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Banstead Village

Beechholme - A Children's Village
The Banstead Image Library
Beechholme - A Children's Village

The Banstead History Research Group publication on the residential school previously known as The Kensington and District School.
Built in the late 1800s, the school survived about 100 years until it was demolished. This book tells the story of the school and includes many photographs and personal memories.

This book replaces the original BHRG booklet, and is 102 pages long with black and white illustrations throughout. It costs £9.99 and can be purchased locally, or alternatively sent out by post to anywhere in the world.

We would be delighted to receive your comments on this long-awaited publication.
Picture added on 19 December 2010 at 15:59
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Books about Banstead
Beechholme was a avenue of Fir Tree Road, it had about 30 or so childrens homes and school for the children. All the houses were named after trees, I was in Lavender House in the early seventies. It closed in about 1974, most of the children were moved to new homes in London, we moved to Battersea.
Added by Eugene Garvey on 04 March 2011
I remember this still very well today
The small building on the right was the lodge where you had to go to first before being sent to one of the houses that was run by a house master or mistress. It was manned by an officer and it had its own switchboard.

I was only 3 yrs old when I arrived in 1953 and lived in two of the houses over my course of stay
I think the first house was called Acacia and the second possibly Firtree?
I left the home in 1964 and went to a mans hostel in Blackheath, London SE3 until I was 17 or 18

NOTE from webmaster - the home was in Fir Tree road Banstead so I wonder if that is what you remember. There was certainly a house called Fir, so that is probably where you stayed.
Added by Michael Morey on 03 June 2011
I remember also there was a infant school inside the home with its own church.
We had to attend church every Sunday.
On Derby Day in 50/60s which was held on a Wednesday, we kids use to climb on the top of the fences which ran paralell to Fir Tree Road and cadge cash from return punters.
The Queen use to travel along that road to get to Epsom Downs Race Course and I did see her a couple of times though I never relieved her of any cash.
Added by Michael Morey on 03 June 2011
I attended the infant school when I was in Lavender House, if I remember there was a farm behind the playground – the couple who owned it used to give us sweets over the fence. The headmaster was a smart gentleman, all I remember about him was his shiney black shoes. In the garden of Lavender House was the big brick/concrete air raid shelter as most the homes still had. It was like its own small village with a school, doctors surgery, playing field etc.
Added by Eugene Garvey on 04 June 2011
I also remember that there was a pavillion in the boys end field.
I attended evening classes at the school in Carpentry with my older brother Chris.
On Saturday I helped out the milkman delivering bread and milk to all the houses in the home.
We used to go away with our house parents in the summer for 2 weeks hols, mainly Clacton.
Added by Michael Morey on 05 June 2011
went to beechholme in 1967 with my 3 brothers tony richard and wayne.were in ceder at 1st with charlie and alan dowsett as our houseparents, my brother tony moved out to kerria with pete mctavish, me and my other 2 brothers moved to almond with nicky quirk then me and my brother richard went to thistle with the horrible grays

Added by Sue Peak on 31 August 2011
Just a recap on how we children at the time had to do chores, during my stay at the home. I personally had to clean at least 20 pairs of shoes before I could venture out to play.
My house master and mistress at the time were Mr and Mrs Green. They had two children though I can not recall their names.
I believe there was a concrete shelter in the girls end which was shaped like a old threepenny bit, and we kids used to play there.

Added by Mike Morey on 01 September 2011
I was in Lavender House until it closed, then we moved to a brand new home in Randal close Battersea. It was a shame they could not keep Banstead going as it was a better environment for the children to grow up in. I always remember Aunty Margaret who ran the home, not the most popular but meant well.
Added by Eugene Garvey on 01 September 2011
I went to Beechholme with my older brother and sister. We arrived in 1971. I was just 3 years old, at the time. I can remember I was in Laurel House. The Head was called Mrs Meade. I also attended the infant school, church and stayed until the year is closed. I believe that was 1975. I can recall the large open green space at the back of the home, the dormitories and the large living room at the front of Laurel House. I was treated really well. I would love to see the Head mistress and my house parent Lesley, Just to say "Thank you."
Added by Paul Jackson Yodhkaph@yahoo.co.uk on 19 February 2012
Hi I was in Beechholme from 1953 to 1955; my bother and I was in Thistle cottage. Mum birch and auntie Irene looked after us and we had a wonderful time. We felt very sad to leave.

Our cottage was next to the infirmary. We left in 1955 to live with our dad in Wandsworth. We were not far from Battersea. Is there anyone who was in that cottage at that time. My name was Norma Phipps and my brother was Eric Phipps
Added by Norma Phipps on 20 November 2014
I am trying to find out if my mother went here from 1947 to 1949 - her name is Daphne Smith - does anyone remember her? thanks
Added by ANN on 27 December 2015
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