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The Jewish Orphanage


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#1 James

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Posted 26 June 2002 - 04:58 PM

Virtual Norwood receives many requests for information on The Jewish Orphanage (formerly Jewish Hospital and Orphan Asylum) which was in the Knight's Hill area of West Norwood. If you'd like to know more or have anything to add please reply to this topic. Although your emails are welcome this is all that we know so far:
  • Part of the several buildings and grounds and Norwood Hall still remains.
  • It used to be in Wolfington Road.
  • The work of the orphanage is still carried on via the Ravenswood organisation.
  • There is a Newsletter run by old scholars.
  • There was a big party there at the end of WWII.
  • Virtual Norwood has a 3D Map for this area (hall in the centre)
  • You can also see a streetmap of the area and an aerial photo closeup
  • Norwood Cemetery has some links that may be useful to you

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#2 mjharvey28

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Posted 26 December 2002 - 11:37 AM

I haven't got a lot of detailed info about the Jewish Orphanage, except that my mother, then called Violet Pigeon, and her sister Dorothy lived in Tivoli Road just before and during the 2nd world war, and they used to help out at the orphanage.

During the 1980s I met a bloke who told me that he came from "Austria and West Norwood" Intrigued, I asked him what he meant, and he told me that he had been brought to the Orphanage as a small child. I told him about my mother and aunt, and he said he remembered some "aunties" who used to come in and help look after the kids.

My mother was one of seven children, Dorothy, Beechie, Nellie, Violet, Hilda, William, and Robert Pigeon.

#3 landgraf

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 06:33 AM

Hi, I am robert Landgraf in australia, I remember Tivoli road from somewhere
back in the recesses of my mind and the name Pidgeon also seems familiar.
We used to live in the gate house of the Jewish Orphanage around 1950 to
1955 where my father and grandfather were employed as resident engineers etc.
My parents with my sister and me left for AU in 1955 (i was 14yrs)
I believe the old gate house is still standing, anybody know what its used for
and why it wasnt pulled down as was the orphanage??
you can reply direct.

landgraf@austarnet.com.au thanks Bob.Landgraf

#4 Borgus

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:04 PM

There is a 'Good Luck' token from The Jewish Orphange, Norwood for sale on eBay, if anyone is interested.

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...1QQcmdZViewItem
"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph

#5 HeadGardener

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 11:10 PM

I believe the old gate house is still standing, anybody know what its used for
and why it wasnt pulled down as was the orphanage??


I walk past the former orphanage quite often. The building which I guess was the gatehouse is still standing and is now a private residence - a couple of years ago I met the man who lived there. Not all the other buildings were pulled down. On Wolfington Road there is a very impressive building dating from the late 19th century with an ornate carving above the door saying 'The Arnold and Jane Gabriel Home'. It's now the offices of a housing association.

#6 ZeeZee

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 10:29 PM

My husband's family used to manage/own the sweet shop at the entrance to the Jewish Orphanage, before and during the second world war. Address 44 Knights Hill
Does anyone remember them? They were an old couple , Sidney and Catherine Saunders and for a short while after the war the shop was run by their son and daughter-in-law Harold and Madge.
I have been looking for a photograph of this old shop for a long time but can only find a modern view.
Best wishes.

#7 richard moore

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:08 AM

It would seem that the "Gift " of a communty hall from the Trustees of the orphanage is now under threat. It would seem that there are plans afoot to have this hall demolished- It has been in a poor state of repair for some time now , last time i looked the wooden floor is partially broken up.

There were plans for the building to be taken over by one of the large orchestra's ( london Phil I think ) as reheasal roome and to add some inward investment into the and some employment, but this plan fell through as the council officers could not react quickley enough- ( Whats new)

appranrley it has very good acoustics and a stage - for a time it was home of Lambeth operatic Society-

I do hope that some use can be found for it -otherwise it may be used for high density housinf with possible loss of green space as well

#8 Urma

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:22 PM

I think the London Philharmonic interest died because of the size of the hall - they needed something at least three times bigger.

As far as I know Norwood Hall is now part of Lambeth's 'Revitalise' programme - perhaps being considered as a leisure centre?

It would be great to see community pressure on the Council for leisure facilities in West Norwood, especially after the Big Yellow debacle...

Are the computer people still using part of the hall? Although I'm sure the accessibility of a computer training outfit on the estate is probably a good thing (is it being used well?), I think this use of what was the offices and changing rooms etc for the hall means that it's performance potential is severly compromised.

I thought there were plans to develop the green space into a basket ball or football court for kids - anybody heard anything about that?

#9 ZeeZee

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:43 PM

I'm bringing this up to the top again in case anyone has any photographs of the old sweet shop at 44 Knights Hill pre- or post war. Or perhaps you know where I can search on the internet.
I am not able to visit the local libraries at present. The Jewish Orphanage entrace was at the side of this little shop.
Kind regards

#10 Retired Member 1

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:46 PM

http://search.ebay.c...sPageNameZWD10S

it's only a medallion though but you can keep on trying on eBay too
Gipsy Hill Rocks!!!

#11 JSa

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 10:53 AM

People looking for information on the Orphanage can also look at the website of the charity Norwood which continues to work with children and adults with disadvantage or disability (see www.norwood.org.uk).

Edited by JSa, 18 July 2008 - 10:54 AM.


#12 Made in SE19

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 08:01 PM

My mum, Carole Southgate, worked as a cleaner at the Orphanage during the late-60s and early-70s.

#13 PersonalBest

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 04:04 PM

Moving stories

There are some vivid memories of growing up at the Jewish Orphange in West Norwood on the Moving Here website,

http://www.movinghere.org.uk/

#14 Chris Doran

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 11:16 AM

Some Jewish Orphanage photos can be found from The Jewish Museum search page. Put "Jewish Orphanage" in the "People and institutions" search box. Putting "Norwood" in "Word(s) from the title" gives different results which may or may not include all the former ones. A title search on "Crystal Palace" gives one article with photo about a Jewish school's visit in 1935.

#15 jamal

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:27 AM

here is some more information about the Jewish orphanage.

I lived there for over 8 years between 1961-1970, there were private houses for groups of approx. 6-9 kids.
ours was in 17 Chatsworth Way, next door at 19, was another group, both run by so-called "house-parents".
I went to Kingsdale School & took "A" levels in 1969, some went to Tulse Hill Secondary.
From 1967 on I lived in the stately-looking Gabriel House, situated near Wolfington Rd. The entry was via the road
opposite West Norwood station. On the corner there was a sweets shops & in the grounds there was a small
house for the head gardener. Between his house & the Gabriel House there were 2 other houses, and a Synagogue
with a green, copper roof! There were various sports facilities and even the Synagogue had a partition to enable us
to play badminton & table-tennis.
I had a large room in the East wing of Gabriel, 2 other boys lived above the principal's flat (Jack & Eileen Wagman).
on the ground floor we had a large common room, kitchen, administrative office, a library (with translations of books
I took for latin "A" levels) all joined by a long hallway with fantastic acoustics. Mrs Wagman was a personality and a
chain-smoker. She often put on musicals with all the kids & invited (coerced) the local police to participate.
I have not been able to find a photo of the Gabriel building in the internet.
jamal