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Farley Croft Westerham - a Memory of Westerham.

Farley Croft was a beautiful house, in Westerham, converted for use as a Dr. Barnardo's Home when I was there in 1953/54. It was a wonderful place to be living. We junior Nursery Nurses were paid £4 a month while we trained. We mostly spent it on chocolate and sweets in the village on our off duty periods. I spent 10/- (50p) a month on riding lessons in nearby Limpsfield. We attended the church which was situated just off the green. We also visited General Wolfe's House and on one of our many walks we passed Chartwell, Churchill's home. We were lucky enough, once, to see Winston Churchill on his way through Westerham. The area was lovely for walks and we got out in the countryside as much as possible. To go home for a visit meant catching the steam train to Dunton Green where I picked up the mainline train to London and from there to the South Coast. Sometimes I did the journey from London by Green Line coach to Westerham. I remember Westerham as a charming little town (or village we called it) and keep promising myself a trip back there but so far have not done so. One day...

A memory shared by Gaynor Boyd on Jun 20th, 2008. Send Gaynor Boyd a message

 Comments & Feedback

Wed Feb 24th 2021, at 7:40 pm
Jean Boon commented:
Hi Gaynor we were at Farley Croft together I was so excited to read your posting. I have sent you my email but now I can’t see it anywhere, I also sent it to Philip Bailey, I remember him so well.
You will remember me as Jean Turner ( red hair) who are you in touch with? I know you shared a room with Cynthia and Elizabeth. I am in touch with Valerie and Wendy. There are other staff members that I would love to chat to.
Wed Feb 24th 2021, at 7:14 pm
Jean Boon commented:
Hi Jenny Pollard, my name is Jean and I was a trainee nursery nurse at Farley Croft 1954-1956. I remember your Dad Nicholas and his Sister Sheilagh very well, Mrs Gunne would ask us to meet him out of school if we were around and whoever was on kitchen duty would cook him his breakfast. It’s great to hear news of people from so long ago, those two years were very happy for me.
Wed Feb 24th 2021, at 6:49 pm
Jean Boon commented:
Farley Croft Westerham
Barnardo’s home
Mrs Gunne was Matron
She kept her pet terrier dogs Susie and Tweasle and Honey the Golden cocker
Mr Bateman was the Gardner
Mrs Elliot and Mrs Gibbs were cooks
I was a trainee Nursery Nurse here 1954 to 1956
I remember many many children I cared for here.
I am still in touch with 2 other staff members that I shared a room with.
I have some photos of myself and some children that I cared for.
I loved my time at Farley Croft and the children were very much loved by us all, I often think about them and wonder what they did with their life.
I remember Philip Bailey who has posted on here, he was such an enchanting child.
Sat Oct 3rd 2020, at 2:39 pm
Gaynor Boyd commented:
Hello Philip
I left Farley Croft in late Summer 1955 so I wouldn’t have known you. Sorry. Y memories are the same as yours though. I loved the gardens, the formal rose garden and the large veg garden. Remember the peach tree Espalier against the back wall. If I was on kitchen duty it was my job to mash peelings with some sort of powdered stuff to feed the chickens. Regards
Fri Oct 2nd 2020, at 9:29 pm
Philip Bailey commented:
I was there as a child around 1956 or 1957 and my two memories are:-
1) Having a bath with 1 or 2 other kids at the same time on the top floor of the building
2) Standing in the vegetable gardens in the evening before sundown (all the other kids had gone inside) and hearing the soft drone of a propeller driven plane for 5 minutes slowly getting softer and softer as it went off into the distance. It felt like a magical peaceful moment of stillness that only I had witnessed. If anyone has a photo please share as the building was demolished and redeveloped.
Mon May 25th 2020, at 8:54 am
des.groves21 commented:
I’m not sure if yo can help me . I was a resident at Farley Croft from 1949- 1953.
I trying to piece together some of my history to make sense of it all , before I die.
Any information would be much appreciated.
Wed Feb 14th 2018, at 1:18 am
jennypollard_1 commented:
Oh my goodness, I just stumbled across this post and Mrs Gunne was my Grandmother! Her son that you mention is my Dad, Nick! He has fond memories of his Farley Croft days.
Wed Sep 27th 2017, at 10:41 am
Peter Ashby commented:
My Aunt and uncle owned and ran the grocery store at the beginning of South Bank my Father was born at number 2 South Bank, does anyone remember the shop which is now a private house?
Sat Jun 10th 2017, at 8:34 pm
Gaynor Boyd commented:
Hello Margaret, I was there from 1954-55 so I think you were gone by the time I arrived as a 16 year old. Farley Croft closed down in 1957. No I have never been back but last year I went on a day trip to Chartwell, Churchill's old home now owned by the National Trust. If we had gone independently we would have gone into Westerham. In a way I didn't want to go back as I think Farley Croft was probably sold (it was a huge site wasn't it) and then developed, probably for housing. The garden was as you described it and it took two gardeners to maintain it. I have kept in touch with one of the girls who shared a room with me and one other. She is now in Canada whereas I live on the south coast. There were six of us junior nursery nurses sleeping 3 to a room. I used to take Mrs Gunn's son to school-we called him 'Freddie' but I can't remember if that was his real name..I can't remember his sister's name either!
It was good to hear from you and to share a lovely memory.
Fri Jun 9th 2017, at 7:27 pm
Hi Gaynor, my brother and I would have been two of the children you looked after I think. Im not sure what year we left Farley Croft but it was in the early 50s. I remember the house and gardens very well. There was a mulberry tree in the garden and lovely rose beds and a big walled vegetable garden. Mrs Gunn was matron. Ive got photos of some of the chidren and staff coming up the drive, I wonder if you are in them. My brother was Ken and I was Margaret Mccalder. We moved to Kenwood in Yalding when we left Farley Croft. Did you ever get back for a visit

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