Daymer Dunes was built between the wars by Mrs Borrie (Ruth May, nee Downing), who was then living at Daymer Bay House, though she moved to Daymer Dunes in the early 1950s. Mrs Borrie was herself brought up in New Polzeath, where her parents had built Medla, one of the first houses there. She left Daymer Dunes in her will to her daughter Joan, but it was subsequently bought from Joan by her brother, Dr Peter Borrie. Dr Borrie was a Consultant dermatologist at Barts, where he both practised and taught, and where he had carried out his original medical training.
Peter and his wife Helen, a nurse, met in St Albans during the Second World War, both of them raising funds for the Red Cross. They had four children – Vivien, Fiona, David and Richard. They spent family holidays at Daymer Dunes during the fifties and sixties, and retired there in 1978. In 1984 Dr Borrie died, and Helen sold Daymer Dunes the following year to Jonathan Stedall, a BBC TV producer who had worked with John Betjeman on many programmes towards the end of his life, filming in Trebetherick among many other locations.
Jonathan sold Daymer Dunes only two years later, to Sue and Chris Elwen. Meanwhile, Helen Borrie moved away, but returned to Trebetherick in 1997 when she bought Trewenna at the top of the hill. Vivien, her eldest daughter, moved back to the neighbourhood in 2004, having negotiated redundancy from the recruitment advertising agency she had founded in London, and looking for a change of scene. Richard, her youngest brother, also lives locally.
The Elwens came first to Trebetherick when their usual summer rental on Pentire came to grief one year, and they took Darragh instead from Margaret and Jack Troy. They still have Daymer Dunes and now live there permanently, Chris having been appointed as a judge at Truro Crown Court in 2008.
Previously, they had used the house as a holiday home, with their children and their friends and cousins, and renting out the house at other times. Among their first tenants were Mike and Sue Rothera, both doctors. They were showing their Trebetherick holiday snaps to Sue’s parents, who immediately recognised Daymer Dunes as they had stayed there on their only visit to Cornwall, as guests of the Borries. Sue’s father, another doctor, had trained with Peter Borrie at Barts and they had kept in touch. The Rotheras subsequently bought Pentor, knocked it down and have built an energy-efficient house in its place.