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Happy Childhood Memories.

A Memory of Bedford

HAPPY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. In the summer of 1952 (I was 7 years old) my grandmother took me on a 'Farm Holiday' in Bedford to stay with friends. At this time I lived as a child in 'industrial Newcastle upon Tyne'. We alighted from a steam train at a small station in Bedford, I think it had crossing gates, where I met 'Uncle Sam'. He arrived in a red coloured lorry with 'pig bins' on the back (he used to visit various farms in the area to pick up and drop off pig bins) and I eagerly climbed into the cab with my grandmother. Uncle Sam and family lived in a cottage-type annex of an old diptheria hospital. The hospital was composed of a small number of separate 'Army looking' wooden buildings looking onto open fields and farmland. I remember cornfields in particular. Uncle Sam was a part-time caretaker at this hospital, it was then disused with metal bunk beds inside. There were apple and plum trees at the back where other buildings were as described. Uncle Sam's surname was Day, his wife was called Florence and they had an invalid daughter called Ivy (who attended the Howard Congregational Church in the 1960s, called the Starlight Club). Ivy suffered from 'water on the brain' and was confined to a wheelchair, she was lovely and collected cigarette cards (some vary rare in those days). Ivy had a lovely Southern England accent and used to call out to me 'Divid' (David). She died in her early thirties in the 1960s. I still have one photograph of the family. There were lots of cats and dogs at the hospital cottage-annex. I remember Auntie Florrie in the kitchen making home-made jam and Uncle Sam caught rabbits (via ferrets hidden down his trouser legs) and we all had rabbit pie. (Uncle Sam had a cousin, a Charles Burton, who was killed on the famous 101 Airship disaster). Apparently most of the extended family lived at 576 or 8? Goldington Road. Unfortunately the then address of the isolation hospital was lost over the years, it could well have been in the general vicinity of Barkers Lane, not far south of the railway line. There is an 'isolation hospital' clearly marked on a old 1940s map, opposite side of a line south-south-east of a Pumping Station. The location was about 20 minutes walk from Newnham Outdoor Pool and a Cricket Club was not too far away which gives clues to location of old isolation hospital buildings. I distinctly remember an old house, by itself with a thatched roof en route to Goldington Road. I remember walking to a big pond type place with another boy and was told off my Uncle Sam because it was getting dark. I visited the house in Goldington Road which kept hens in the back and I remember collecting eggs out of the wooden hatches. The house later became a hotel (a chap from Hull bought it in the 1980s?). Back in the isolation hospital annex, I just remember lying in bed and could see empty' metal bunk beds in another room. My favorite dog was a black labrador which was blind. My grandmother was called Ellen Beaumont and her husband was David, they had met in the days during the First World War. I also have a good photograph of Auntie Florence who was in the Bedford Land Army, during the First World War. She married Samuel Lewis Day in Goldington, Bedford. I will never forget my happy childhood holiday, as I had never seen 'at that age' cornfields or experienced the excitement of living in countryside on holiday. The old Iiolation hospital has long gone. Uncle Sam was recorded in Kellys Bedford Directory in the early 1950s as living in 3 Newnham Cottages, was this the location of the 'annex-cottage of the isolation hospital when I visted whilst on childhood holiday? The only other possible location of any other isolation hospital was near London Road, Mile Road junction on the now modern-day Willow Road area. I may be wrong but I reckon Uncle Sam's residence was possibly situated off Barkers Lane, not too far, south of railway line (Mill Farm area) north of 'lock'. My grandmother and I walked a few times to Goldington Road, I cannot remember but apparently it was no more than 20 minutes walk. I last saw Uncle Sam when he visited me in Newcastle in the very late 1960s. My Bedford countryside childhood holiday is a holiday I will never forget. Perhaps there are relatives of the Day family living in the Goldington, Bedford area? I would welcome any contact information.

A memory shared by David Armstrong , on Jul 1st, 2011.

Comments & feedback

Tue May 3rd 2016, at 2:30 pm

David Armstrong commented:

Tue May 3rd 2016, at 4:13 pm

David Armstrong commented:

**BEDFORD (UK) Mystery location solved. **Isolation Hospital location (known apparently then as 3, Newnham Bungalows), (1957), earlier converted into Bungalows and completed in 1947. postal address then **still Newnham Hospital. The location named previous Hospital postal site address survived but was *later changed about 1952 and became *, Newnham Cottages including No 3, . . Per,... 1931 Kelly's (Bedford) Street Directory. The isolation hospital (once a number of separate corrugated iron buildings (also part wood structure ?), almost certainly built on a smallholding.).. ., once stood on the south west side of London Road (after Kathie Road), quite near the **Bull Hotel, Bedford. It was originally run by the **Borough (Bedford) and was called the *Borough Infectious Diseases Hospital. ( Apparently on the *same site where the converted once smallholding hospital site namely also, now renamed 3 Newnham Bungalows once stood (or possibly now still stands nowadays which I doubt ?). The medical officer in charge in 1931 was a Gerald ***Bowes. There is brief mention of the Hospital in Bedford Historical Records in 1933 when a Miss *** ***McGrouther (Matron) and Staff recorded as having raised ten shillings and donated the money to the Florence Nightingale appeal charity fund. The only ever other mention of the Hospital I found was on the *front page of the St. Leonards Church (Victoria Road) Parish Magazine, Quote.. * S. Leonard's consists of an area enclosed by The Hitchin Line (LMS Railway) from the Ouse to the ***Isolation Hospital. It is unclear when the Hospital finally fully closed (as a hospital) records show apparently sometime during 1947 or perhaps a little later?.. A Samuel Lewis DAY and Wife Florence DAY (daughter Ivy who also attended the Starlight Club in the 1959 into 196Os in Howard Street Church), are recorded and apparently part time, caretaked the then long empty Hospital possibly from 1949. per Kellys Directory *1949 when the mystery red herring ?, **Barkers Lane** possible near location was first mentioned. (Metal Beds still in) about 1952 ish and resided in a wooden- bungalow looking, as indicated earlier, ( annex, earlier converted from the hospital building(s) and renamed 3, Newnham Cottages ? where the DAY family continued living..). Bedford records however do** not** show any other Hospital off or in the vicinity of **Barkers Lane. The isolation Hospital However is clearly marked on a *1940s Bedford *ordnance *Survey map...to get to it you walk along a road with overhanging trees (marked on 194Os ordnance survey map) and the *Borough Infectious Diseases Hospital was situated off this tree lined avenue. , very near by and stood in a smallish field, again most likely a smallholding. There were quite a few smallholdings around then. The Hitchin Line (LMS Railway) line could apparently be seen from it. White Railway Crossing gate(s) and milk churns ?. Nearest railway station in 1952 was.........?. In 1952 onwards, Samuel DAY was recorded in Kellys Directory at 3, Newnham Bungalows residing in a Bungalow conversion from the Borough Hospital). I previously referred to. If anyone has any further information to add please do so and thanks for your invaluable time and patience regarding my Bedford Happy Days Childhood memories.

Sun May 15th 2016, at 7:17 pm

David Armstrong commented:

The nearest long ago childhood ****similar** photograph remembrance of the Isolation newnham (Bedford) hospital (and subsequent Bungalow conversion (the past 3, Newham Hospital conversion cottages, that I think had a raised wooden looking.patio.at the front.) is the isolation infectious diseases and smallpox Hospital buildings(s) shown on a **Rushdene 1950*s ..(16th June newspaper *internet cutting** photograph*) of a 12 bed isolation hospital on the Bedford Road. which was also converted into two bungalows fairly similar to the 1947 conversion of the orginal Newnham (Bedford) isolation hospital. ........project@rushdene heritage.co.uk website refers.

Sun May 15th 2016, at 7:28 pm

David Armstrong commented:

**Phew......... my quest has all but finished, pinpointing the long gone Newnham (Bedford) ** Isolation Hospital, (later converted to 3, Newnham Cottages, Bedford), a long worthwhile journey with my past happy childhood memories. A big thanks to a number of people in Bedford who help me with my quest regarding the location **confirmation**of the isolation hospital and the great news is I have located (against all odds) a long lost niece of the DAY family, who still lives in Bedford and I have made positive and meaningful contact with.. Thank you all for your valuable time and patience and if any 195Os or earlier extremely rare photographs or articles,etc., relating to the long gone Bedford Isolation Hospital ever come up, please mention them on** this site** and if appropriate I will consider purchase.

Mon May 16th 2016, at 8:14 am

David Armstrong commented:

Forgot to mention, the** isolation hospital stood just of the **crook of a long tree lined avenue*, not too far from the present day **BULL HOTEL (Bedford) clearly marked on 1940s ordnance survey maps.

Mon May 30th 2016, at 2:42 pm

David Armstrong commented:

Wow. Found Isolation Hospital **clearly marked as (Isolation Hospital) on a 195O (ish) on an Estate agents ********(McConnells Bedford *Street and road map). Five apparent *separate structure buildings are clearly shown, (one larger than the other four) just past north of the end of Broad Avenue and less than a **quarter of a mile of end of (extreme east end) of **Kelvin Avenue. Also verified buildings extremely close to the Bedford |Hitchin Railway (now long gone) line. The area south and south east of the map show apparent open fields (this is the are also where smallholdings and *also possibly some allotments would have been. Have also confirmed that the Bull Hotel would have been an absolute maximum of ten to fifteen minutes walk away from the long gone isolation hospital buildings.

Sat Jan 21st 2017, at 5:57 pm

David Armstrong commented:

Apparently Bedfordshire Archives Reference Bor/BEP171 also applies. Planning permission originally planned for in 1947 to covert hospital into Bungalows. Hospital is also clearly shown on 1926 Bedford Ordnance Survey Map. Thanks to Bedford History society for confirmation History.

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