Broadstairs, St Mary's Home 1891

Broadstairs, St Mary's Home 1891

Neg. 29411

Memories of Broadstairs, St Mary's Home 1891

Boarding School For Asthmatics

Hi all, I'm hoping someone can help me. I attended a boarding school in Dumptom Gap, Broardstairs 1965/1966 as I had asthma. I have found the building when I returned to Broardstairs a few years ago but can't seem to find any trace of the school! The heads name as I remember was Mrs Hubbard, the school was high on the cliff, we had a goat called Mary and had to go for long walks twice a day. If you have any memory's of the school could you please share. Thank you Lorraine

A memory of Broadstairs by lorbri


my memory of the home were going there twice. The first time from St.Marys hospital in Paddington Green. I was about 9 or 10 and my mum went to see the Almoner and i was taken to Broadstairs I am sure it was St.Marys home. I remember being given UV treatment in a circle of other kids with goggles. We had no choice. I also wet the bed and was made to go to another room for a few hours in the night. Also having to go asleep in beds outside the main entrance in the afternoon. My parents came once and i remember they started arguing on the beach.

Port Regis Convalesant Home

Hi I was there late 1949 to early 1950. Not a pleasant experience for me but I understand things improved later. Would love to hear from anyone. My friend was called Mary. I called her Mary Mouse because she only little I was 5 when I went there .


Hello everyone, I have been wondering all my life where this scary place was, I never knew the name of it, all I knew was it was in Broadstairs Kent, very near the sea. As I remember, we had to go down onto the beach in the freezing weather for a daily walk; I was there in December 1949. The Christmas Tree was in the hallway and it was massive and I was amazed at the fairy doll on top. We had to walk around in two's everywhere. There were two or three baths in the one bathroom. I remember my mother took me to this big train station in London (that is where I lived), I didn't know what was happening. Then this women took me by the hand and I turned to watch my mum walk away. I have always remembered that day... I was ...Read full memory

A memory of Broadstairs


I was sent here in 1956 after recovering from meningitis. All I can remember is being taken for walks along the coast with the nurses and being very lonely missing my parents; although they did come to visit me at weekends.

A memory of Broadstairs by John Ladd

Broadstairs 1955 Or ?

Oh, my goodness, the memories come flooding back when I started to read some of the stories. Yes, mine was very much the same as most of yours was. I was taken to Victoria Station and put on the train with a nun. I remember sleeping in the dorm and wetting the bed. Eating dry boiled potatoes that made me gag. Walking one direction along the sea with the wind blowing so hard they made my cheeks red raw and on the return, the back of my legs being burned by the pounding sand. Painful, but I never once complained. I would sit on the hard polished stairs watching the front door hoping my mum would walk through the doors.Only once did she manage to come. It was too expensive for her to take the train from London. ...Read full memory

Vague Memories

I was sent to a convelecent home in Broadstairs but I don't know the name. I must have been 5 years old, I lived in London at the time. I remember being put on a coach and being seen off by my parents and wondering why they looked sad. I also can only remember being told I had a shadow on the lung. Regarding the home; I remember the dormitories the curtains used to frighten me because I could make out ugly, scary faces in the black and white design (always been aware of curtain patterns since). I also remember the long dining tables and being made to eat rabbit stew (were we made to have cod liver oil?) I don't remember any unkindness nor any particular kindness. I believe there were swings in the grounds and ...Read full memory

A memory of Broadstairs

Fairfield House, Early 1960's

Further to memories of Fairfield; when I was 7 I came to Fairfield House and stayed for 3 and a half years. Like many residents I had breathing problems and was sent there for the sea air. I have lots of good memories of the school and Broadstairs itself, the only names I remember are my friend Irene Reynolds from Ilkeston, and a girl called Pat Porter who I think came from Canterbury. I recall the big staircase especially at Christmas when we used to line the stairs and sing Christmas carols, then Santa would come and give us all a present. Myself and my hubby have just booked a holiday there in September. I would like to visit Fairfield House, I believe it’s a care home now. I would appreciate any ...Read full memory

A memory of Broadstairs

St. Mary's Convalescent Home Circa 1947/8

Hi Lorna and Carole, I may have been at St. Mary's at the same time as you but my memories are not as good as yours. I remember my mother telling me, when I got home, how scared of the nun's I was and if I saw one in the street I would pass wind! (She thought it was very funny). She was also impressed that I could write my own name. I was born in September 1944, hadn't started school which would have been 1949, but don't remember my sister who was born in Sept 1948. Like you I wasn't told what was wrong with me and it was never discussed. I too, thought it may have been a shadow on the lung, and had been referred by Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup. I tried to find out from medical records ...Read full memory

A memory of Broadstairs by Sylvia Bing

Holiday By The Sea!

I was about 6 when I went to St Mary's...never knew why I went. I can remember going on the train with other children; my mum & dad did not visit and I'm not sure how long I was there. There was a secret passage down to the beach, it was scary. I also went to Fairfield House, it was a huge manor house with a huge staircase - we used to clean the stairs and if you were naughty you slept in the passage way! Would love to hear from anyone that went to either place. I went back in 1959 but St Mary's had been pulled down by then, Fairfield house is still there but it seems to be a nursing home. I now live in Canada. Cheers, Pearl Frost

A memory of Broadstairs

My Stay At St Mary's

l think it was 1957 but am not sure. l remember my stay at St Mary's very much. After my first 2 weeks of being home-sick l loved it, the nuns and nurses were so kind. l remember beetroot with every meal and going down the steps to the sea. l was there for 6 weeks for Christmas and my birthday and we had a Christmas party and l also had a birthday party. The sea was so rough but it was great. l had never seen the sea before. We also went to a pantomime. Santa gave me a boy doll which l still have and l was the fairy as l was the only girl with a white dress. l can remember having sweets, we would choose one in the morning and have half in the morning and half after our afternoon nap, l always chose the slab ...Read full memory

A memory of Broadstairs


I had a spell of six weeks at St Mary's, my sister came along with me for company. I suffered from chest infections and was sent there hoping the sea air might go me good. I remember going down the stone steps to the beach. Every day we were sent to bed for a nap. My green candlewick bedspread had a teddy bear on. We thought it was a bit odd being sent to bed in the afternoon. I guess that considering the fog horn kept us awake at night, we needed the sleep. I would love to hear from anyone who was at the home in my time.

My Worst Summer Holidays Ever!

I was sent there for the school holidays to recover from Whooping Cough when I was 8 years old. It was awful. We had to sleep in a dormatory with a nun in charge who slept behind a curtain. Every time I coughed she would come and shout at me so I spent most nights with my head under the covers trying not to cough. I dreaded breakfast. We had to eat porridge with sugar which I hated and drink tea with no sugar which I hated! My parents came to visit one day and brought me some sweets which were conviscated. I tried to write a letter to my parents asking them if I could go home but they found out and made me write a letter telling them how much I was enjoying myself! The only time I liked was going to ...Read full memory

Why Was I Here?

I remember being sent to St Mary's Home when I was about 7 years old, I was taken by train, I can't remember by who, I was sent there because I was a sickly child, all due to not having enough food to eat at home, where things were very bad. My mum did her best but could not feed me very well. I remember being very frightened, I didn't know why I was sent there, I thought I had been bad and was being punished, my mum never told meIi was going and didn't explain anything to me. I was just sort of dumped, or that's what I thought, being only 7, but I did love going down the steps to the beach and watching little eiroplanes of all different colours flying very low over the beach. It was the first time I had ever seen ...Read full memory

A memory of Broadstairs

My Stay At St. Marys Convalescent Home In 1947

I was at St. Marys Convalescent Home, as it was known then, around 1947. I was seven years old and spent a whole year there. My name then was Carole Hunt. I was sent there from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, as I had a shaddow on my lung which they said was T.B. but as far as I know this diagnosis was never confirmed. I have happy memories of my stay there apart from the awful home-sickness. My mother and father visited once a month. The nuns were strict but very kind - I can remember going to church fairly frequently and as far as I can remember, for long daily walks. I can also remember the tunnel leading down to the beach. On one occassion we had a fancy dress party and ...Read full memory

My Time In Hell

I would like to hear from anyone that was there at the same time as me, Nov till 31 Dec 1959. I do not have good memories of my time there. I had gone to see if the sea air would do my chest good, instead they made it worse. I was off school for months when I came home. My email is or phone 01543 672316, I am also on facebook.


I think I might have been here in the 1950s, I was sent here after I left hospital with pneumonia and brochitis. I was sent there for 6 weeks. I remember they made you drink hot milk, yuk. My parents never came to visit, I think it was because they could not afford the fare from London W10. There was a song that all the kids used to sing, when I remmeber it I will post it on here. I was there wiuth another boy from Queens Park, London, and yes, we had to have a nap if it was nice, it was outside. They had a school attached so if you were old enough you went to school there. I also remember walking down to the beach with other kids... Babs

A memory of Broadstairs by Babs Coker

I Was There In The 1980s...

I remember being a wee girl I learnt how to ride a bike here. I remember a fountain in the grounds. I remember it was ran by nuns, it was a lovely place. We had dormitories. I try not to remember the past as I'm 38 now but hey, I so remember this place, this place has always stuck in my mind. My parents didn't care where I went but I loved it. Catholic nuns ran it. Later I went to Port Regis just down the road in Kingsgate. I was a disadvantage child so they say, I went on to Port Regis, Kingsgate, that was a disadvantage school for children. Maybe I was difficult but then social workers didn't care. I didn't care, I was a young girl, I wanted to climb trees, I wanted to be tomboy, I wanted to go out with ...Read full memory

Port Regis Catholic Girls School

I attended the above school for quite some time. Unfortunately I do not have a photo. I too went to Broadstairs in 2009 to try and find this school but had to give up. I was wondering if anyone had a photo they could send me, I would be most grateful. Being at this school from 4 years old, when I came back it was like coming home.

St Mary's Home, Broadstairs, Summer, 1956.

I spent a few weeks at the now long gone St Mary's Children's Convalescent Home overlooking the sea in Broadstairs, Kent. In the summer of 1956, when I was nine years old and my name was David Welsh, I was sent there from my home in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, to convalesce following illness with the now unheard of rheumatic fever. Broadstairs was such a truly beautiful place. In fact, I had never been anywhere so picturesque and lovely. The nuns and nurses at the home were kindness itself and ordinarily, I should have been very happy there. But I had never been away from home before and certainly not that far away from home and eventually, I began to get very homesick and miss my mummy. ...Read full memory

Broadstairs And St Mary's Home 1957

I was 6 years old and had had bronchitis and asthma and so I was sent away from smoggy London to St Mary's Home in Broadstairs. I was taken with other young children on a train by a nurse in a brown uniform. We all slept in dormitories and every Wednesday we had early morning exercises. Sometimes we were taken down the steps to the beach which was lovely. A friendly nurse sewed me a smocked dress, it was very pretty. All parents arrived every Sunday and took us out... it was so exciting to hear your mum calling you as the gates were opened. I remember feeling very lonely and I was moved from my dorm to another as unkind children called me 'ten ton Tessy!' My best memory was the sweets. We ...Read full memory

Was Anyone Else Convalescent Here?

I think this was where I was sent at age about 4. I lived in London and was packed off with some other children on a train. I remember the nuns that looked after us and the stone steps cut in the cliff where we would access the beach. It was winter and freezing cold. I was there for a month and remember the church services on a Sunday and also being visited by a soldier who they told me was my dad. He and my mum had separated so I didn't really know him. I never thought about going home, just remember being surprised when they came and said I was going home that day. I tried to find it again some time ago but I think it's been pulled down. If anyone has any more information I'd be interested to hear from them.

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