Memories of Convalescent Homes 
These are memories that people have sent in.

Sharing memories helps us make sense of the past.

 Benenden Convalescent Home 


I read a news item this morning about Benenden and the name was a blast from the past. Not absolutely sure about my dates, but when I was seven (1955) and lived in the East End of London, I had mumps and yellow jaundice at the same time. I'm pretty sure I was sent to Benenden to recover. Just before I was due to leave spots started to appear on my body. I had measles! And had to stay for another two weeks. My mum came to collect me and when we got on a bus from Liverpool Street station, I threw up (I'm still a lousy traveller).



 Heathercombe Brake 



I went to a home on Dartmoor several times in the 50s and early 60s  called Heathercombe Brake, as did a lot of Dagenham children , it was really lovely. I also travelled with a member from Devon home, with a little label on my coat. The home is no longer there it is a car park now.


 Laleham Convalescent Home 


There was another children's convalescent home in the 60's in Cliftonville called Laleham, on the edge of Northdown Park. I was sent there for 6 months in the winter of 1964 at the age of 8 to heal my lungs from having constant bronchial asthma ( having been born and brought up next to the Stone Dartford cement pits and with coal fires everywhere)but most of the children there were recovering from TB. It certainly healed my lungs well and I went from hardly going to school from November to January to never having a problem again, apart from getting chesty colds. They concentrated on 4 meals a day, lots of fresh air, rest and exercise and I remember particularly Mrs Jones one of the "carers" who always fascinated me because she knitted constantly (as I do now) and was always ready with a cuddle - you can imagine at the age of 8 it was traumatic being away from home so I was always ready too! The cook there was always waiting at breaktime with glasses of milk and biscuits for us. We had school in the mornings and then walks and rest after lunch and there was so much food - a great help with TB in those days. My father had it 4 times in his life and was convalesced once in the adult home next to Laleham, can't remember what it was called - he was there the same time as I was at Laleham - my poor Mum!




I was in the Leylam Convalescent Home Cliftonville Margate 1957 – 1959



 Littlehampton Convalescent Home 


I was sent to a Children's convalescent home in Little Hampton I had been a patient at the Princess Louise in London I was there 6 weeks. I remember Nurse Woods she was good so was the nurse who traveled with us on the train and also Nurse Salad not her real name but none of us liked salad and she was not helpful I remember walks on the green by the sea, singing games before tea, a cake on my birthday, being homesick,being out of my depth at times being sick but too scared to tell anyone in case I was sent up to bed on my own. A mixed experience one that was good for my health but not without problems



 Lynton Children's Convalescent Home 



I know that my father in law was sent to Lynton Childrens convalescent home in Devon when he was about 3 years of age due to having rickets which was about 1918.. He was sent there from Islington workhouse we believe




I was sent to the Lynton convalescent home by Newport authorities in1944 for about 8 months. It was run by nuns and nurses quite strictly with lessons and walks and a religious overtone.







Having been a working girls hostel, Oaklands became a convalescent home in 1924. From 1921, Oaklands was originally used as a working girls’ hostel. It changed function in 1924, becoming a convalescent home. It then changed again, to become a residential nursery, in 1940.  


 Rusland Hall 


I was in Rusland Hall in the mid sixties, I was around 8 years old. My mother told me I was going to a convalescent home. My mother passed away in June this year. only now at the age of 56 have I found out my two sister were also sent to a home but they cannot remember which one. .My time there was not happy, I remember an elderly couple and a very strict matron like figure, I was bullied by older children and blamed for their bad behaviour, the only positive was that I was clothed and fed. feel free to contact me for more details.




St  Helens 


St Helen's Toddlers Convalescent Home (became St Helen's Children's Home). Independent but associated with West Ham. Closed 1967


I stayed for 6 weeks in a home in letchworth In late 50s. Do remember 2 staff there Stella and Valerie. Valerie met me an a couple of others at a main London station. 

I was referred there probably as I had a very bad cough may have been whooping cough. I stayed there for the whole of the six weeks holiday. Some memories I have is of there being a large mixed dormitory and a smaller one which I was in. I remember when in bed we were given a piece or maybe half if apple while in bed!! I remember once nearly choking as laying down eating an apple is not a good thing to do.


There was a garden but can’t remember how big it was. We were allowed to watch tv late afternoon but if we had been naughty (by talking too much etc while tv was on) we were sent out of the room to a room where we were alone.


I remember children being nice who were there but staff were too strict and not friendly at all.


That’s the limit of my memories there.




 Warburton House 


Remember my brother and myself being in a convalescent home in Kent (Clintonville I think) in the 1950s and if I remember right it was called Warburton House. It was opposite what was then a Butlin’s hotel as I have a recollection of a big fire in the hotel one night. Just wondered if you have any info. On this place at all. We were there for quite some time, living in North London at the time and my brother got pneumonia and that is why he was sent there. I remember my mother saying that I fretted for him and that is why I was sent there !!


 Webbery Manor 


When I was 11 years old in 1961 I was sent to a convalescent home in Bideford. I could not remember the name of the home but  some  research leads me to believe it was called Webbery. It was a catholic home although lots of the children like myself were not Catholic.  Some of the children lived there full-time  I think all the residents were girls but not sure. It was owned by a Mr/s Leach who lived  down a country lane not far away in a white  house with green shutters. It was run by a lady who had a pug dog called Brindle. All the staff there we called nurses they were all unmarried mothers and all named Mary. I remember going for walks to places called big hill and little hill and a sweet shop in a tiny village or hamlet.




 West Kirby Convalescent Home 


I was, along with my younger sister and two brothers, at West Kirby Convalescent Home, in West Kirby, Wirral for two months in 1958 when I was 8 years old. It was quite a big place and had a boys’ side and a girls’ side.  My brothers who were only about 4 and 3, were kept separate from me and I was only allowed to see them for about 15 minutes every 2 weeks.  Life there was so awful.  Staff were cruel and at one point I tried to escape to get back to my mum and get the others out.  But I was caught.  I was not allowed to eat meals for the next day. Parents could only visit once every 2 weeks I think.  But my mum did not drive and could not come much.  She also had just had her seventh baby and was just recovering for a burst appendix. A horrible time in my life.



 Woodhouse Eaves 



I am one of 5 brothers born in America during the forties and shipped to England in the early fifties. Next thing I knew I was being transported to a convalescent home, the Woodhouseves  near Swithland woods, and blue bell wood.

I stayed there for several weeks during that summer, and then was  bought home again, it was very shortly after this that we were taken away from home to go to the Beeches.



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