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Daphne du Maurier

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News from Platres February 2024

Platres is the secluded village in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, where Daphne du Maurier, her husband, then Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Browning (often known as Tommy or Boy), their small daughter Tessa and their Nanny, Margaret Eglesfield, stayed for a month-long break at the Forest Park Hotel, in 1936.  This was during the time they were based in Egypt when Tommy was Commanding Officer of the second battalion of the Grenadier Guards at the army headquarters in Alexandria.  The primary references about this time are documented by Margaret Forster in her biography about Daphne du Maurier, simply called Daphne du Maurier, and by Richard Mead, in his biography about General Browning, called General Boy: The Life of Lieutenant General, Sir Frederick Browning.

Our first news came in the form of an email from Keith, who lives in Fife, Scotland and is one of our Daphne du Maurier website followers.  He had visited Platres very recently and taken a photograph of the local tourist board's information board celebrating Daphne du Maurier's stay in Platres.  He sent us the image so that we could share it with you.  He said that he suspected the information on the board was not entirely accurate.  For example, the date 1938 to the right of the board should have read 1937.  However, Keith thought it was great that the board was there as his Lonely Planet Guide had made no reference to the du Maurier connection.


DduM tourist information board, Platres

Platres tourist information board about Daphne du Maurier


He passed the Forest Park Hotel on his way through the village heading for Troodos Square but, unfortunately, did not find it easy to stop to take a photograph.


Forest Park Hotel, Platres

A poster advertising the Forest Park Hotel


Keith described Platres as very much a colonial Hill Station in the mould of India's Shimla (or Simla, as it was called by the British during the days of the Raj).  He got the impression that a lot of money was being spent on some of the older colonial-style buildings, and he sent two photographs of typical buildings in Platres.  Apparently, at the moment, you are never far from the sound of power tools!  Having said that, Keith said Cyprus is ideal for a winter break in the sun, and a stay in Platres, maybe even at the Forest Park Hotel, would be wonderful.  The air was cool and wonderfully fresh with all the surrounding trees and an altitude of around 5,000 feet above sea level.


Image of a typical building in Platres 1

A typical building in Platres


Image of a typical building in Platres 2

Another typical building in Platres


Following his visit to Platres and Keith's surprise discovery that Daphne du Maurier had stayed there, he found the various pieces about the area on our website very informative.

The second piece of news came in the form of a newspaper article, the headline of which was Platres' historical tapestry unfurls with new Open Museum, published in KNEWS, the English edition of Kathimerini Cyprus.  This article anticipates the near completion of the Open Museum, which will showcase Platres' rich heritage and is sure to attract tourists to the area.  

In an interview with the Mayor of Platres, Panagiotis Papadopoulos explained the various areas of the Museum, highlighting personalities and moments from Platres' history, including poet George Seferis, Royalty, including Queen Victoria, who chose Platres as the centre of administration for Troodos.  This intervention established the infrastructure that attracted investment and highlighted Platres as a unique Mediterranean resort.  King Farouk of Egypt was the first investor from Egypt.  There is, of course, also an area dedicated to Daphne du Maurier.  Also included in the exhibition space is the starting point for a historical walk through Platres, a cafeteria, a children's playground and a space for holding community events.   
To read the full article, please click here: https://knews.kathimerini.com.cy/en/news/platres-historical-tapestry-unfurls-with-new-open-museum

Links to our previous articles about Daphne du Maurier and Platres:

1).  A short account of Daphne du Maurier's life and works 1907-1989: An introduction to Daphne du Maurier, prepared for the Cultural Centre, Platres, Cyprus, written by Ann Willmore, and now shared with all of you on the Daphne du Maurier website.  https://www.dumaurier.org/menu_page.php?id=156


2).  Last night I dreamt I went to Platres again, by Helen Barrett.  https://www.dumaurier.org/menu_page.php?id=187

3).  Finding Daphne A companion article to Last Night I dreamt I went to Platres again, by Helen Barrett. https://www.dumaurier.org/menu_page.php?id=193


4). Platres: A Royal Resort by Lyudmila Budanova https://www.dumaurier.org/menu_page.php?id=189



February 2024.



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