I Remember This As St Faith's Hospital For Epileptics

A Memory of Brentwood

i remember this not as brentwood hackney schools but as st faith's hospital for women and children with epilepsy and other mental disorders. my father worked in the administration offices until he died in 1959 and my mother worked there as a nursing auxiliary after that. i remember going to children's parties (both for the patients and staff's children and have photos of my brother and I and parents at these functions. I remember one Matron, a Miss Hopkins, who was a lovely kindly lady and friend to my parents. She gave me a gold cross and chain which i still have to this day. it was her own cross and chain and i can remember feeling so touched that she should give it to me. she probably had very little money so it was a lovely thing to do. Although a massive place with huge long dayroomsl which today would not be allowed, the atmosphere was happy and the staff gave a lot of their own private time to the patients to make their lives happy. the ground were enormous and included a children's play area with swings, slide etc. the functions at christmas and summer fetes were entered into wholeheartedly by staff and patients alike. St Faith's had it's own kitchen garden so was quite self-sufficient and when my mother worked there the garden was run by a lady gardener, quite something in those days. The only part of the grounds that i can see remains today is the gatehouse where, when i was a child, a young scottish couple lived with their children. i have many happy memories of this place - as forbidding as it looks in the picture! Janet Aldridge (nee Leggett)

A memory shared by Janet Aldridge , on Sep 20th, 2007.

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