NCH Alverstoke National Childrens Home Memories and Photos

NCH Alverstoke Memories and Photos

Memories of Cecilia Perfitt’s Mother of NCH Alverstoke

My story of the Alverstoke children’s home NCH is not such a happy one as those on your site. My mother was in the Alverstoke Children’s Home back around 1911 after the death of her mother. It was not such a happy place in those days. When she use to tell me tales of her life there as a child there, I use to think it was something out of a”Dickens” story. The children were only given bread and jam and cake on Sundays for tea, the rest of the week it was only bread and dripping. Callico ( a very stiff scratchy cotton) petticoats and knickers were the order of the day along with a uniform and wooden clogs. Mum showed my grandfather her petticoat and knickers one day when he visited, her punishment was a hiding with a glosh ( like the sole of a rubber slipper) If children in those days use to wet the bed they were made to sleep out on the landing without a mattress or covers on. One young girl committed suicide jumping from a bedroom window where she was so afraid of being punished. Church in the little church was attended 3 times on Sundays they use to march there and back. On leaving school at 14 mum served time in the laundry at the home, then went into service. Girls had to be in service with the same family for two years before they were released from the homes care, unfortunately the gentleman mum was sent to died before her two years were up, she had to return to the home where she became a sister there herself. Cecilia Perfitt ( 25th June 2006)

Memories of Sandra Meacock

Sandra Meacock NCH Alverststoke School Gosport Hants
Childrens Home School Alverstoke Gosport Hants Sandra Meacock

I noticed you had all about the Children’s Home at Alverstoke. I was there in the late 1940’s probably ‘47/49’, I lived at Clayhall and attended the Children’s Home school. I have enclosed a photo that I recently found taken there, some of the children were from private homes but the majority were living in the Children’s Home, perhaps someone might even recognize themselves. Sandra Meacock. (Added 6th May 2007)

Memories of Richard G Miller

I was a resident at the National Chlidren’s Home in  Alverstoke near Gosport, with my brother Julian from 1956 untill 1962. I was  born in 1951 and my brother was born in 1955. I attended the primary school in Stone Lane Gosport  during this time. I am keen to get in touch by email with anyone who was at  either of these two places in the 50’s to swop memories and if possible obtain  photos.

I believe the person in overall charge at the  Childrens Home was a Mr. T. H. Thomas. I was in a House run by “Sister” Gertrude. I  believe her surname was Stephenson. The house in the Children’s Home I lived in  was Stephenson “B”. To begin with my brother was in Anglesey Lodge until he was  old enough (aged 2 I believe) to come and live in the same house as  me.

My memories of the Children’s Home include the  freedom we had to wander around the local countryside, running after the bakers  van which used to deliver and the smell of fresh baked bread. We used to buy day  old cakes from the breadman. I also remember a Santa arriving on a horse drawn  sleigh! and waking up on Christmas morning to a pillowcase of toys etc at the  end of my bed. I remember I slept in a small dormitory possibly 6  – 10 boys there were girls in the house but they had their own bedroom. I

Richard Miller NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants
Richard Miller NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants

believe  the boys bedroom was on the ground floor. I remember watching The Lone Ranger on a  black and white TV, and The Sunshine Club arriving with Movies to show us  all.

I have many other memories of the Home but I can’t  rember any of the other children who went to it. I do have one photo only of a  number of children, including myself, taken within the grounds of the Home. Richard G Miller.

Richard Miller NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants
Group at National Childrens Home NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants. Richard Miller is third from the left in the stripy shirt.

Memories of Sheila Freeman

The picture of Stokes Bay, (on this site) brings back many fond memories of the first thirteen years of my life, which were spent in the National Children’s Home, Clayhall Road, Alverstoke. There are so many stories to tell and a few old photo’s to share.
Please find (below) a picture of our “Little Church” as it used to be.  I was in the choir, like many of the boys and girls. The girls wore a long black gowns, white collar with a fancy frill which hung down the front  and a black square pointed hat, which sat on the back of the head. The boys wore a long black robe with a white smock over the top.The outside village communities would join with us on Sunday’s for morning and evenings services.  I felt so important walking up the isle with the choir as the service began. This time of year brings back fond memories, of when I was Mary in the nativity play which we staged  in front of the alter.  Another year I was an angel.
Sheila Freeman Little Church NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants
Little Church National Childrens Home Alverstoke Gosport Hants From Sheila Freeman
Gosport also holds many memories: I can remember the old car ferry which went from Gosport to Portsmouth on chains. The old paddle steamer that sailed to the Isle of Wight. The naval docks on how they used to be, all hustle and bustle. Barrage balloons which occupied Portsmouth Harbour. Old battle ships and aircraft carries and the Christmas parties the Navy used to give us  on board many of those old ships. One year, we had a party on board an American submarine. So my thoughts of Alverstoke and Gosport are with great affection. Sheila Freeman.

– As a direct response from the Gosport website, I received an email from an old NCH boy.  It turned out that we were in the Children’s Home the same time, but in different houses. The old memories came flooding back and we were soon recalling old times.

Our Open Days during the summer, when the home was opened to the general public.  All the children were involved in setting up stalls, marking out bowls pitches and decorating the grounds ready for visitors.  Christmas Parties the Royal Navy used to give us on board various ships.  They entertained and treated us like celebrities. Saturday pictures at the Ritz in Gosport.  The first film I remembered was Reach for the Sky which stared Kenneth Moore.  He came to the Children’s Home not long after making this film.

Sheila Freeman NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants May Fare
NCH Alverstoke Gosport Hants May Fare (Sheila Freeman 4th from right at front) from Shelia Freeman

The email came with the attached photograph below of the May Fair.  I remember dancing round a maypole and making daisy chains to wear around our neck, aged about six.  Imagine my surprise, when I found myself on one knee at the front (4th from the right).  To see this picture after all these years, made me feel quite emotional.  For many children, including myself, this was home. Sheila Freeman

Memories of Lorrell of Canada

I am so excited to find the national children’s home, on you’re site. my gosh… I was in the home from 1963-66. I went in as an infant under the care of Sister Olive Bell, at nine months, I was transferred to Sister Ivy Bell, who later became my mother. I have so many fond memories, and still keep in contact with my best friends from there, Ann Millard. who now lives in Portsmouth. she came to see me actually , in 2001, 37yrs. since I’d seen her last.. amazing really. Please, if you have any photo’s in you archives, I’d love to see them. I also have old photos of Sunshine House, Little Church, and some other houses on the site. thank you so much. Lorrell. p.s. Could you please let me know if there is someone I can contact, to see if I can get addresses of other children I remember from that time. Thank you. Lorrell (Canada)

Jane Belcher for Information about Mothers stay 1913 on

I am seeking information about my mother’s stay in the home. I believe she was there from some time in 1913 until she went into service. She would have been about 7 years old when she arrived and was with her two sisters who were also placed there at the same time. Their names were Amy,Doris and Eva Hill. Any information would be most welcome. Jane Belcher

Memories of Michael Dove

I entered the N.C.H in November 1959 I remember that day, I was driven down from London to Alverstoke with my two sisters and older brother. We had earlier said goodbye to our mother who could not come with us as she was to ill to travel. We did not know then that would be the last time we would see her. We drove into the grounds of Alverstoke to be greeted by the two big trees looking menacingly down at us outside the admin block, Atkinson House. we were then taken inside to have our admission processed by Mr Thomas, the four of us were then taken over to Stevenson B house under the care of Sister Gertrude. I do not remember my Christmas. but the New Year is a different story. The four of us were taken into sister Gertrudes room to hear the news no child wants to hear, our mother had passed away (the worse day of my life). I knew then I was in for the long haul, after a couple of weeks things started to get back to normal well as normal as a seven year old can make it. I was introduced to a married couple from Portsmouth who took me out for the day they must have liked me because I soon staying at their home most weekends, this went on for about a year until they had their own baby. I did go a few times after that then it suddenly stopped, my sell by date had expired, so I done the thing any misguided kid would do I joined our church choir. There was good times and they out weighed the bad ones. I had a brief spell outside the home for about a year, but returned (my own choice) I was then placed in Cranliegh House with sister Myra in 1964, there I stayed until I left in July 1967, I returned to London to start my working life. I had many good times in my Two Spells at Alverstoke, my main friends were Richard Thomas, George Dodd, Peter Keane, Michael Mckee,& Tony Bennets does any one remember these boys. Dovey (Micheal Dove) (Added 3rd June 2007)

Peter Keogh  NCH Alverstoke 1940’s

I was a resident of Gosport from 1940-1948 when I was sent to NCH at Alverstoke. In 1951 I was sent to Australia as a child migrant. I still have recollections of Gosport/Alverstoke after so many years and would relate them if anyone was interested. – Yes please, please send to me at Thank you Ian

D W Burgess Information on Chadwick House NCH Alverstoke

I live in one of the houses which was part of the Home from 1901. ie CHADWICK House, no 14 St Marks Road. I am trying to trace the history of this house do you have any contacts that could help me. Do have a copy of an old photo of 1901 showing the children outside the house when it was a hospital Does anybody know where the name Chadwick House came from D W Burgess

Lynda NCH Alverstoke 1983/84 (when closed)

I was in the children’s home in 1983 until it closed in 1984. I had some great times there and it was such a shame that it closed. I would be fascinated to learn more of how it used to be many years ago.

Lynne For Information Wakefield House NCH Alverstoke

I am wondering if you have any information about Wakefiled House in Stokes Bay? My sister was stationed there, whilst she was in the WRENS during WWII. I understand it became a children’s home and has since been demolished. A picture as it used to be and any history of its wartime use would be much appreciated for a special display her family is putting together to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Sue’s Father  NCH Alverstoke 1917

My father was in the National Children’s Home Alverstoke in 1917 having been sent by St Columb Major Union. He was later moved to NCH Alexandra Road, Farnborough, where he stayed until 1927. I have been fortunate to obtain all his records from that time. Would you have any idea if there are any records available for 1917 Alverstoke and if so where do I look ?

Lorraine Pallat

Hi I saw your email in an article Gosport’s history and some thing Brian Coates written about Stokesmead Alverstoke NCH… I was at Stokesmead 1971 to 79 . I would like to trace images etc as I have been thinking and wanted find the routes to tracing my history under my maiden name. Not sure how old this article is but im sure its open to the ex children of Stokesmead.