House Beautiful

A Memory of Bournemouth

House Beautiful was a convalescent home run by the Sunday School Union. I was sent there in April 1942 and my sister Anna went in Oct. 1942 from Derbyshire. We were aged 8 and 4. My grandfather knew the matron and she allowed us to stay there for until the Second World War ended in May 1945. I took my big teddy with me but it was put on the piano in the playroom and I was not allowed to touch it and it soon disappeared. All I remember is deep unhappiness. There were two other evacuees who stayed on Patrick and Maureen Connolly. I also remember a Bernice Bevington from London. I nearly died there as I was given another girl's tablets for asthma and I must have been allergic to them as I was very ill and the Matron and deputy matron sat by me. We had to learn extracts from the bible every Sunday and if we had nothing to do we learnt religious choruses and we counted up one day and we knew 100. I did enjoy Christmas as we did a play for a man who came down from Head Office. We were strictly kept away from the boys but one Christmas I was in a play and was told to kiss the boy playing my uncle and I refused!
I was an asthmatic invalid but treated very badly. I was often in bed ill and was not allowed to read. One of my friends lent me a book. I heard the nurse coming in and quickly put the book in the basket under my bed which held all my belongings but she heard the basket move and took the book away. I have been trying to contact people who were there from 1942 to 1945. I did meet one person who wrote a letter in the local paper and met him but we were not there at the same time.

A memory shared by Helen Meakin , on Sep 24th, 2011.

Comments & feedback

Thu Nov 5th 2015, at 5:18 pm

lillyralph1965 commented:

Hi to anyone who was at the House Beautiful in the early 1960s, I remember holidays, Christmas and Easter. Yes the nuns were strict but what a fabulous time we had. One of my favourite things was the singing! Does anyone remember the songs?

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