AN ENGLISH tourist staying in the family-run Gougane Barra hotel was more than surprised to find his father’s signature in the hotel’s guestbook 69 years and one month after his parents stayed there on their honeymoon.
Owner of Gougane Barra Hotel, Neil Lucey, told The Southern Star that James Colquhoun was staying with them for two nights with his wife during the Masters of Tradition concerts in Bantry.
‘James knew his parents stayed at our hotel on their honeymoon for a week after they got married on July 26th 1949, which was run by my grandparents Connie and Joan Cronin at the time,’ said Neil.
‘James himself had never been here before and when he told us about his parents honeymooning here we pulled out our old guest books. While we were unable to spot his father’s signature, James managed to find it. The name written down is Captain Colquhoun and it seems he was a captain in the Royal Navy and commanded the Northern Fleet towards the end of World War II.’
Neil said that James was more than delighted to have found his father’s signature.
‘He took phots of it and said he would be back again with his wife and it was a lovely touch and it added to their holiday experience for sure.’ Meanwhile, the hotel had a rare distinction of having four sets of siblings working there over the busy summer season.
‘It’s unusual alright to have four sets of siblings working here, but as we are a family hotel it adds to the charm of the place and they all enjoyed the season here,’ added Neil.
The four sets of siblings included Neil’s own daughters Ali and Jane, as well as French brothers Rémi and Julien Manois, Bertie Blackwell and Megan Francis and Sorcha and Barra O’Sullivan. ‘We look forward to seeing them again during the busier weekends throughout the year and next summer again,’ said Neil.