During World War I, Poperinge was part of a small piece of unoccupied territory in Belgium. Far away from the turmoil of the Ypres’ front, the city became the nervous system of the British war industry.In the centre of this busy city, chaplains Neville Talbot and Philip "Tubby" Clayton opened a club house on December 1915 where no distinction in rank or status was made. For three years all soldiers could enjoy rare moments of peace and entertainment at Talbot House. Like during the old days, the House still represents a peaceful stop along the course of the "Great War" in Flanders Fields.
A vibrant museum
A visit to Talbot House usually starts at the old hop barn of the house which was converted into a concert hall during the War. Our permanent exhibition on the ground floor on life behind the lines should fulfil your expectations of a routine museum visit. The exhibition is a collage of the experiences of different characters that lived near or in Poperinge during the War. The exhibition will teach you why this city was called "Little Paris" by many soldiers, it will also give you an account of life in the military camps and how the men kept their morale high. On the first floor of the concert hall you can discover how soldiers experienced a concert party during the war. Now playing: the "Happy Hoppers".
Exiting the concert hall brings you to the neatly maintained garden of Talbot House, through which you can access the Old House itself. Here you can learn something about the military past of the house or simply have a chat with one of the British wardens. The house is still used on a daily basis. You can play the piano in the old canteen, relax with a cup of tea or even spend the night in one of the guest rooms. This is what Talbot House is famous for: It’s not a regular museum, it’s still the same "Every Man’s Club" it was a century ago.