Care of St.Christophers, 1959 for BTF

“Happily I was now able in small measure to repay some of my debt to Jimmy Ritchie. The next film for me after THE ENGLAND OF ELIZABETH was his first picture as a director, and it turned out to be a very charming one. It was about a railway orphanage in Derby run by a lady who reminded you of Margaret Rutherford. She truly understood us all, children and grown-ups alike, and loved the children as they did her. I had never found myself in such a happy place and when I said so to Jim it must have stayed in his mind because THE HAPPY PLACE became the working title (though it finished up as CARE OF St CHRISTOPHER’S). She encouraged the children to keep their own pets,”It’s very good for them to manage things entirely on their own and I try never to interfere. There was a boy who kept pigeons, a bright nice boy. After a time he started to sell them to people outside – nothing wrong in that at all but then they started to come back – pigeons do you see, and then he would sell them again. I thought well if people are foolish enough …. but in the end I had to put a stop to it.”

Every evening we took the children up to bed. They would take a flying leap into your arms to be carried to the dormitory. The confidence and love they poured out was such a gift to the spirit, but it was also heartbreaking – especially as I knew it was the only time it would ever happen to me. Frank Brice used to call her Mrs Fizackerly. I don’t know her real name but she was a great woman. She had an inimitable voice, but of course that couldn’t be allowed, and it is the usual numbing voice-over that is on the film.” (Clara) The film ends with a superbly lit corridor shot.

David responded enthusiastically to the anarchic and unpredictable nature of children, encouraging their freedom of spirit, and something of this can be sensed in CARE OF ST.CHRISTOPHERS,  beginning with waking in the dormitory and going off to school, through to night time ablutions. No solemn moments are allowed as parents cuddle and lark in the grounds of the House.  The film stresses the nature of the family at St.Christopher’s, how each child has his/her own talents and problems. It is a compelling moment when the younger of two brothers spots the camera on him. What a Grandparent David would have made, and how poignant his reflections on how  this would never be.

Comments received for this post:

Unfortunately we lost some of the comments made to this Post. We have done our best to retrieve as many as possible. Please use the comment form at the end to continue…

Author : Roseanne McDade

E-mail :
Comment: Hi – First time I’ve been on this site. We were at St Christophers from 1962. There were 3 of us: My two older brothers James (Jim) McDade and Francis (Fran)McDade and myself Roseanne McDade. I left in 1970, my brothers were still there till 1976. I remember Charlie / Anthony / Kevin and Anne-Marie Wood, Colin and Merlin Herd and Billy. I also remember the staff u all mentioned. They were good days. Can someone let me know if you remember us? We are all married with 3 children and we all have grandchildren now I think. I remember others.

Author : Elaine Quigley

E-mail :
Comment: My family were there 1961-1969, I am a twin to Carol Quigley, and brothers Michael and Keith. Does anyone remember us, I’m Elaine. Would love to see photos of home.

Author : Tony Edwards

E-mail :
Comment: Hi – What a wonderful website. My sister, Christine, and I were at St Christophers from 1957 to 1963/4. We both have lots of fond memories of our time there.

In particular as well as Miss Seaver I remember Mr Melville, Mrs West, Miss Bissett, Miss Doherty, Miss Simpson and Miss Wingfield. They were an outstanding group of staff who really cared about children. Of course there were rules but there was also a tremendous amount of freedom. Camping, Cycling, keeping pets, Gardening, going to the Peak district, Outward Bound etc, etc.

The families we remember include – the Archdale’s, the Hewardine’s, Raymond Jones and his sister, the Tanswell’s, Gordon Mitchell, Michael and Peter Heaton, Peter and Patsi Taylor, Judith Wade and others

Occasionally we went back to the Old Pupils Days – and meet with John Dick and others.

We kept up with Miss Seaver until her death – I have particularly fond memories of her meeting both my own children Kate and Rebeccca, and my sister’s children Tom and Claire. Her response to them was the same as it had been to us “no nonsense” – she spoke to them as if she was truly interested in what they had so say, and gave them things to do so that they immediately felt useful and valued.

Given what might have happened when you lost a parent in the 1950’s – we were so lucky to go to St Christophers.

Tony and Christine Edwards

Author : Sheila Taylor

Comment: I was a child who also grew up in St Christophers 1959-68 as Jeffrey was my younger brother, there were nine of us in total and we have fond memories of the place we called home. I still keep in contact with Miss Laura Bisset and it was certainly a happy place.

Author : Peter C T Studden

E-mail :
Comment: There is a reunion at the Travellers Rest Ashbourne Road Derby 2pm 22nd May. Perhaps too late to notify you (I have only just found this page). I shall be going with my wife Carol & my sister, Cherry. I was at St.Kit’s from 1952(?) until about 1958-9

Author : Georgia Maynard

E-mail :
Comment: Hi to anyone who remembers me.  My name is Georgia and I was placed at St Christophers with my brother Kelvin in 72 from Birmingham.  I remember Miss Bisset ‘a real gem’ who didnt stop caring for anyone, her heart was so good and still carried on the good work even people left her care, would fins the time to visit no matter the distance and alsways bring big reassurance along with her, great woman.

Author : Elaine Adams. nee Robbins

E-mail :
Comment: Hi Janet, I wonder if you remember me? We were in the same group with Thelma, Susan, Lizzie & Ann. I remember some good times and some rubbish ones too. Hope you get this note?  Best wishes Elaine Adams formerly Robbins .

Author : Janet Jones (Hughes)

E-mail :
Comment: Hi Elaine (Adams), Yes I do remember an Elaine (you), as soon as I saw the name Robbins, you have a good memory as I only remember Ann amongst the names you have given.  I think because of being in the home for a long time you go through that many faces and names through the years.

How are you? I hope you are okay and life is treating you well.

Best Wishes Janet Jones formely Hughes

Author : Janet Ball

E-mail :
Comment: Hi Elaine, Thank you for emailing me . Do you remember the Jepson family and what age was you? Am sorry I can only remember littie bits .
From Janet Ball Nee Jepson

Author : Nigel Bryant

E-mail :
Comment: Does anyone know if the film referred to can be found anywhere on the internet? My wife Angela (nee Bates) was at St Christophers in the early 50s with her sister. We have just obtained a book about the orphanage and we are sure that one of the pictures is my wife on a climbing frame.

Author : Scrutineer

E-mail :
URL    :
Comment: The film ‘Care of St Christopher’ is available from Movie-Mail on the British Transport Film, Volume 8 ‘Points & Aspects

Author : Kevin Bradley

E-mail :
Comment: I have begun to research my family genealogy.
My Father Maurice Bradley was placed at the Derbyshire nursing home circa 1948-1964 unsure of exact dates sorry.
I will post a pic that shows my father @ a reunion for the persons that were at the home, in anticipation of any information
best wishes
kevin bradley

Author : Kevin Bradley

E-mail :
Comment: I believe he attended a reunion circa 1990 in Derbyshire with his wife Joan.


Author : Peter C T Studden

E-mail :
Comment: I have been looking (again) at my past both here & Derby Bygones. I am wondering if there is a DVD version of the film available. Also, there is a book “A Real Railway Child” by Barbara Blanford, My sister Cherry Studden feels she might be in a a photo featured in the book. The big problem is, it seems to be out of print. Published December 31, 1993 by Multi-Faith Centre, University of Derby . I have sent a mail to the publisher, but as yet no reply.

Author : John Wood

E-mail :
Comment: Hi, I am John Wood – was at St Kits 1966 till 1970. Family of 5: Kevin, Anthony, Charlie and Annemarie. Live in Derby still, came  from Hull

Author : Janet Jones (Hughes)

E-mail :
Comment: Hi John, My name is Janet Jones but back then in St Christopher’s I was known as Janet Hughes, I remember your family well, we used to knock around together in the home, we used to have some good times, I remember you, Anthony and Annemarie the most; do you remember me and my sister Ruth and brother Peter, we were at St Christopher’s for 10 years from 1962 thro to 1972?

Author : Billy Milligan

E-mail :
Comment: Hi John, My brother Andrew and sisters Jacqueline, Elizabeth and Deenna all stayed at St Christophers for about a year in about 1967/68. I only visited during summer holidays. We were from Glasgow and I remember playing football with both you and your brother Anthony and with Fran? and his brother (also from Glasgow). Also remember Andrew Marshall.
You may remember me as a small scottish boy who played football. Can also remember the old swimming pool at back of building. – Billy Milligan

Author : Julie Lee

E-mail :
Comment: My name is Julie Lee. I have three sisters Janet, Cynthia, Mandy and a brother called Noel. We left around 1974 anybody remember us? We were from Birmngham and we were in Aunty Peggy’s group.

Author : Peter Hughes

E-mail :
Comment: Hello Julie,

I’m not sure if we ever met having myself left early 1972 but I was also in a house group 1971-72 of which there was a house-mother called Peggy (Machloglan?) who arrived with her bearded husband and their two children. Before Peggy there was a Janet Gadsby looking after us along with a Miss Smith. The other day I was in Europe visiting my sisters when one of them put on a DVD about life at St Christophers & it brought back so many wonderful memories (even though the Documentary was not made in the same period) for which I’d never thought I’d be saying lol. In Peggy’s group along with my two Sisters Janet & Ruth were the Docker Family of whom Mark I remember most. As for the other children in her group unfortunately their names I’ve since forgotton. I no longer live in the UK but still talk about my time spent in the Orphanage with my family as the missus also works in a orphanage thus we compare notes. It’s such a pity that St Christophers is no longer standing but at least I’ve got a DVD of the home & the wonderful memories for taking to my grave 🙂 I also wonder what became of the Staff and children and what they are doing today if still alive?

Long Live the Memory of St Christophers

Peter Hughes (St Kits 1962-72)

Author : Julie Lee

E-mail :
Comment: Anybody remember an African family call Razak, Moyo and Remmi they were in Aunty Peggies group around 1972 also Aunty Larry and her dog?

Author : Guest

E-mail :
Comment: I think the person of whom reference is made for Pauline Low in Miss Bissets house group is infact incorrect. It’s possible the guy must be getting confused with a Margerate Low who stayed at the home for a long time with her brother and both were in another house group.

Author : Juilie Lee

E-mail :
Comment: Hi Peter, did you ever use the swimming pool or did you prefer the gym and did you take the short cut to school over the wall? Can you  please e-mail me a copy of the pamphlet to I would love a copy.

Author : Thomas Stevenson

E-mail :
Comment: Does anyone have a contact number or contact with Miss Doherty? She may remember a Thomas and Jim Stevenson in the late 1940’s. Especially Jim, who squeezed toothpaste all over her clothes!!

Hoping very much to hear from someone out there!

Thomas Stevenson

Author : Thomas Stevenson

E-mail :
Comment: Oh also, can anyone give me some information about possible re unions – I missed the last one about a year ago, and I would really love to attend one.

Thomas Stevenson

Author : Peter Hughes

E-mail :
@ Julie Lee: I’ll certainly send you a copy of the pamphlet but at the moment I have to find it as it’s most probably hidden amongst a pile of old documents.

@ Thomas Stevenson: I believe I’m correct in saying that sadly Miss Doherty passed away some years back. The last time I met the lady was back in 1976 in Shropshire when she came to the wedding of one of my Sisters. In the home Miss Doherty was one of those rare breeds of person that put 100% looking after the children thus she was much loved by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.

Author : Thomas Stevenson

E-mail :
Comment: Myself and my brother Jimmy were in St. Christopher’s between the years of 1947 and 1950, following the death of our mother. We left St. Christopher’s when our father remarried and was able to take us back into the family home.

I am looking for anyone at all that might have been in St. Christopher’s at the same time that we were, and that might be able to share memories of St. Christopher’s with me.

My brother, Jimmy, became friendly with a lad whom I think was called John Henderson – but John’s father definately used to take my brother out to see Derby County play football.

I, myself, remember being confirmed at Nottingham Cathedral around 1949.

I have just found this site, and do not have the internet at home, but will be able to check any responses regularly through a friend. I realise there is a DVD about St. Christopher’s and also, a book – I would greatly appreciate it if anyone can tell me where I can get a copy of either.

I would love to hear from anyone who was in St. Christopher’s around the same time that we were – but I would also like to hear from anyone who has any memories they would like to share concerning any  of the staff that I remember.

For example:-
Miss Henry
Miss Wapples
Miss Seavours
Miss Doherty
Miss Townsend – who used to take us out for really good day trips and weekend camping trips.
Mr Moult
Mr Peach
Mr Thompson ( I think)

As in my previous message – I would also like to hear about any reunions that might be planned – as I would dearly love to attend.

I do hope that someone out there will recognise the above details and respond. I realise that some of the children that would have been at St. Christophers around the same time as myself, might be getting on a little in years, but it would be good to make contact with anyone at all with shared memories.

Thomas Stevenson

Author : Roy Shearer

E-mail :
Comment: Dear Thomas Stevenson,
My name is Roy Shearer and I was at St Christophers from 1944 – 1950 with my younger Brothers Malcolm and Derek. I married Miss Whapples and were very happy for over 52 years, having had three children, one boy and two girls. Sadly Joy Sherarer (nee Whapples) passed away only recently on 29th July 2011. If you want to contact me to share memories of St Christophers i would really like to hear from you, please e-mail me via my Daughter at: I would really like to hear from anyone who remembers me and my family and at St Chritophers around the same time.

  101 Replies to “Care of St.Christophers, 1959 for BTF”

  1. john wood
    26/08/2012 at 8:09 pm

    hi billy and janet yeah remember u both nice to hear from hope this message finds u well

    • 08/11/2012 at 6:38 pm

      does anyone remember me and my sister john and anne cook we were there from 1961/1970 i remember the quiggley twins and janet ruth and peter hughes.would love to hear from anyone who remembers us being there, i remember the bonfire parties we came from lancashire and moved back there in 1970 if anyone remembers us pleases get in touch thank you xx

      • Derek Smith
        25/03/2015 at 11:45 pm

        hi my name is Derek Smith from gateshead in 1967 me and brother edward were there yes the bonfires were great with hot soup and toffee apples

  2. john wood
    26/08/2012 at 8:13 pm

    hi janet and billy remember u both billy u was a good footie player and janet i always fancied u

    • Roseanne King ( McDade )
      07/01/2013 at 9:47 pm

      thank you for getting back i remember janet and the twins i will pass ur emails on to Jim and Fran McDade and i would like to hear of any reunion and fran would my email is please reply to me if you remember us from 1962 to 70`s

      • 09/08/2013 at 5:30 pm

        hi Roseanne john wood here there were five of us kevin wood Anthony wood Annemarie wood Charlie wood I was there and knew frannie and jimmy and yourself can u remember us we was there from 1966 to 70,s

  3. john sankey
    21/01/2013 at 6:10 pm

    my name is john sankey i was at st christophers 1949/1951 ido have some photos of sports day and it also shows one of the carers but i dont no who she was.

  4. 18/03/2013 at 3:11 pm


    My names Aden Priest the son of Anthony Priest (Tony) I was wondering if anyone remembers him? Small child with glasses ? Had an accident on his bike as he says, he was there from 24/01/62 until 31/12/62. Also his brother Terrance (terry) , Patricia and Elaine was there during this time.

    Would love any photos or any information if anyone has some, my father has a lack of photos/information in his early life and is looking, would be great to help.

    My email is :

  5. Patricia
    26/05/2013 at 9:29 am

    Hi I was a house mother in 1974 .i was 17 then and was there unti 1975 when I left and went to leicester to train as a nurse I remember 3 children in particular Julie and Dennis and Darren who was a twin .i remember aunts Peggy does any one rambler me aunts Patricia ( Harrison)

  6. anne stevens then now annemarie barham
    02/07/2013 at 10:12 pm

    hi I was at st kits around 1970 my name then was ann stevens and my younger brother Jamie stevens I do remember miss bissett, and aunty Freda, janet, one reunion we went to janets house I thinkl ive got that right I shared a bedroom with Sharon, june, Jackie green who would hide my clothes sometimes so they could be down to breakfast first, it makes me laugh now, I also remember , roller skating around the corridors too. does anyone remember me please email

  7. 16/12/2013 at 7:57 pm

    Miss (braune) brown in English I had about 16months as an assistant house mother
    Kevin wood came to my wedding in holland.
    Remember quite a lot and have some nice pictures from my time at st kits.
    Maria Mizen

    • 16/12/2013 at 11:49 pm

      Hi maria john wood here i remember you am kevs brother sadly kev died about 3yrs ago

      • Maria mizen
        29/05/2014 at 11:15 pm

        Sorry I just read your sorry to learn about Kevin.
        Will you come to the reunion?
        I hope so. Are you still in derby?
        I live on the south coast but all being well will be at the reunion.
        Bye for now and I hope this finds you well

        • 30/05/2014 at 12:56 am

          Still live in derby where is the reunion ?

        • 26/04/2015 at 11:48 am

          hello I am part of the shales family Pauline Dorothy phillip Maureen and steven can you let me know when the next reunion is we would love to come thank you

      • Andrew Marshall
        06/07/2014 at 6:42 pm

        Hi John
        I don’t know if you remember me,(Andrew Marshall.)
        I remember many good times at St Kits, having been in state sponsored homes before my time there I knew that St Kits was an exceptional place to live.
        I was shocked to read of Kevin’s death, he was not much older than me.
        I live in Ireland now but I would be interested in attending a reunion if there is one coming up.

        • Maria mizen
          12/08/2014 at 9:30 pm

          Just reading your reply to john.
          Hope you do not mind me saying hello.
          I do remember you very well.
          Am I right you attented Henry Cavendish school?
          Kind regards miss braune!

          • Andrew Marshall
            12/08/2014 at 9:50 pm

            Yes that’s me… I remember Kevin went to Holland with you… We ere all envious!
            I think my time at St Kitts prepared me well for life, that’s really all down to the care given by the staff there. I’ve had a busy life and I became a granddad this year, my chest has never been bigger.

  8. Joan Lambert
    05/02/2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hi I am Joan Lambert (nee Lewis) and I was at St Christophers from 1955 to 1959. I went to the last re-union just before St Christophers closed.

    I did try to make contact with Peter Studdon as I know he was trying to get a copy of the book “A Real Railway Child” by Barbara Blandford. I did actually obtain a copy of this via Amazon, it was a secondhand copy as it was an ex-library book. I also obtained a copy of the film also from Amazon.

    Does anyone know if there is a re-union planned for this year please?

  9. sandra(harrison)rutter.
    15/02/2014 at 5:39 pm

    My name is Sandra Rutter(Harrison)..I was at St C,s with my brothers during the 1950s.I now live in Newark.Anyone remember me?.I am in the video of St.Cs.

  10. Joan Lambert
    18/02/2014 at 3:13 pm

    I remember you Sandra but I think you were younger than me although it’s not always easy to remember ages. Do you remember Brenda and Marjorie Ellis, Dorothy and Margaret Stockey, Judith Wade, Pauline and Barbara Martin although age wise I think I was between Brenda and Marjorie Ellis and Dorothy and Margaret Stockley.

    I now live in Norfolk.

  11. sandra rutter
    25/02/2014 at 4:05 pm

    I remember those names well.I was born in 1946.My brothers live in Chesterfield now,except Ray who died a few years ago.Is Mary and Catherine Straw still in touch or Dorothy Bennett.?Love to all.Sandra(Harrigogs) Harrison that

  12. sandra.harrison
    10/03/2014 at 5:39 pm

    is Margaret from Kilmarnock still in touch with anyone I remember going on holiday with her one year,(Sandra Harrison)

  13. Carole Watterson
    10/03/2014 at 11:31 pm

    My name was Carole walker, and my brother jimmy sister monica corIrigan.we were at St Christophers about 1947.If anyone remembed us.Jimmy and me went to a reunion in 2009.lhave copy of the CD and also copy of the the last reunion Barbara who wrote the book signed copies for us.

    • Joan Lambert nee Lewis
      12/03/2014 at 11:12 pm

      Hi Carole, I remember you and Jimmy, I think I am right in saying that Jimmy is in the film. I’m afraid I don’t remember your sister Monica maybe she was in a younger age group. I believe there is going to be a re-union in June this year, Judith Bissett (Wade that was) is organising things, I don’t have any other details as yet.

    • 09/02/2015 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Carol my name is Maureen Buckley I was a pupil at St Marys Roman Catholic School in Seniors
      1954 to 1959 I knew a Carol Walker who lived at St Christophers also Barry and Kevin Kethrow who were twins also lived there we hung around together , There was a program on Radio Derby about St Christophers that prompted me to have a look at the website if it is not you take care just an really nice coincidence that took me down memory lane

  14. Carole Watterson
    20/03/2014 at 9:45 pm

    Hijoan , so nice to hear from you.You are right Jimmy was in the film.we would love to come to another re-union again.if you find out details could you let me know..

    • Carole Watterson
      20/03/2014 at 9:49 pm

      Joan my e-mail is carolewatterson@live

    • Joan Lambert nee Lewis
      21/03/2014 at 5:07 pm

      I certainly will Carole, I hope you get my e-mail as the first time I tried to send it it didn’t go through but hopefully the second attempt will be successful.

      • Carole watterson
        22/03/2014 at 10:50 am

        Good morning Joan.So nice to hear from you.Your e-mail made me laugh I was always in trouble.You wont believe this but I accidentally deleted your e-mail address.Silly me!! can you send it to me again.Lovely to have a chat with you.looking forward to meeting up again.(promise no fists this time)

  15. Barbara Pomfret ( nee Martin)
    25/03/2014 at 4:15 am

    Hello My name is Barbara Pomfret Nee MARTIN i was at ST KITTS in1953 till 1962 i live in Australia now, would love to hear from friends from my time at Derby. My sister was Pauline and John my brother.

    • Joan Lambert nee Lewis
      25/03/2014 at 3:48 pm

      Hello Barbara I am Joan Lambert Nee Lewis. It was nice to see your note, I was at St Kitts from 1955 to 1959. I think Pauline was more in my age group but I certainly remember you both. I wonder how long you have been in Australia,, we had a holiday?

      There will hopefully be a reunion this year, Judith Bissett Nee Wade has apparently been oganising them for several years but this is going to be the last one she is going to organise so I do hope to go.

      I now live in Norfolk and have done so for the last 24 years. Hope to hear from you again.

      • 26/04/2015 at 11:41 am

        hi I am part of the shales family Pauline Dorothy phillip Maureen and steven and we would love to come the reunion so if you know date and where it is to be held can you e mail me please

    • Peter Taylor (spud)
      09/11/2014 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Barbara do you remember me Peter Taylor and my sister Patsy Taylor I can remember your brother John. Its been a long time ago now

      • Joan Lambert (nee Lewis)
        12/11/2014 at 3:51 pm

        Hello Peter, I am Joan Lambert (nee Lewis) I do remember your sister Patsy although I believe she was younger than me. I was at St Kitts from 1955 to 1959.

        I do have a photo with Patsy in it at the last reunion before St Kitts closed , The photograph was taken in 1986. if you would like a copy I will be pleased to send you one if you would like to let me have your e-mail address

        • Peter Taylor (spud)
          21/12/2014 at 9:52 pm

          Hi Joan I’m sorry I dont remember you at the moment but it might come to me its been a long time do you remember the Archdales, r jones hewerdines mitchells. Sadly Patsy died in 2007 she was 58 so sad. Would love a photo my email address is

    • Dorothy Cameron Stockley
      05/05/2015 at 11:18 am

      Hello Barbara remember me Dorothy Stockley now Cameron and living in Burton on Trent Staffordshire ,I would very much like to get in touch with your sister Pauline we went to the Lake District together to work in a Hotel on the outskirts of Keswick before we left St Kits.Gwen is trying to get a few old pupils together in June at he Holiday Inn.

      • Joan Lambert (nee Lewis)
        05/05/2015 at 11:10 pm

        Hi Dorothy, I am Joan Lambert (nee Lewis), we met last year at the reunion, I saw your message and thought I would let you know that I have spoken to Pauline on the ‘phone the other day and told her about the reunion on the 13th June. She is hoping to be able to come but may have a bit of a problem with transport. I have also told Carole Walker about it and I think she is hoping to come along with her brother Jimmy. Look forward to seeing you.

  16. Barbara Pomfret ( nee Martin)
    26/03/2014 at 4:56 am

    Hello Joan, I do remember you.We have been in australia 44 years. Last weekend we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary . We have 3 sons,and 3 grandchildren. Our youngest son lives in London.I have been back to England many times over the years.The last trip was in 2012. i have
    been to many reunions over the years but cant make it this year . We have retired and now live on the South Coast of N,S.W, I keep in touch with Judith.Irene mcEwan, and Miss Bisset. Sadly Margaret McEwan died last year. i still write letters in long hand., my address is P,O BOX 631, MORUYA N.SW AUSTRALIA TAKE CARE BARBARAXXX..

    • Joan Lambert nee Lewis
      26/03/2014 at 3:55 pm

      Hello Barbara, it was lovely to get your reply. I wonder if you would let me have your e-mail address as I have a couple of photo’s you may like to have copies of although one is of you with a lad but, unfortunately, I have not put his name on the back so I don’t know if it will be your husband although looking at the time scale I think it probably is!

      Unlike you, I’m not too good at writing letters my writing is a bit scrawly so I feel it’s better if I type my letters.

      Looking forward to hearing from you
      Very best wishes Joan xx

  17. Ann Roe
    26/04/2014 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Jeff and I were house parents at St Christophers 1967-69 with our children Kevin and Tony,Hello John and Rosanne! Do you remember staff Tuula and Peter? Love Ann Roe x

    • Maria mizen
      16/05/2014 at 7:21 pm

      Anna and Jeff
      I somehow remember you both, I just hope I get an email back
      My name was miss brown ,friend of arda both of us Dutch
      I hope to be at the reunion next month, just hope to hear bye for now
      Maria mizen.

      • Ann Roe
        22/05/2014 at 11:36 pm

        Hello Maria I do remember you and Arda. I seem to have a vague memory that you stayed in the Lodge at the bottom of the drive on your time off? Sadly Jeff passed away 6years ago. We remained friends with Peter Hug and Tuula Kurkela who married and live in Switzerland and I met up with them again in London a couple of weeks ago.

        • Maria mizen
          29/05/2014 at 11:03 pm

          Hi Ann,
          So sorry to learn that Jeff died 6years ago.
          Poor Arda died a year last February.
          I still remember lots of my really short time at st. Christopher’s
          I hope to be at the reunion on the 14th next month.
          I will be staying with Arda’s husband Richard
          Anthony and I lived at the bottom of the drive once we got married febr 1968.
          Worked a while for about half a year or so once our eldest was born.
          He is nearly 45!
          Will you come to the reunion???
          I will have to look at the website again, my email address is

          Best wishes to you from the two of us

        • Steve Stone
          15/08/2017 at 8:10 pm

          Hello Ann, not sure if this will get to you but, if so, I would like to email you. We met Peter and Tuula in London in 2015. Many thanks, Steve Stone Email

  18. 14/05/2014 at 11:30 pm

    Hi I use to come to st Christopher on a sat morning and help out for at least 1 year, in about the 1974/75 I was placed with a woman called aunty Thelma came from mickleover, when I was there. There was a family of about 4 or 5 brothers ranging from the age of 2, I remember taking the 2 youngest home for tea returning them later. I was very interested in working in a children home at the time so this gave me a good insight to what being in a home was all about my name was Rachel Collins now Russell if any body has any knowledge of who these boys were and what happened to them I’d love to know or any of the others who was in her group at the time

    • 06/03/2015 at 11:21 am

      hi my name is Audrey mowatt i had 4 brothers and sister we were there at that time we were from Glasgow , I remember the old st christophers, it terrified me and don’t have fond memories of it, was better when we moved into trent and derwent house

  19. Margaret Mitchell [Stockley]
    15/06/2014 at 12:49 pm

    Hi to everyone who may remember me Margaret Mitchell[ Stockley]I was at STCHSISTOPHER’S
    Yesterday we spent a lovely day catching up with old friends at THE SPOT IN DERBY it was the
    last reunion that JUDITH is able to do .Having gone on this sight for the first time today there is
    so much I could write but as today is Father’s day and the family will be here soon it will
    have to wait for another day but I WILL BE BACK.Hello to Barbara Promfret I will be intouch.

    • Maria mizen
      16/06/2014 at 8:01 pm

      I was there as a an assistant housemothers 1966/1968
      It was a very good time and so good to see miss Bisset after all those years.
      Thanks to judith for organising this all.
      Maria mizen(miss braune)brown

  20. Janet Bird
    23/07/2014 at 4:45 pm

    Hi,does anybody remember the Bird family,we where there in 1962,only for a few months.janet,julie,derek and jacqueline.would like to remember more.thanks

  21. Judith Bisset
    28/07/2014 at 6:06 pm

    You will realise from previous messages that I have organised Reunions (for 20 plus years). I am hoping someone will take over from me, so if you want your name adding please send me your address – Judith/ or 41 Blackheath Road, Barnsley.S71 3RH

    I was at St Kitts from 1954-1961 and have many happy memories of my time there. It would be a shame to let the Reunions finish.

    All the best to you all.

    Judith Bisset (nee Wade)

  22. Janet Bird
    12/08/2014 at 2:19 pm

    my brother,sisters and i where at the home for just a few months in 1962-63 does anyone remember the bird family,only thing i remember is sleeping in a room with another 4 girls,large dining room and just opened the swimming pool.

  23. David
    18/12/2014 at 11:19 pm

    My name is David Howard, I was in the home from 1955-1959. I have fond memory’s of Miss Hope who later married Peter West and both use to take us on day trips out in his MG sport car. Does anyone know If Mrs West is still alive?

    • Joan Lambert (nee Lewis)
      19/12/2014 at 3:22 pm

      Hello David

      My name is Joan Lambert (nee Lewis) and I was at St Christopher’s between 1955 and 1959 when I left to start work.

      I met Mrs West in June this year at the reunion which was organised by Judith Bissett (nee Wade). I had a long chat with Mrs West and she is just the same her husband was also with her, it was lovely to see them both. Miss Bissett was also there, Miss Bissett celebrated her 90th birthday at the beginning of October and again, Miss Bissett is just the same as she was at St Kitts completely unhurried and unphased by anything!!

      • David Howard
        20/12/2014 at 2:10 pm

        Dear Joan,
        Thank you so much for your reply. It was so lovely to hear from somebody from St Kits. It was so wonderful to hear that Mrs West and her husband are still alive and well and not to mention Miss Bissett who has reach the grand old age of 90. Do you know if there are any more reunions planned? And if possible do you have Mr & Mrs West’s email address.
        Kind regards
        David Howard

        • Joan Lambert nee Lewis
          20/12/2014 at 3:51 pm

          Hi David

          Many thanks for your reply.

          I’m sorry but I don’t have an e-mail address for Mrs West I only know that she lives up north somewhere like Cumbria I believe. If I’m able to find out I will let you know.

          Judith has been organizing the reunions for the last twenty odd years but said the one this year would be the last she would organize as there is such a lot of work involved and unfortunately none of us are getting any younger!!

          Best wishes to you and your family for a Very Happy Christmas and New Year.


          • David Howard
            20/12/2014 at 4:47 pm

            Dear Joan,

            Thank you for your reply.

            Hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas.


        • Andrew Marshall
          08/01/2015 at 5:53 pm

          I think I have enough of an address to find her!
          one whitsun (1964) Mrs West took the junior boys to stay at her mother’s house near Kielder in the Kielder forest … we had a ball.
          the address scrap that I remember is
          Buttery Half (that might be one word)
          Nr Kielder
          Nothumberland (I think that name changed to Cumbria years ago)

          Give it a go, the post office has done more with less

          Andrew Marshall

  24. Simon Lough
    08/01/2015 at 11:45 am

    Hello. My name is Simon Lough and I am the nephew of Miss (Laura or Laurie as we know her) Bisset. She is indeed 90. We – her friends and family, which includes 7 nieces and nephews, many great nieces and nephews and now 6 and soon to be 8 great great nieces and nephews – celebrated her birthday at a party in November. We are immensely proud of Laurie as those who knew her will understand. As Joan Lambert says above she is still “completely unhurried and unphased by anything”. I am going to see her tomorrow to show her a copy of the David Watkins film. Lauire does not use email but if anyone would like to pass a message to her please post on this site and I will pass it on.

    Best wishes
    Simon Lough

    • 06/03/2015 at 11:11 am

      hi my name is Audrey Mowatt, I had an older sister janet and brothers, Robert, neil, Stephen and david, from Glasgow, im not sure of dates we went but was there 74/75 .I remember miss bisset very well, fond memories of her, I was there with georgina maynard, the narine family, davie allan, few others, and peggy and ross mcglaughlin,

      • Simon Lough
        16/03/2015 at 1:02 pm

        Hi Audrey – good to hear from you. I will pass on your message to Laurie (Miss Bisset). I am sure she will remember you and your family as she may be 90 but her memory is fantastic! Best wishes Simon

        • Audrey Mowatt
          18/03/2015 at 7:38 am

          Thank you so much for you’re reply, and I’m happy to hear that miss Bisset is still going strong, she was the only person I wasn’t afraid of and only one I believed at time to care, I’m very sure she will remember us, she very kindly paid for my mums train ticket from Glasgow to come and see us, lovely lady xx best wishes Laurie xx from Audrey Mowatt xxx

      • Jacqueline Green
        11/04/2015 at 4:45 pm

        I hope you get this message. I remember your family..particularly Robert and Janet..I often wonder where you all and what became of you all. From Jacqueline Green.

        • Audrey Mowatt
          15/04/2015 at 12:55 pm

          Hi Jacqueline, I’m sorry I don’t recognise you’re name, I was a very quiet timid girl rarely spoke to anyone, janet on the other hand had no problem fitting in lol and were pretty much the same to this day, my best friend there was Jeanette Narine and Andrea Boyd, I’m back in Glasgow living, I have been trying to find stuff out from our time there, I came to Derby 15 yrs ago to go thru archives in library but because I hadmt booked in to use facilities They very kindly let me try I only had 15 mins to search but totally unsuccessful as had no clue how to use it or even where to start xx

          • Jacqueline Green
            18/04/2015 at 7:50 pm

            Hi Audrey…yes I remember you being quiet too. I am hoping to attend the next reunion but not sure of date. Most people called me Jackie Green but my actual name is Jacqueline as I discovered when I left St Christophers. How is Janet & Robert?
            And thanks for getting back.

    • maureen stott
      25/04/2015 at 10:30 pm

      hi hi my name is Maureen stott and miss bisset was in charge of my two elder sisters Dorothy and Pauline shales we also had two brothers phillip and steven shales miss simpson was in charge of myself we often speak of miss bisset and being such a remarkable woman has been our inspiration I so hope she remembers us as all that my sisters and myself are we owe to her thank you

      • 03/05/2015 at 12:04 pm

        Hi Maureen. This is Simon Lough, Miss Bisset’s nephew. I called her today and read out your message to her. She certainly remembers you and your sisters and was very moved by your comments. She has obviously been a great influence on so many lives, and my brothers and sisters and cousins and I are very proud to have her as our aunt. She will be at the reunion at the Derby Holiday Inn on 13 June and is very much looking forward to it and to seeing as many of you as possible. Thanks Simon Lough

        • David Howard
          03/05/2015 at 12:26 pm

          Hi My name is David Howard. Could anyone tell me if Mrs West nee (Hope) will be at the reunion on 13th June at the Holiday Inn?

      07/11/2017 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Simon, My name is Georgia Maynard and I was placed in St Christophers along with my brother Kelvin in the early 70’s..I would love to hear how Miss Bisset is doing I’m sure she will remember me..she always had time for me..and often came and consoled in my time of need, her very expression..’Oh Georgia dear’ I will never would please her to know I did eventually sort myself out..ironically became a Social Worker…I will always admire Miss Bisset..and feel she deserves an award for her commitment to hundreds of children who came into care..Our Guardian Angel..

  25. Andrew Marshall
    08/01/2015 at 5:43 pm

    Knowing how much Miss Bisset seemed to keep in her head at once I’m sure she will Remember Liz Marshall and me her younger brother. We joined the St Kits family in 1963 and I remained there until 1971. Miss Bisset was always very supportive of all of us and I owe her a great deal, much of my formative years were in her care and I will never forget how she would always find time to help a boy needing help.
    Please pass my best wishes
    Andrew Marshall

    • Simon Lough
      08/01/2015 at 5:53 pm

      Thank you for taking the trouble to write Andrew. Laurie’s memory is undiminished so I have no doubt at all she will remember you! I will certainly pass on your best wishes. Simon

      • Joan Lambert (nee Lewis)
        08/01/2015 at 10:37 pm

        Hello Simon

        It was lovely to see your message and know that Miss Bissett is well and I do hope her house move went well and wasn’t too traumatic although I can’t imagine her being unduly concerned about the whole thing. I’m afraid I still find it difficult to call her anything other than Miss Bissett (I am 71 this weekend) it just doesn’t seem right to call her by her christian name – I guess old habits die hard!!! I think all the children that were in her care over the years have so much to thank her for, she always gave us all so much care and attention. Please give her my love and heartfelt thanks.

        • Simon Lough
          08/01/2015 at 10:49 pm

          Thanks Joan. I am going to see your Miss Bisset and my Aunt Laurie in her new house tomorrow for the first time. It will be a bit strange having gone to Summerfield all my life. I will certainly pass on your lovely message. Best wishes Simon

  26. Irene McEwan
    01/02/2015 at 10:00 pm

    Hi all out there that would remember the McEwan’s, Margaret, William, John and myself Irene.
    Spent many happy years at St Christopher’s, I have been back to all the reunions and have met up with Mary Straw who I’ve been friends with for many years.
    I keep in touch with Judith, Barbara and Denis Archdale. Miss Seaver was an inspiration to us all as was Miss Bissett.
    Hoping there are many people out there that still remember me and would like to get in touch, I now live in Glasgow my hometown!
    Looking forward to anyone out there getting in touch????

    • Peter Taylor (spud)
      27/04/2015 at 11:36 pm

      Hi Irene I do remember the McEwans my name is Peter Taylor (spud) I didnt know about the reunions biy this time Mary Straw phoned and told me the reunion is in june do you remember patsy well she past away in 2007. I remember Dennis Archdale and Ian Archdale, Raymond Jones.Looking forward to see everyone that remembers me

      • maureen shales (stott)
        28/04/2015 at 8:32 am

        hello peter I am part of the shales family Pauline Dorothy phillip Maureen and steven you say the reunion is in june can you give me more details as it would mean so much to us to go thank you

        • peter
          30/04/2015 at 8:14 pm

          Hi the Shales family its in june 13 at The Holiday Inn at Derby nesr the bus station.Peter

  27. Jacqueline Green
    11/04/2015 at 1:38 am

    I remember the Mowatts, Janet, Robert and you Audrey…I also remember the Wilsons, and Stevens, Ann-Marie Stevens the most…and Janet. I also Barry Richards/ or Richey as well. And baby Wayne Bennett…If you remember me ..One of the Greens ..would nice to here from anyone who remembers.

  28. Jacqueline Green
    11/04/2015 at 4:39 pm

    Hopefully here from anyone Who remembers the Greens.. from about 1970 – 1976…

  29. Mike Carroll
    18/05/2015 at 9:59 am


    I am sorry to message out of the blue here but i am trying to track down some friends of my dads from when he was in St Christopher’s in Derby.
    Unfortunatly his health is deteriorating quickly now and I have been asked by my mum to try and get hold of any one who may have known him and shared thier childhood with my dad.

    His name at the time was either Michael Carroll or Michael Clayton.
    He remebers fondly Miss Seaver who happened to also be my God Parent,

    Some names I have managed to get from him are Jimmy Bennett, Dot Derebourne, Tommy Warburton, Dorothy Shockley and Judeth Wade

    If you could help at all or even point me in the right direction i would appreciate it

    • Joan Lambert (nee Lewis)
      18/05/2015 at 12:18 pm


      My name is Joan Lambert (nee Lewis), I do remember a Michael Clayton although unfortunately I remember the name more than the person. There will be a reunion on the 13th June at The Holiday Inn in Derby near the bus station. I met Judith and Dorothy last year at the reunion and several other people. Judith had arranged the reunions for over 20 years but last year was her last one to organise. Gwen Hayes (Michael may remember her) is organising the one this year, it will be from 10 am. I don’t know if Michael will be able to make the reunion but I am sure there will be several people there he will remember. I am sorry to hear his health is not good but would like to send my very best wishes to him and his family.

    • Audrey Mowatt
      18/05/2015 at 7:23 pm

      I am so sorry to hear that about you’re dad, and sorry to say that I don’t recognise his name, I was very shy and didn’t talk very often, but my sister remembers many people from our years there, I have only just learned about this page, and have told her about it, she’s on holiday at the moment but is going to join this x I hope you find some of you’re dads old friends from his time at St Kits as we call it xxc all the best to you you’re family and hope I can find out some
      Info for you xx

    • Joan Lambert (nee Lewis)
      18/05/2015 at 10:34 pm

      Hi, this is Joan Lambert again! I’m sorry I didn’t think to say earlier that I have a group photograph of the people who attended the reunion last year and if you feel Michael would like a copy if you could let me have either your address or e-mail address I will be pleased to send one to him, I’m sure there will be several people he will remember. I have spoken to Miss Bissett on the telephone this evening and she asked me to send her very best wishes to Michael. Hope to hear from you if you would like a copy of the photograph.

      • Peggy Mc Loughlin
        20/05/2015 at 2:27 pm

        Hi Audrey I remember you and family. I worked at St Christopher’s October 1971 to 1991 when Trent House closed I have some photo’s from this time and will be at the reunion in June. Auntie Peggy (Mc Loughlin)

    • Judith Bisset (nee Wade)
      06/06/2015 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Mike. What a surprise io read your comments.
      yes I remember Michael. I have fond memories of a loveable rogue.

      I am so sorry yo hear that Miichael is so itll

      I am more or less wheelchair bound but I lead a full life. I can drive but find it difficult. To get in and out but my husband is good at ferrying me about.

      I really would love to hear from you or Michael . My email is

      Ii am sorry to tell you that both Jimmy and Tommy Bennet have died. Miss Bisset is in her 90th year and still manages to get to reunions.

      Bye for now
      Judith Bisset nee Wade

  30. Mike carroll
    19/05/2015 at 12:33 am

    Hi thank you all for the prompt and helpful replies. My email is
    If I could get a picture copy I will see if he can see any faces he remembers.
    I know he would love to come to the reunion but it is very hard to travel. His cancer is far to advanced now.
    Do you have the contact details of green so I can throw a few names her way and see if she can help. I am just trying to do the best I can in the time I have left.

  31. Mike carroll
    19/05/2015 at 12:44 am

    Also could you ask miss bissett if my dad could call her? He loved all the ladies who looked after him. Miss Seaver was my god parent. I’ll never forget going to her rose garden cottage for Sunday dinner. We were warned to be on our very very best behaviour. And she served a delicious dinner on the finest China I have ever seen. So scared to even cut the meat. Hahaha

  32. Mike carroll
    20/05/2015 at 8:27 pm

    Can I ask someone to email me with the details of the reunion this year. We are going to try and get dad up. It will be hard but I think he would like it. Thanks all for your help.

  33. Mike carroll
    20/05/2015 at 8:30 pm

    Sorry forgot my email is also does anyone have a link or copy of the St Christopher video above as I can’t find one anywhere

  34. James Wickes
    27/06/2015 at 10:29 pm

    Hi. My name is James Wickes. My Dad (also James or Jim Wickes) was at St Christophers for around 10 years in the mid 40s to mid 50s with his sisters Beryl and Shirley. I should be grateful to hear from anyone that remembers him. Sadly, my Dad passed away last week and I am trying to notify his friends from St Christophers. Thank you.

    • Emma Burgess
      12/09/2017 at 9:20 pm

      My papa is David Burgess and he would have been there around the same time. I’m sure I recognise these names!!

  35. Joshua Mensah
    08/07/2015 at 10:01 am

    Hi all I stumbled upon this chat room by chance . I lived in Trent house under Aunty Peggy for over a decade just wondered if you will have a reunion I can come to lost contact with everyone at St Christopher’s but all my childhood memories remain. Love you all x

    • Audrey Mowatt
      08/07/2015 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Joshua I too lived in Trent house under Peggy n Ken her hubby, I don’t recognise the name, there was a reunion a few weeks back and unfortunately we never made it, there was 4 of us there janet Stephen myself n David we were from Glasgow and my name is still Mowatt lol sadly ha x

      • Peggy McLoughlin
        12/07/2015 at 8:53 pm

        Hii Audrey I have some photos of you and your family .If you would like them you can get in touch on Peggy

  36. Joshua mensah
    08/07/2015 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Audrey thanks for replying I think my family myself and two sisters Jacqueline and Julie we were the last long term family before they shut down. We actually started in derwent before it became the retirement home. I was only a baby I think but somehow remember being carried across on a giant rocking horse lol anyway I was raised there by all my lovely aunties until I was 11 or 12. My memories never fade and I wish I would have kept in touch. Sad that we missed the reunion,but if any more happen please post will defo be going. X

    • Peggy McLoughlin
      12/07/2015 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Joshua I have photos of you and your sisters if you would like them get in touch on Peggy

  37. David Ondrak
    15/07/2015 at 7:40 pm

    Hi, I was at St Kits about 1955 to about 1960ish. Also my brother’s Milan, Karl, Martin and Chris, sisters Liz and baby Helen. I particularly rember Judith Wade, as an older resident, aged about16. She looked out for me, when I returned back from cubs. I also rememberr West’s MG Sports car. Would love to hear from amyone who remembers us.

  38. Emma Burgess
    12/09/2017 at 9:18 pm

    My papa was at the orphanage in the 1940’s/1950’s his name is David Burgess

  39. James Young
    28/10/2017 at 10:46 pm


    I was at St Christopher’s from 1963 to 1968 along with my elder brother and sister, Ian and Debbie (Debra) we were also joined by our younger sister Yvette a little later, I’m not sure if anyone would remember us?

    The memories I have most is of cleaning shoes each night after school in the boot room and swimming in the pool at the back of the building, although I do remember a train set on the playing fields one year that you could sit and ride on.
    I would enjoy hearing from anyone who may remember me (us).

  40. David Elms
    01/12/2017 at 9:42 pm

    Hello I was at st Christopher’s around 1972. I was there with my 2 brothers Andrew and peter Elms. Can anyone remember us or have any pictures ??

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