Beechholme - A Children's Village, published by the Banstead History Research GroupBeechholme Gallery

This section contains a collection of photographs relating to Beechholme buildings,events or people.

If you recognize a name or would like to add your own photograph please contact us here

Public contribution to BHRG Aug 2019 - Photos sent in by Belinda Swansbury née Bolton.
Public contribution to BHRG Sep 2016 - Photos sent in by Susan Shipton.
Public contribution to BHRG Jun 2011 - Another reunion photo sent in by Gillian Stile Los.
Public contribution to BHRG Jan 2011 - Reunion photo sent in by Gillian Stile Los.
Public contribution to BHRG Nov 2010 - Beechholme A Children's village.
Public contribution to BHRG Jan 2007 - Roger Armstrong comments on Jean's photographs.
Public contribution to BHRG Dec 2007 - Photos sent in by Jean Middleton daughter of Fred Cogan
Public contribution to BHRG Apr 2005 - Terry Shoosmith sent in a photograph of the WWI Memorial at Beechholme.

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Beechholme, Auntie Val and Auntie Theresa

Above: Auntie Val who was the house mother and Auntie Theresa.

Right: Children in BEECHHOLME garden.

I am at the back in yellow, stood in front of auntie Val.

I was 10 years old when the picture was taken.

( Belinda Bolton).

If you would like to contact Belinda please mail the Webmaster.

My name is Belinda Swansbury, née Bolton. I lived in Beech House with Val Saul (house mother) from 1968 till around 1974,with my sister Beverley and brother Bradley.

I recognise myself and my siblings in some of Susan's photos shown below. There is one that is titled, Bradley Bolton having a bath. I would love to hear from others that lived in Beech House.

Belinda Bolton standing in front of Auntie Val


Photo Ref: Shipton 1

Children invited to Susan's garden in Sutton, for tea.


Photo Ref: Shipton 2

Children invited to Susan's garden for tea.


Photo Ref: Shipton 3

Children invited to Susan's garden for tea.


Photo Ref: Shipton 4

Children invited to Susan's house (in Sutton) for tea.

Susan Shipton, nee Mearns, is on the left.


Photo Ref: Shipton 5

Feeding the parrot but who and where?


Photo Ref: Shipton 6

Who is this young man?

Christine Foulsham nee Morris (Chestnut 1959/60) thinks it might be David Epico
but is not sure of the spelling.


Photo Ref: Shipton 7

Children at Beechholme 1969.


Photo Ref: Shipton 8

Bradley Bolton outside Beech House.

Susan Mears at the window.


Photo Ref: Shipton 9

Beech House holiday at the seaside but who and where?


Photo Ref: Shipton 10

Susan Mears (later Susan Shipton) on holiday with the children.



Photo Ref: Shipton 11

What's the name of this guitarist? Susan thinks it may have been Jimmy.

Dated 1969


Photo Ref: Shipton 12

Who are these two cheeky youngsters outside Beech House?

Susan thinks they are Mark and Dawn Champion.



Photo Ref: Shipton 13

Beech House Holidays.

Visist to the zoo but where was that?


Photo Ref: Shipton 14

Beech House summer holidays.

Susan Mears holding the handbag.



Photo Ref: Shipton 15

Feeding the elephant at the zoo.


Photo Ref: Shipton 16

Probably Belinda Bolton holding Susan Shipton's daughter.

We think Bradley Bolton is the boy at the back in the green jacket.



Photo Ref: Shipton 17

Gary(?) holding Susan's daughter Jane aged 7 months.


Photo Ref: Shipton 18

Susan, Johnie and Andrew at Torcross in Devon.


Photo Ref: Shipton 19

Beech House

Beverley, Belinda and Bradley Boltons.


Photo Ref: Shipton 20

Visit to Shinner's store in Sutton.

Susan Mears, later Shipton, on the left of picture.


Photo Ref: Shipton 21

Mark and Dawn Champion.


Photo Ref: Shipton 21

Michael, Peter and Paul.

Beechholme Church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 1

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 2

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 3

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 4

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 5

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 6

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 7

Church Fire

Beechholme church fire

Photo Ref: Beechholme Church 8

Church Fire

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Beechholme girls, Brenda Brown, Gillian Stile Los and June Brown

Windblown Beechholme girls, Brenda Brown, Gillian Stile Los and June Brown.

The photo was taken in June during our 2011 annual one day get together which started in April 2008. Brenda, June and I were in Acacia house together for several years before we each left Beechholme and went our separate ways. With the help of Friends Reunited and Peter Eliot we reconnected with each other. When I realized how easy it was to stop off in Vancouver before finishing off the week in Spokane to visit other friends we decided to make it an annual affair. I was able to keep in touch with Brenda, now using her middle name Rose, until 1966, I drove to Vancouver Canada from Pasadena, California to meet her, it was a 3 day drive. We lost touch shortly after that visit


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This picture is of Jennifer and Beryl Hiscock, Roy's sisters then Barry Watts, me then Roy.

The Hiscocks were in Laurel, a house down the far end next to Rowan (formerly Rodean).


NOTE FROM WEBMASTER: Gillian travels all over the world visiting ex Beechholmers wherever she finds them.

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Beechholme A Children's Village   

BEECHHOLME — A Children's Village   

Yes it's arrived . . .

One hundred pages featuring Beechholme history, numerous photographs and memories. This is a far more comprehensive book that the original booklet which, for many years,was the most requested BHRG publication.

Copies are available locally from The IBIS bookshop in Banstead High Street (opposite Waitrose), or to order by post at £9.99 plus post and packing.

Wherever you are in the world, we can get a copy to you. We can send them to someone else on your behalf if you wish or any other option you care to suggest. Contact Jean, our Publications secretary at BHRG books .

Of course we will continue to collect your photographs and memories of Beechholme, and if you have the facility, you can even upload your own images, or comment on existing ones on our Photographic Archive,  here. The earliest photos come from about 1895 when Beechholme was still the Kensington and Chelsea District School.

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Public contribution to BHRG

January 2007 - Roger Armstrong new information on photographs.

The photos below are of excellent quality. I am afraid that I did not know Godfrey Lawson, but I recognise Mr. Kimber, Mr Manger, and children in the sports day picture showing Fir. I think that the boy holding the banner is David Broome, the boy to his left with the crewcut is Roy Stagg. The black boy is Rowland Jones. There were not very many black children in Beechholme in my day and I do not remember any racism. I did not find out about racism until I left the home and as I had grown up with Rowland and other black children, I did not see any distinction between us. That was one really good thing about growing up in care, it taught you that we are all just folk. Rowland I think was British born as he had no accent. He was almost certainly a child of African parents, yet he had an English name.

The other people that I recognise from the other pictures on the website are the Matron, Miss Hoare, and Mr Bray, of Hazel, who drove a 1936 Standard 9 car DPB 937.

The interior shots of Cedar were interesting. They show that this house had had a new set of furniture. Our chairs were old fashioned Windsor chairs stamped London County Council. I have 2 of these still in my shed at home. Those in the 1962 pictures of Cedar are newer Ercol chairs. How I hated having my hair cut by Mr Kimber. His hand clippers were really blunt. They used to pinch the back of your neck. Sit still boy, he would say as you yelped with pain.

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Jean Middleton Dec 2006
** Star contribution to
BEECHHOLME project.**

Meet Jean Middleton. Jean contacted us after finding our piece on BEECHHOLME. For years she has kept a lot of her father's documents always thinking that one day they should be placed somewhere safe and retained as public archives.

Jean's father was Frederick Cogan who was Deputy Superintendent at Beechholme and eventually, along with Superintendent Don Dicker, had responsibility for closing down the school.

Jean's parents looked after the kids in CEDAR house and Frederick Cogan completed a project on the history and the day to day running of Beechholme from 1880 to 1964. Jean's contribution includes minute books dating back to the early 1900s, a large book containing the Government regulations for such schools, numerous copies of THE BEECHHOLME MAGAZINE, photo negatives, plans, and even the original weather vane.

Godfrey Lawson's pot


Godfrey made this pot at Beechholme when he was only twelve years old. It was one of the items that Jean's father kept and Jean has now passed on to us.

We would love to return it to Godfrey.

If you knew him or know where he is now, mail the Webmaster .

We have had one lead on Godfrey suggesting that he was a friend of Ronke Phillips who is now a presenter on the TV programme London Tonight. So far we have not been able to contact her.

May 2018 Update: George King remembers Godfrey. See George's memories.

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Public contribution to BHRG December 2006 and January 2007.

Jean Middleton gave us an old envelope with a handful of negatives. Ralph, the BHRG secretary has brought them back to life for all to see.

Are you in any of the photographs?
Do you recognise anyone?
Do they bring back any memories?
Mail the Webmaster.....He ALWAYS replies!
Beechholme Anyone_for_Cricket Cricket at Beechholme
Labelled 'Beechholme under canvas'
in Fred Cogan's book.

Peter Eliot writes - I think that the young chap with the cricket bat is me. I compared it to the group photo and it was obviously taken at the same time and has some of the same people (children), so that convinces me.
Peter Eliot - Jan 2007.

The left eyebrow proves it for me! - webmaster
BEECHHOLME At the Seaside

At the seaside.
BEECHHOLME Trevor and Sister_Valerie

Jean says "The picture does not include me as I was in my 20's when we were at Beechholme. My dad, Fred Cogan is at the rear and mum is on the left of the picture."

The staff member (blonde) was called Caroline.

Trevor and Valerie are the 2 children behind the two at the front.
BEECHHOLME Trevor and Santa

Trevor and Santa.

Jean says "In my Dad's book, the Sports Day picture is dated 1963."

Cedar Boys
BEECHHOLME/Aunt Joyce and AuntAnn

Aunt Joyce and Aunt Ann.

Surnames ?

Camping..but where?

Peter Eliot says "I'm confident that is was taken at Walton on the Naze and the 'castle' is actually a church. I am fairly confident that the year of this holiday camp was 1954 or 1955

Also two other photos,'Cricket at Beechholme' and the 'group' photo would have been taken there too".
Party photo 1 from Jean Middleton. Is this a group of children from Cedar House?...

Now that Jean has seen the photos that we produced from her father's negatives, she has come back to us with more information on the people in the photographs.

Jean thinks that this was Trevor's birthday party. Trevor is not in this picture but see below.
Party photo 2 from Jean Middleton.< td> Happy birthday dear....who?

Happy birthday Trevor says Jean.

We think the girl on the left is Ethel Johnson and Peter Eliot is now trying to contact her.
House parade Phot from Jean Middleton. The House Parade 1962
Where you at Beechholme then?

Jean has given us a banner from Cedar House. "I think the banner was probably made by my Mother" says Jean, " She was always sewing and knitting, a talent passed on to me as one of my hobbies is quilting."

Did Mrs Cogan teach you how to sew? Tell us about it.

Bruce Grant tells us "My house was Kerria. In the photo of sports day you can just make me out holding the house flag."

Roger Armstrong (Fir) says " I think that the boy holding the banner is David Broome, the boy to his left with the crewcut is Roy Stagg. The black boy is Rowland Jones."
High Beeches in the snow. Photo from Jean Middleton. Jean says "The snow picture of the Avenue could be 1963/64.

I think the mini bus was my Dad's,he bought it in order to take the children on outings. It looks as if it is parked outside Cedar."
Ironing, Photo from Jean Middleton. This is Jean's mum, Mrs Cogan of CEDAR house, at the ironing board - Quite a task!
Shoe repairer Photo 1 from Jean Middleton. Who is the shoe repairer?

Peter Eliot thinks that the shoe mender is Mr Manger and Ann Read daughter of Mr and Mrs Banner has confirmed this.

What else happened in this workshop?
Shoe repairer Photo 2 from Jean Middleton.

Group photo from Jean Middleton.


Christine Foulsham nee Morris (Chestnut 1959/60)
believes that the second lady might be Miss Obell

Who are the individuals in this group photo?

Peter Eliot was quick off the mark, he says "I got a fantastic surprise when I viewed the group photo. The light haired lady in the background is Miss Wulff the housemother from Chestnut (previously called cottage 5). The dark haired boy close to her extreme left is myself. The dark haired boy sitting on the ground in the centre is my little brother Edward. The only other name I have right now is the fair haired boy standing, that looks as though he is talking to the boy with the ball, may be John Sands.

It took a few years but in July 2012 we received an update:

The boy holding the ball is my eldest brother John Moth, he is taunting my elder brother Alan Moth and I am the smaller blond boy behind them next to Peter Elliot.
We were at Beechholme between the years of 1954 – 1961.
Thanks for the memories.
Les Moth

Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Photo from Jean Middleton. The Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

Was there a Roll of Honour in this Chapel?

So far we have been unable to find a list of young Beechholme men who were casualties of the two wars.
Haircutting Photo from Jean Middleton. Who is the Barber? Did he cut everyone's hair or did the house parents do it?

Peter Eliot tells us that the haircutter was Mr Kimber.

Jean says"In the hair cutting photo my mum (Mrs Cogan) is in the background, Gordon Steed is having his hair cut and (birthday boy)Trevor is waiting patiently.

Bruce Grant remembers the hairdresser who came and cut our hair one day and left a boy's hair half cut because he found out that we had Mumps!

Roger Armstrong - How I hated having my hair cut by Mr Kimber. His hand clippers were really blunt. They used to pinch the back of your neck. Sit still boy, he would say as you yelped with pain.

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Beechholme Memorial postcard sent in to BHRG by Terry Shoosmith. Public contribution to BHRGAPRIL 2005 - Terry Shoosmith sent us this postcard depicting the Beechholme Column of Remembrance erected in 1921. Terry's grandmother was a member of staff at Beechholme around 1912. At that time she was Mrs Esther Downs, born 1877, a widow with a daughter of 5 or 6 years of age (Terry's mother, born in July 1906).

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