The Rock House Hotel & The Huts - a Memory of Thurlestone.

My memory of the Rock House Hotel is very particular and rooted in the period 1973-1980
My stepfather's family owned the White House across the paddock field from the Rock House Hotel. The gate from The Huts & Boat Shed nearest the road to the beach opened almost directly onto the side entrance to the hotel, then run by the terribly tall and rather Fawlty like Trevor.
As a teenage boy 'camping' in the Huts, the RHH was a magnet and a beacon. Populated as it was by exotic young women from all parts of the UK and abroad who went there to work the season as effectively chalet girls of sorts - the beautiful Kate from London, and Marita from the Antipodes are two that spring to mind.
Rob, the handy man, or Lad, with his Morris Minor who used to travel down from Banbury and work the season as well was a firm favourite of ours in the drinks department.
Also the Sweet Folk All evenings of music [the band] and underage drinking [my brother and I!]
It was a golden time; as all formative ones and the indelible memories they create always are.
One such memory: Sitting on the edge of the beach listening to Judy Tzuke's 'Stay with me till Dawn' booming out of the 'disco' night in the hotel having seen one girl I rather liked talking intently to someone else.
Oh the tortured pain of unrequited love.
I still visit Thurlestone most every other year though I have not been for some three years now.
In many ways it has changed but in some ways it is still locked in time. Which I adore.
In fact this picture has ignited a need for the byways and the lanes that cut across and up to the Sloop are calling me.


A memory shared by julian_borra on Apr 19th, 2019. Send julian_borra a message

 Comments & Feedback

Fri Oct 2nd 2020, at 4:52 pm
Doreen Eardley commented:
In 1970 when Phoebe and Trevor Illingworth bought Rock House Hotel Myself Doreen and my friend Pauline were the first chambermaids/waitresses to work there I have so many happy memories of that time just recently have visited the area again
Fri Oct 2nd 2020, at 4:44 pm
Doreen Eardley commented:
In1970 when Trevor and Phoebe Illingworth first moved into Rock House Hotel Myself Doreen and my friend Pauline were the first chambermaids/ waitress to work for them I have very happy memories of them times.This year I am visiting the area again
Tue Apr 28th 2020, at 3:22 pm
katiehibbert commented:
Oh my! This place holds such a special place in my family's heart. Spent many a holiday at Rock House with my parents in the 70's....David & Hazel Scott. So many memories of the hotel and I can remember Trevor building the swimming pool whilst I ran around with Matthew, Phoebe's son. Happy days!!!
Thu Aug 8th 2019, at 4:44 pm
mjhnz commented:
Hi Julian, I felt compelled to add to Phoebe’s message that she linked me to, having just spent a super time visiting Phoebe and her family in the Peak District! How wonderful to read your poignant missive and to be taken back again to those memorable Summer-times at the Rock House Hotel in the beautiful South Hams .. the cliff-top walks, pressed flowers, sun-bathing on the beach, the discos, fun hotel work and company .. and yes, a sweet and thrilling setting for romance! Aroha ki te Ora, Merita
Fri Aug 2nd 2019, at 3:28 pm
tillingworth commented:
I am Phoebe Illingworth, widow of Trevor, and we owned the Rock House Hotel from 1970 until 1985. The Adams family owned the Huts. You may remember our sons - John, Philip,Christopher and Matthew. Merita came to see me at our current hotel in Derbyshire only last month! The RHH has now been demolished and apartments built in it’s place. Amazing place.

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