|Beechholme Home Page
This group of pages contain a collection of memories, stories and photographs relating to events
If you recognize a name or would like to add your own memories or story please contact us here
You can also order our book Beechholme – A Children's Village.
New Research - The Beechholme Roll of Honour|
As a result of reading about the new plaque that BHRG member Ted Bond arranged, to commemorate the lives of the Beechholme staff and boys who were killed in WWI, Rachel Stapleton contacted us and offered to research those listed on the Roll of Honour. Members of BHRG were delighted to accept and Rachel and her husband have already made a start.
As a result, a new section has been added to the website and Rachel's research can be accessed using the links below. Should you have any information on the men listed, or if you come across a link that does not work, do please let us know here.
| Beechholme WWI names :
-------------------------- Links shown in lower case have no contents yet! ----------------------------
BEECHHOLME — A Children's
This book continues to be the most frequently requested of all BHRG publications . . .
One hundred pages featuring Beechholme history, numerous photographs and memories. This is a far more comprehensive book that the original booklet.
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. You can order this book and other local history publications here.
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.
Ron Milton 1919 - 2021. Was he the oldest Beechholme kid?
Ron Milton aged 92 in June 2012
UPDATE October 2020: Ron celebrates his 101st birthday.
For a full report and more pictures visit Ron's special 100 feature
Update February 2021: Just to let you and your members know that Dad passed peacefully away on last Monday, 8th February. He was 101 years old last October. Dad had written a piece about " My Childhood" for his Care Home information data. Here it is verbatim :
Left a waif & stray from age 4 to 18. Special type of village school created by 3 London District Councils. Long wide roadway with 8 cottages for girls one end & 8 for boys the other end. Its own infirmary, 2 drill halls, its own church & chaplain, 2 playing fields and separate schools for each sex. 1 scholarship available each year for each sex. Each cottage run by 2 women. The whole company run by superintendent with own officers.
The end of an era.
Ron's son, Gordon wrote to us some time ago. "I was trying to get a copy of the Beechholme book to give to my dad but it is Out of Print. He attended there between 1923 to 1933 approximately."
We quickly established that Ron left Beechholme on 27th October 1933 and sent Gordon an electronic version of the old book. As you can see from the photo, Ron now has a copy of our most recent book on Beechholme and will hopefully let us have a few memories of his time there.
An ex beechholme resident has noted a discrepancy in the order of the houses shown in the book. Can anyone help us with this? This is what they say:
"The layout map at the back of the book has some of the houses in a different order than I recall. From November 1961 until closure, Drake was next door to Kerria and opposite Fir. Almond was next door to Acacia. I can only assume that the names of some houses changed at some point prior to that.
This is how I remember the houses – starting from Kerria and going down the street and back up the other side. The top end is most definitely correct for the time. Kerria, Drake, Hazel, Willow, Ash, Staff Quarters, Superintendent’s House, Nursery School, Acacia, Almond, Pine, Oak, Chestnut, Maple, Laurel, Sick Bay, Rowan (closed, remodelled and opened as staff quarters), Thistle, Jasmine, Lime, Larch, Beech, Laburnum, Lavender, Primary School, Offices, Chapel, Cedar, Elm, Fir, Rendel.
You might get some feedback on this from other past residents."
Joe "Gerry" Steed (Beechholme 1961 - 1966) also agrees with the listing above.
You're right, Almond was always next door to me in Acacia and Drake was always next to Kerria. Why some houses switched names I have no answer for in the early 50s I was in Cottage 10 which was named Myrtle then Willow. When I left Acacia in 1959 I went to Beech which was now the name of the former Willow which I assumed traded its name with the house next to Ash.
What a mystery!
I have noticed one mistake in the new book. On page 88 there is a photograph of a gentleman and it is captioned Roger Armstrong. I am not at all sure who this person is, but it is not me. I expect that whoever it is will have also emailed to tell you the same.
Note from webmaster - thanks for your feedback Roger. I am sure not many people would remember a vehicle registration mark from that long ago. Ralph M. sends his apologies for the image error. So far no one has come forward to claim that is his photo - yet another mystery.
apply for Beechholme records? |
Read Valerie's tips here.
Roger Armstong did exactly that and reports: |
My records were obtained by following Valerie's advice. I emailed London Metropolitan Archives on 2nd December and received a response on the next day that they were dealing with my query. On 16th December they emailed that they unfortunately had no case file or records of my time in Beechholme, but they did have an L.C.C. index card with some brief details on it. I decided that I would like to see this. I had to supply a copy of the main page from my passport and a copy of my driving licence together with a current utility bill. I heard nothing for quite a long time but on 5th February I received a very nice letter from a social worker at the L.M.A. explaining the information on the index card copies. The index card related to my earlier stay in another childrens home, Shirley Oaks, which I remember well. I had not known when I was at Shirley and had thought that I might have been about age 5.
The index card confirmed that I was there in September 1951 while my mother was recovering from a gall bladder operation. I had actually just turned 3 years old. I have vivid memories of Shirley, of being taken for walks in a crocodile, of being told off for day dreaming, of sitting round in a circle with lots of other children and being passed a bowl of dripping to spread on dry white bread at supper time, of lying in a dormitory with a blue nightlight. The Shirley index card gave full details of my parents, my father's occupation as a cleaner at Lyons cake bakery earning £6 a week, Mother's illness and the fact that I had been immunised for chicken pox.
The covering letter gave details from a coded card, and from the admission and discharge registers at Beechholme. These conformed the dates of my original admission to Beechholme in 1956, my discharge to Queen Mary's Hospital and my re-admission 15 months later, and final discharge. On the face of it, not very much information, but to me, absolutely amazing and really important. They also sent me some pictures of Shirley Oaks, and some of Beechholme, including the interior of the swimming pool and gym.
|UPDATE June 2011.
Since Jean gave us this collection of photographs, many of you have contacted us with new information. This is now shown alongside each photo shown in our gallery, but as always we would like more, so take another look and let us know. Mail the Webmaster.....He ALWAYS replies!
Peter Eliot has made contact with numerous Beechholmers over the years since he left the school. He has collected two volumes of letters, photographs and newspaper cuttings and, having recently retired, he decided that this precious collection should have a more permanent home. That being the case, he has sent us all the originals. Our intention is to retain them in our archives held by the Banstead History Centre at the local library. There, all the material will be available to researchers and will provide an excellent source of information. We appreciate that there may be items of a sensitive nature in the collection and every item will be vetted (and if necessary removed) prior to making it available to the general public in a few months' time. If you know of any item that you do not wish to be included, please contact me here and we will of course respect your wishes.