The House Beautiful

A Memory of Bournemouth

Does anybody remember the big house on the corner of Derby Road, it was at the junction of a main road, the name of which I cannot remember now. We used to call it 'The House Beautiful' whether that was the proper name for it I never knew. This house was where children used to go to for a holiday, my holiday there was arranged by our church at that time (we lived in London), my parents could not afford holidays in those days so mine was arranged by our church. It was a big place large beautiful gardens and all the children were looked after by nurses. At meal times we all went to the big dining room and I remember the Matron there always used to have a parrot sitting alongside her table on a perch, when Matron wanted to keep the children quiet the parrot used to schreech out "QUIET" and everybody became silent to listen to what Matron had to say.
When it was time to go to the beach we all had to line up in twos and walk across the main road and down through a walkway to the top of the cliffs and then down a winding path to the beach. When it was time to go home we were given gifts, on my last visit just before WW2 broke out I was given a pull along railway engine which I could sit in, I had that engine for years afterwards, it was dark green in colour.
I hope somebody can remember 'The House Beautiful" and whatever happened to it, more than likely it became a hotel I suppose, but I shall always remember it as a marvelous place to be.

A memory shared by Ted Benzoni , on Jul 30th, 2008.

Comments & feedback

Tue Dec 9th 2014, at 10:12 am

dkingman commented:

Do you remember going to East Cliff Congregational Church during your stay. The children from House Beautiful always used to attend this church on a Sunday morning.

Wed Feb 18th 2015, at 11:52 pm

kevinbowling commented:

I hated my time here ,I was four years old . I am still trying to come to terms that my parents sent me there and told me I was going for ten days ,and I was there for one month ,I hated it ,I could count when I was four ,and when ten days passed I had a few problems ,and I am still having those problems now , just a bit bigger 52 years on.

Fri Aug 14th 2015, at 1:26 am

jackmanfi commented:

I remember visiting the House Beautiful when I was a child in the early 60's. Playing games in a large room. Having to take a nap in the afternoon while we were read the Water Babies. That was our summer holiday because like Ted, we couldn't afford a family holiday. Don't remember other black children there. We were probably the only ones. I was once give a model air-plane. Think once we all got toy boats

Wed Jun 8th 2016, at 3:39 am

Ted Benzoni commented:

My visits to the 'House Beautiful' were pre world war two. All I can say that in those days it was a great place to go, I always enjoyed it. I suppose after WW2 it would have changed through the years maybe so much people did not like the place. My memories there were all pre 1939, its been a long time, but the place is still in my memory as it was then.

Wed Jul 6th 2016, at 8:05 pm

valeriescott58 commented:

I was sent to House Beautiful in the 60's -Aged 5-7 year old. I believe my stay was either organised by the Methodist Church or Social Services,as my parents marriage was in trouble. I remember the very large garden & climbing frame and the large playroom with a bay window. At night it was grim in the dormitory/bed situation and they put a commode chair in the middle of the room for our use. It was a pleasant place but not one person took me aside or told me how long I was too be their for & it was weeks that,I stayed maybe 6-8 weeks.

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