Tuesday, 6 January 2009


One of my publications that has been particularly popular is Children’s Convalescent Homes of Broadstairs by Tony Euden click her to buy it online.

I have the following from one of my customers who would like to contact other people who stayed there as children.

“Thank you so much for the book The Children’s Convalescent Homes in Broadstairs. It was very interesting reading.

When I spoke to you on the phone, I wondered how I could get in touch with other children who had been at The Yarrow Home. You offered to put it up on your blog. It would be very kind of you if you could do so.

My name was Sally Barns and I was there in the late 1930`s, just before WW11. Perhaps there are not so many of us alive now, but I would be very interested in getting in touch with anybody who was there.”

I have put up some sample text and pictures from the book about the Yarrow Convalescent Home click here to read it.


  1. Michael, of course it's now 'The Yarrow Building' and forms part of the college. If the relocation goes ahead it will become flats with the listed exterior staying as it is.

  2. Jack the collage tried to get permission to demolish it in 1997 after much opposition the application was turned down and the building made grade 2 listed.

  3. Why save it? old buildings can be ugly, just like new buildings. how long before they list Arlington House?

  4. WW11? Yikes! I must have missed the other 9!

  5. Whoops Richard must have hit the one key one more time than I should have, I’m blaming this flue bug that I can’t seem to throw off, life’s all a bit foggy at the moment.

  6. You can get the Colleges proposed layout for flats in Yarrow on UKPlanning 07/1151.

    The internal staircases and corridors are also listed.

  7. Sally Barnes, you were a Yarrow Patient in late 30's so was I. You wanted to make contact. My home no is 020 8657 5673.


  8. i stayed in the yarrow convalescent home in 1959 i had a very good time there,i remember a girl called catheren meaner she came from london,she was very kind to me,anyone out there remember a deirdre barber.

    1. I was there November/December 1959, aged 7 (referred from Westminster Children's Hospital). I had an dreadful time and only got away by pretending to have recovered more than I had. My experiences included being punished for unexpectedly vomiting, repeatedly hit on the back of my heels by a nurse wheeling a buggy for walking too slow on one of the 'constitutional' walks around the seafront (I had not walked for about 6 weeks prior to that as I had been in hospital with near terminal peritonitis, so I was a bit slow, I guess - at the time I weighted just 3 stone)and, while in the sick wing, I was woken up in the middle of a night by the night matron who picked me up by the shoulders and threw me back on the bed screaming at me that 'I must learn to sleep exactly in the middle of the bed'. It was this sort of thing most days. I believe most of this would now be regarded as abuse. The only person in charge there who seemed to be in any way sane was the day matron, possibly this Catheren Meaner might have been an exception too (the name does seem vaguely familiar). They could be too faced though. Glad to hear that you were luckier, but I did hear that the place had been the subject of an investigation in the early 60's. No idea what this 'Convalescent Home of the Better Classes' might of been ! We were a mixed bunch of ordinary kids in the state system, mostly from London as I recall. Regards, Martin

  9. I wasn't a Child there, but I was one of the Cadet Nurses working there in 1961 ish. Are there any other Nurses who remember me.
    Beverley Semmens

  10. My wife Valerie stayed at the home on 2 occasions between 1961 and 1963 referred from westminster childrens hospital. She remembers a song they all learnt to the music of thelaughing policeman.
    Ihad the scarlet fever Ihad it very bad
    They took me off to Broadstairs and put me in a van
    The van was very bumpy I nearly tumbled out
    And when I got to Broadstairs I heard the baby shout
    Mummy Daddy take me home from this convalescent home
    I've been here a week or two now I want to be with you

  11. I have in my possession a beautiful silver trowel which was used in setting the memorial stone by Mrs Yarrow when the foundations were laid on 28 May 1894.

    My great grandfather was a mason with offices in Glasgow and London which undertook some work in Kent.There may have been a working relationship or friendship with the Yarrow family in Glasgow. I recall meeting Lady Yarrow when I was younger.

    On my mother's death this trowel was passed to me and I feel it warrants a better home than the drawer it has languished in for perhaps more than a century. Any suggestions as to the best place?

    I live in london and am due to make my first visit to Broadstairs on Tuesday next 13/9/11. I will visit the Yarrow Building( which is now a technical college) and also look in on the Crampton tower museum.

    I have been offered a lot of money for the trowel( by a former resident of the home). I would prefer to give it to a public building where everyone can enjoy it.

    Any suggestions appreciated

    Garrey Blackwood


    1. Dear Garrey,

      I have left you a voicemail on the number you have provided. The Yarrow is now a public building and if the offer of the trowel is still there please give me a call
      Kindest Regards
      Craig Stafford

  12. if you where to google The Yarrow Home for Convalescent Children of the Better Classes there are some pictures taken from inside of it recently

  13. I was sent to the Yarrow in 1954 (aged 4) - my memories are mostly pleasant ones: group walks along the beach, seeing the donkeys, having treatment in the 'sun room', wearing the funny goggles. Not so pleasant, lying in an oxygen tent, no visitors until the weekend, sharing my sweets, loosing my new doll's booties.

    Garrey you showed me your trowel, do you remember?

    1. I was there in 1954 also, aged 10,I have a few old photos.. The dormitories were named,Florence,Minnie,Evelyn, and we had a doctor Anderson. one of the nurses was named Henrietta,one was Carol. there was a sandpit in the grounds. After a few days of feeling homesick I loved it there- I would love to go back to visit.

    2. I was at the Yarrow in 1954 too. I remember the song we all sang,I think the nurses made it up! there was a sandpit in the grounds,I have a photo somewhere.. We ate food that was home grown on the adjoining farm. I remember a Dr. Anderson,the sister was named Miss Boon,and two nurses I remember were Henrietta and nurse Cozens. two girls I ws friendly with,Pat,and Gillian Wiffin. the dormitories for the girls were named after Yarrow family members; Evelyn,Minnie,Florence. We were in Florence ward.After a few days feeling homesick,I loved it there. The summer that year was perfect.

  14. Lloyd Powell was there 1954 and 1958.

  15. Lloyd has met a lovely lady called Margaret Axford,who was also there but not sure if it was at the same time,unbelievable if she was,Margaret was put out in the corridor all night for not drinking her milk, i remember a spoonful of Malt and a drink that was very sour every morning. Parents came down weekends if they could,if they didn't we were very tearful,i am 63 now and will never forget my time at Yarrow Home.

    1. i was in yarrow home in 1950. i remember the sun room and having malt and going for walks also being made to eat very runny boiled eggs.i didnt like being there and wanted to go home.

  16. My name is john Soall.
    I was in this covalescent home when I was aa child of about 5 or 6 years old.
    I have a lung condition called Bronchiectasis and was sent there from St Annes
    hospital in Tottenham In north London.I stayed approxx 6 months and the Nuns looked
    after us very well.I went back to have a look at the home and so surprised and shocked
    to see the bad state of the place.After all the care the Nuns took af all the sick children.
    It was quite upsetting.
    I am 61 and still have memories of this place and the kindness of the Nuns.


  17. my name is Jim Chambers.
    I was at the Yarrow Home in 1950 convalescing from a Lung abscess and remember the walking in crodile to Dumpton Gap and into Broadstairs,old Victorian-style prams leading, and the companionship of other chaps of about 11 years of age, learning swear-words I never knew before from a chap who came from Hainault in Essex, and being spoken to by Sister because I wasn't putting on weight at the right speed..names I recall were Peter Collins and Colin Broughton and Brenda Gibbs.
    I remember doing little bits of carpentry in the basement of the vast building, and going out scrumping for cooking apples in the orchard in the grounds.. the summer-houses, one for the boys and one for the girls, that could be turned on metal tracks to face the sun.
    It was an educational 7 weeks now that I look back on it; it certainly taught me the value of solitude!

  18. does anyone one have any memories of holy cross,it was run by nuns,also for sick children it was behind the yarrow homes.

    1. I was there at holy cross in 1954 until january 1955 for9 months,of what I can remember the nuns were strict but not cruel as some comments I read. Loved the malt, hated the runner beans, some good memories. I went back in 1965 to visit and the nuns gave me tea and cakes,but the nun I remembered sister veronica had moved.

    2. Hi my name is Rosemary and i was in the yarrow homes about 1959/60 i was about 4/5 years old. I can only remember the large grey rocking horse by a huge window overlooking the gardens and also the coming down a large flight of stairs in to the hall for dinner.
      To start with i was there with my brother and two sisters, they left after a couple of weeks/months (it didn't seem very long at my age then) they were taken home and i was left there for a time on my own (again for the age i was i don't know how long that was) does any one remember the Hewitt family. Please feel free to get in contact through this page. Thank you

  19. I was in a Convalescent Home in Broadstairs for around four or five weeks in the summer of 1965but don't know for sure which one it was. I was 10. I think it might be the Yarrow though, as I remember some of the things others have noted, namely - the sandpit, the reference to taking drugs (we were given big white pills for the first week of our stay),the malt, the song (slightly different words, see below) and the investigation. My mother told me there was an investigation soon after I left and I was apparently interviewed but didn't say anything. She said the home was closed soon after.

    The only information I have seen states the home was closed in 1964the year before I would have been there. Am I mistaken or could it have closed in 1965?

    The song went:
    I had dramatic fever, I had it very bad
    They wrapped me in a blanket and put me in a van
    The van was very bumpy, I nearly tumbled out
    But when I got to Broadstairs I heard the children shout
    "Mummy, daddy, take me home
    From this Convalescent Home
    I've been here for weeks or more
    Now they make me scrub the floor".

    1. I was in the converlestant home around the same time, I remember the song very well. During my stay I fell off the seesaw and broke my arm. 😣

  20. I was at the Yarrow home in 1936. My brother Frederick and I were sent there as our father was dying. He passed away in November 1936. My memories of the Home are mostly pleasant except that I overheard one nurse telling another that my father had died. This was not a good way to learn this news.

    Alan Johnson November 30 2015

  21. I have been researching my family's history (Kippin/Perry families)and my great Uncle Lindsay Albert Kippin was cared for here at the turn of the century. His parents Albert James Kippin and Annie Perry, were employees of Lord Amphill who most generously paid for Lindsay's care at the home. The family subsequently migrated to Australia in May/June of 1913. Lindsay, although, physically deformed) went on to make a great life for himself and was a wonderful recreational sailor, and telephonist in his career. He was a very generous and kind man and his name lives on to this day in my grandchild - Taj Lindsay.
    Jane Cairns (nee Kippin)


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