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Ross Road mother & baby home


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#1 twill

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:53 PM

Hi all,does anybody have any recollection of the mother and baby home at 35 Ross Road SE25 known as "The Retreat".
I know it later became "Canham Lodge" an old peoples home and has since been demolished.
I was born there in 1942 and would be interested to know where all the records etc. went to after the home closed,and also when the building was demolished.
I do know that the superintendent from 1929 ---1948 was a Miss Martha Evans.
Any info appreciated. sparrer

#2 caoimhe

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:05 PM

I live in one of the houses that now occupies this site, now Ardent Close. A quick google for Canham lodge turned up the following:

http://familytreemak...t/PDFGENEO4.pdf

indicating that the old peoples home was still there in 1975. The houses that currently occupy the site were built by Peacock homes and were built around 1984.

#3 twill

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for that Caoimhe.

I have already seen the website you refer to and reason as you do regarding 1975.

I have tried Croydon archives and also Norcap to try and locate any records that still exist regarding my stay at the home ( Jan. 1942----July.1944 ) but have been told no records exist.

Any help in this matter would be appreciated

Regards Twill

#4 Borgus

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:13 PM

Could be worth giving the London Metropolitan Archives a try.

Of all the utensils that were invented to eat rice with...
 
How the hell did two sticks win?


#5 twill

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:48 PM

will do thanks Borgus.

#6 Kevin T

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 06:15 PM

Hi Twill

Recently I began to try to ascertain the name of my birth mother and I discovered that I too was born in The Retreat in 1948. The Retreat was number 35 Ross Road. After searching the records of Croydon Council (online) I was able to find my original birth name and using that information was able to obtain a copy of my original birth certificate. This not only contained the name of my birth mother but also the fact that I was born at 35 Ross Road. A little more browsing on the internet got me to www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/archives/lslibrary. The Local Studies Library contains tghousand upon thousand of redords and 50,000 photographs available to study if you visit. I live some 350 miles away so this was going to be difficult, however I dropped them an email on LOCALSTUDIES@croydon.gov.uk requesting information on 35, Ross Road. Within 48 hours I received a response email with the following

35 Ross Road in South Norwood was a nursing home known as ‘The Retreat’. It was a maternity home and a babies’ home which existed between 1927 and 1948. Originally it was at no. 19 Ross Road but c.1931 the road was renumbered and it became no. 35 Ross Road. It is believed to have also had an annex in Mere, Wiltshire.

The Retreat was run by the National Free Church Women’s Council, which may have been attached to the Beckenham and Penge branch of the Free Church Council. From 1930 the home was financed by the County Borough of Croydon. Afterwards, it became an old people’s home called Canham Lodge Old People’s Home.

The young lady who replied said she had found a copy of the electoral roll for the year of my birth and she sent me a photocopy by post. On it was my birth mother's name. She alos sent me half a dozen photographs of The Retreat just after it had been turned into a Care Home for the Elderly, but of course from the outside the building had not changed.

Hope this helps

Best regards

#7 twill

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 09:19 PM

Hi Kevin. I to have contacted Local Studies at Croydon Library, and they have furnished me with photos of the old home as well , also I have a couple of photos of the home being demolished these were taken by Eric Kings a local historian that lives next door to No. 35 ( I was lucky to meet him when I visited the old site.)

It appears that records concerning length of stay at the home no longer exist, I have however located my birth mother and we have met on several occassions but her memory of 1942 has faded, maybee guilt is still there ( there was so much shame in those days ).

It was very interesting researching my roots, I also found a sister born in Forest Gate hospital she also was put in a home in the East End. My birth mother was put in a " naughty girls home" follwing the second child .

Do you know if your birth mother came from the East End, As I beleive a lot of the mums at The Retreat did.

Thanks for your interest Twill.

#8 Kevin T

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 08:38 AM

Hi

I am glad you have secured some photographs of the home and you eventuially met up with your birth mother. My birth mother was in fact from North East England where I was brought up by my adoptive parents and after a career in the South East, I have returned to. I discovered that when I was conceived and presumably during the early part of her pregnancy she was working in Dunstable. I do not know how she ended up in The Retreat. I too have discovered the existence of a half sister but can only trace her whereabouts up to 2005 despite exhaustive online searches. Although I believe my birth mother is still alive I have decided not to make contact until I speak to my half sister.

You might like to try the following, unless you already have, who have some records:

The National Free Church Women’s Council-this was replaced by the Free Church Women’s Forum in 2001 (now at 27 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HH)
Hampshire Social Services Department-believed to hold some records of the National Free Church Women’s Council (Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8ZB)
London Metropolitan Archives-are believed to also have some records of the Free Church Women’s Forum (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB)
Croydon Social Services Department (Croydon Council, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 2BA)
Christian Family Concern (Wallis House, 42 South Park Hill Road, South Croydon CR2 7YN)

Best regards

KT

#9 twill

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 10:47 AM

Hi Kevin, thanks for the info,at this moment Norcap are following most of the leads you mentioned, and also records of Walthamstow & Stepney are being checked as this is whereI was conceived. Like you I dont know how or why the birth took place at The Retreat . The mystery I have is that it looks like I spent 18 months in the home before I was adopted , but my birth mother says I was taken away at birth never to be seen again by her although she stayed at the home for some time after the birth, was I at the home or was I fostered out prior to adoption , its my first 18 months that I`m looking for.
I`m glad you have reason to believe that your birth mum is alive and I would urge you to consider contact ,you could face rejection on the other hand she may have wondered and wanted you every day, and of course was never allowed to trace you, although as you know that has changed now . I traced and visited my birthmum more for her than for me as I didn`t want her to go to her grave without meeting me if thats what she wanted .
Thanks once again for your help
Regards Twill

#10 twill

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:04 AM

Hi Kevin
I have sent you a private message with my contact details, perhaps you could contact me for a further chat, Regards Twill