishes for 2020

Ross Beadle says:

I really enjoyed reading this: in my mind I was on the Somme. Looking forward to April and it sounds like I need to book for Autumn as well. Glad to hear Julie is on the mend. Happy New Year to you both

Bev and Ross McGuinness says:

Wishing you both all the very best for the New Year and sorry to hear you have not been well Julie. xxx

Les Mepham says:

Glad to hear things are going so well. Wishing you all the best from Canada!

Frank Sumsion says:

I look forward to your monthly reports with fond memories, Happy NewYear to you both, I hope Julies treatment will be successful and she will be fit and well for the year ahead, looking forward to being at 56 again in June Best Wishes Frank

John Ellis for the Devon Boys. says:

Happy new year to both of you. Glad to heard that Julie is making good progress and climbing back into the driving seat!
We hope to make another trip in late June and will contact you once a date is finalised

Neil Mackenzie says:

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2020 and especially for Julie on her recovery.

Alan says:

Wishing you a happy 2020. Pleased Julie is getting better. The house next door was clearly not supposed to be mine, shame. There'll be others!

Tim and Deb says:

Lovely to hear all is going well for you both. Have a great 2020. See you in March.... For the first visit of 2020

Sandra, Derek & David says:

Sp pleased you are continuing to make such good progress, Julie. Keep it up! We wish both you and David a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2020 and hopefully will see you again sometime this year.

Alison James says:

Happy New Year to both of you . We’re pleased that Julie is well on the road to recovery .Take Care both of you . X

Roy & Cathy Curtis says:

Happy New Year... may the year ahead be full of sunshine, good health & happiness!

Roger and Elaine says:

Happy New Year to you both. Very happy to hear Julie is on the mend. We are looking forward to seeing you again in May.

Hazel and Hedley Basford says:

Thanks for all the good news. We will be deciding soon on our caravanning dates for this year. We may bring the van over in April. We will call by to say hello. Love and best wishes for a happy healthy 2020.

Gary James says:

Happy New Year to both of you. Glad to hear that Julie is on the mend. Hope to see you soon.

Michael says:

Happy, Peaceful and Healthful New Year Julie and David.
Look forward to seeing you in July

Rick says:

Lovely to hear all is well. Look forward to seeing you in 2020 both personally and (hopefully) professionally!! Xx

Karsten Lund says:

Happy new year to you both and thank you for the good news.
We will see eachother again in 2020

Jane Roberts says:

Pleased to hear Julie is progressing well. Wishing you all the best for 2020.
Jane & Chris

Janet &Peter Hetherington says:

Happy New Year to you both. So glad to hear Julie is recovering well. Pete had a similar op 8years ago and has never felt better!
We are hoping to visit in 2021 when the renovations to Thiepval are completed as we have found another uncle, who we didn’t know about, is commemorated there.

Malcolm and Heather says:

It's good to hear all the news and to hear that Julie continues to receive excellent treatment. We wish you both health and happiness as this new year dawns. Take good care of yourselves.

Gordon & Joana (and Mary) says:

Had a bit of a ‘lie in’ ... good to hear the news, as always, and really pleased to read Julie continues to make good progress - now get out there, gal, and slay ‘em ... XX

Tony Clatworthy says:

Glad to hear Julie's is doing so well. Wishing you a super 2020.

Rob and Elaine says:

So pleased to hear Julie’s doing so well. Keep strong. Looking forward to seeing you in May. X

Melanie and Michael Yip says:

Wishing you a happy healthy 2020. One day we will return to stay again as our visit last year was wonderful

Ashley Atkinson says:

Great to read that Julie is doing so well
Hope to visit soon
Very best wishes for NY

Mike & Marg Tull says:

G'Day to you both from down under, best wishes for the festive season
Glad to hear your back and giving orders Julie
Hope you have a bumper year and we look forward to seeing you in the near future
Cheers 4 now
Mike & Marg Tull (Australia)

Andy Kellett says:

Happy new year to you both. Delighted to hear of Julie's continued recovery.

We have Chris and Angela staying with us to see in the new year in beautiful South Wales! We are plotting our 2020 WW1 trips so hope to be in contact with you soon regarding dates.

sally and chris says:

Happy New Year to both you lovely people. Glad to know the Queen is back on the throne of 56! No more lazing around now David!!!! x

David Ellis says:

It’s a real treat getting these monthly updates from Number56! Glad Julie is recovering well and I am SO looking forward to returning to your wonderful hospitality! See you in June!

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