The sun shone on Dutch Day

6th June 2011

A smile from the Dutch VIPs with Dame Vera and her daughter Virginia.
Care South Chef Alex Every (Buxton House) with Dame Vera.
Susan Willoughby, Care South Chief Executive, admires a print from the Dutch Airforce.


The sun shone on Sussexdown for this year’s Dutch Day celebrations and the residents and visitors who enjoyed the flying display followed by lunch on the terraces and in the gardens.

Dame Vera Lynn was among the guests who thrilled to the sight and sound of the Spitfire Mk XI which flew low over the grounds. The air display also included an RAF helicopter, a Harvard, and an exciting aerobatic show, followed by the traditional cheese drop by the Dutch display team the Edambusters.

Susan Willoughby, Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to host this historic event at Sussexdown once again. Dutch Day is a wonderful occasion which is greatly enjoyed by all who are involved.”

In thanking the staff of Care South, including the team of chefs who had been working for two days to prepare the lunch, Susan also paid tribute to Malcolm Mason who has run the cheese drop since 1984 with the support of the RAFA Amsterdam branch, and to Don Bean MBE of Shoreham Airshow who has for many years organised the aircraft displays.

Sussexdown’s traditional Dutch Day celebrates Operation Manna, the wartime drop of food over north west Holland by the RAF. Forty years ago the Amsterdam Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) decided to support Sussexdown, then a RAFA home, to celebrate Operation Manna as a way to say thank you for the effort they played in saving the people from starvation 66 years ago.

After lunch Dame Vera and her daughter Virginia were shown the newly completed development of close care apartments at Strome Park adjoining Sussexdown.