As a young student nurse at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington W2 - I recall fond memories of Joyce Grove where I undertook my initial six week training period, prior to joining the staff at St Mary's Hospital.
What a magnificent house it was, huge to a young girl from a three bedroom house in Hertfordshire. Large rooms, open fireplaces where one could imagine the open log fires of
earlier times - the entrance hall led to a large room with such a fireplace, and a grand staircase, where one could imagine the elegant ladies of ealier times walking elegantly down the stairs to join their partners. Another room led into what I was told was a music room - large enough to hold a grand ball - it was breathtaking. We ate our meals in another large dining room - our tutors sat at the head of the tables and we moved, in turn, to sit next to them each day during our stay, they were testing our powers of coversation, I was told - in confidence. Our bedrooms, as with all the other rooms, were large, shared by two or three students, comfortable beds, which we appreciated after our long days of tuition.
The gardens were a joy too, with hedges intermingled with topiary work, and a large tennis court, enjoyed by those of us who played the game. A small narrow footpath led - for those of us who found it - directly to the church yard.
I was told that the film 'Rebecca' had been filmed there - which later I understood was not the case - although one could picture Mrs Danvers at the head of those stairs.
It was not only St Mary's students at Joyce Grove - I understand that the Royal Berkshire Hospital students were also their for their preliminary six weeks training.
A memory shared byon May 22nd, 2010.
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