Carbis Bay where G7 summit will be held is the PM's old family home

So THAT’S why Boris Johnson is hosting the G7 summit in a tiny Cornish village! How Carbis Bay is the old family home where ‘Granny Butter’ went into labour with his father Stanley

  • Gathering of world leaders will take place in resort with population of just 4,000
  • This summer’s G7 summit will be held in Cornwall’s tiny resort of Carbis Bay  
  • But it has an association with the PM’s own family stretching back generations 

Boris Johnson’s grandmother – Granny Butter – as a young woman at Carbis Bay, above

When Boris Johnson announced details of this summer’s G7 summit, he admitted his choice of venue was partly inspired by ‘pride in being probably the first half-Cornish Prime Minister’. Yet that, it seems, isn’t the full story.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Cornwall’s tiny resort of Carbis Bay (population: 4,000), where the economic gathering of world leaders is due to take place in June, has an association with the PM’s family stretching back generations.

It was home for decades to his great-grandparents, Lloyd’s underwriter Stanley Williams and his Paris-born wife Marie Louise de Pfeffel, who lived at Trevose View, a detached granite house which stands just 380 yards from the summit’s Carbis Bay Hotel headquarters.

Just over 80 years ago, their married daughter Irene Johnson was staying at the house when she unexpectedly went into labour with the Tory leader’s father.

Irene, whom Boris would come to know as Granny Butter, was rushed to hospital in nearby Penzance and Stanley duly arrived into the world on August 18, 1940.

The photograph on this page shows her as a young woman with a shrimping net at Carbis Bay in about 1922.

For his part, Stanley, who grew up on the Devon-Somerset border, has since written movingly about the ‘long Cornish summers of my childhood’, recalling: ‘Most years we would spend part of the summer in Carbis Bay.

‘My grandparents’ house was called Trevose View because on a clear day you could see distant Trevose Head on the North Cornish coast.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Cornwall’s tiny resort of Carbis Bay (population: 4,000), where the economic gathering of world leaders is due to take place in June, has an association with the PM’s family stretching back generations

‘There was a nursery where my siblings and I stayed and at night as we went to sleep we could hear the sound of the waves on the beach below.

‘We could see gannets, far out to sea, plunging steeply for fish. Sometimes, the sea itself would change colour as the pilchards congregated in their thousands.’

Records show that the Williamses bought Trevose View in the 1920s as a seaside retreat.

They and their four daughters – Irene, Denise, Nicole and Marques – appear to have divided their time between Carbis Bay and a home in Bromley, Kent. But members of the family also travelled widely – including to France and occasionally by steamer as far as Australia and South Africa.

For his part, Stanley, who grew up on the Devon-Somerset border, has since written movingly about the ‘long Cornish summers of my childhood’, recalling: ‘Most years we would spend part of the summer in Carbis Bay’

Documents also reveal that the family employed four servants at the start of the Second World War, making them among the wealthier inhabitants of Carbis Bay.

Their domestic life was, however, shattered in 1944 when, according to Stanley, his grandmother died aged 62 from an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

Stanley Williams lived at Trevose View for another 11 years until he too died, aged 75.

John Bestwick, the current owner of Trevose View, said he was aware of his home’s links to the PM, adding: ‘The house has had an interesting history.

‘It was built in 1899 by the captain of a tin mine and Virginia Woolf certainly stayed here while she was writing her novels. Maybe Boris Johnson will pop up to have a look.’

Meanwhile, work is under way on a two-storey spa extension featuring a new gym and infinity pool at the Carbis Bay Hotel, which has a private 25-acre beach on which helicopters carrying the world’s leaders may land later this year.


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When Boris Johnson announced details of this summer’s G7 summit, he admitted his choice of venue was partly inspired by ‘pride in being probably the first half-Cornish Prime Minister’. Yet that, it seems, isn’t the full story

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