Monday, 14 October 2013

A bit of history at Woodhall Spa

We learnt on Saturday that  the only question relating to the wedding reception wasn't
'Where shall we have the reception?' But 'when can the Petworth fit us in?' As Jay's parents, her sister and several others from their extended family have all celebrated their weddings there. A family tradition.

The Petworth is a hotel with an interesting history, Built for the daughter of the Maple furniture company it served as a military convalescent home during the First World War But,  the Petwood’s most notable appearance in wartime history is as the Officers Mess for the 617 Squadron. Requisitioned by the RAF in 1942, originally Officers of 97 and 619 Squadrons were based at the Petwood. When it was decided that the 617 ‘Dambusters Squadron’ should be made into a special duties squadron which would work in isolation and secrecy, Woodhall airfield was selected as the operational base. So 619 Squadron was moved out of the Petwood and 617 Squadron was moved in. The Squadron Bar reflects the period and has a wealth of memorabilia. It is still a popular venue for RAF reunions.

The grounds are extensive. Sadly, the weather didn't allow for much wandering but we were really fortunate to come across a memorial fountain, dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales, with the following inscription:

Time is too slow for those who wait
Too swift for those who fear
Too long for those that grieve
Too short for those who rejoice
But for those who love
Time is eternal