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Nazareth House

Peters_History

knowlegable brummie
Hi .. I used to work at Nazareth House which was run by The Poor Sisters of Nazareth, I was only there maby a year or so... I worked on the top floor (4th I think) around 1976/77 ish... I often had to take 4 young children for a walk every day up to the Lickey Hills... or Cofton park.. I remember at the back of the huge house was a climbing frame which the children often played on... not much else in the playground really...

Angie x
 

kryzwicki

proper brummie kid
Hi Angie.
Thank you for getting in touch. I was there for two spells inthe early 1960's with my brother and three sisters the youngest two were in the nursery on the 4th floor. I have vivid memories of the place and am now obsessed with finding photos and information about the place. I would guess it was demolished in the 1980's, although I'm not sure. Do you know when and why it was knocked down? I can't imagine why the church would sell the building but I can understand that they would maybe sell some of it's land because it had lots of farmland.A similar convent building near Coventry, where I now live did sell all of their land for new housing but the lovely old building remains intact and still inhabited by nuns.....so I remain intrigued! I remember Nazareth house had its own laundry, farm and kitchen garden we weren't allowed to go to these places but my brother and I did anyway. If you have, or know of any photos I would be so grateful Angie, any aspect of the place would be appreciated.

Tony.
 

Peters_History

knowlegable brummie
Hi Tony... I was on the 4th floor.... l only remember I had charge of 4 little boys... two were twins.. not identical ... I often wonder what happened to some of the children...
As far as I heard after I left it stopped being a children home and it was a home for the elderly... then I heard they knocked it down... like you say tragic for such a building... I remember the huge big front door... and the dark wood downstairs do you remember any of the Sisters names?? the one I think of is Sister Alousious (I not sure of the spelling of her name) she was nice but sadly was sent off to Scotland .... I even went on holiday with them... it was to a place called Cliftonville by the seaside somewhere... kids loved it...
I will hunt out the photo I have for you tomorrow ... il be in touch again then..
I can understand your intrigue ... it was part of your life ... and such a building too..
Regards
Angie xx
 

pollypops

master brummie
Hi Angie, this is strange - in my quest to find a photo of Nazareth House for Tony I talked to someone who said her parents used to take twin boys from Nazareth House on days out at the weekend. I wonder if it was the same twins? This person told me that quite a few people in the area would regularly take children from there on day trips.

Polly :)
 

john knight

signman
When I was a young signwriter working in Stafford Street in the 50's the sisters used to bring collection boxes in once a year to have the name signwritten on them,my gaffer used to charge them 6d when the proper price should have been 7/6.
 

Peters_History

knowlegable brummie
Hi there Tony... well here you are I found more than I thought Id got... I have had to adjust the pictures as unfortunately they had faded somewhat.. so hope they are ok?.. also just to be on the save side I have had to block the children's faces as I don't have their permission to post them... The pictures are of the back of the home on the climbing frame and the swing which I had forgotten about...

Hope you like them..
 

kryzwicki

proper brummie kid
Hi Angie....Thank you for the photos they are really good, they brought back memories. I remember that down steps to the left of the photos was the old school yard with toilets on the left. There was an entrance in the corner. when I stayed the first time we were taught in the convent, the classroom windows can be seen in the background of the photo with the swing in it.In my second stay we went to St James School. Both times I stayed there Sister Assumta looked after the boys but Sister Columbkill (not sure of the spelling) looked after the girls first time, Sister James the second.Do any of these names ring a bell?The last time I saw the building standing must have been in 1972. I went to see that awful Ken Russell film "The Devils" with my then fiancee at the ABC Cinerama down the road.We left halfway through so we walked up Lickey Road to show her where I spent some of my childhood.The last time I passed that way I was horrified to see it had gone and to see a new housing estate in its place! When it became an elderly persons home did the nuns still run it? what became of them in the end? Angie I hope you get this because I tried several times to contact you yesterday without success.
Please keep in touch. Thanks once again I really appreciate your help.

Regards. Tony.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aren't the last two the same picture, other than a different shade of colour? I have taken the liberty of tweaking the colour a bit (and slightly reducing the digital size for the forum ). Hope this helps
Mike








 

Peters_History

knowlegable brummie
Thanks MIke... I 'tweeked' them as best I could with what little I have on my puta... as they had really faded... its odd because I have other photos but mostly of the children at Cofton park.. all taken at the same time... yet they havent faded??... Yes the two on the swing are more or less the same.. only one was closer....

Glad you like them Tony and that you can see a 'bit' of the building in the back ground... I dont remember those Nuns names you mentioned .. Ohh forgot the photos were taken in 1978... March!! Iv written all the children's names on the back too!! Gosh I must have been organized back then!!... Another Sisters name I remember was Sister Magdolane.. (sp not sure) ...and yes the Nuns as far as I understood ran the old peoples home,
Glad you like the photos...
Angie xx
 

kryzwicki

proper brummie kid
Hi Polly and Angie, I hope you both can read this, please let me know. I had a meeting with The Father Hudson Homes Society in Coleshill yesterday, I'm so glad that I did! They have provided me with records of every letter written by my father to the society and the replies for both of the times the family was there. I didn't realise that we were there as early as 1959, I thought it was 1961 and later. On our admission in 1961, according to the records I was given, the place was referred to as, Maria Goretti House, was it called that when you worked there Angie? The society couldn't tell me why it was demolished.I don't know if I told you, the building itself wasn't erected as a convent, it was built in 1910 for Austin Work apprentices as boarding for them and was opened in 1912 and was known as the Austin Apprentices College, it closed in 1925 and presumably became Nazareth House after that. I haven't found any more photos yet but I am still hoping more may turn up. I am trying to access the archives in Birmingham Library as they do have a photo but there's a lot of forms to fill in.They sent me the forms as PDF Files but I will have to convert them so I can fill them in online. I will upload all the photos to the forum when I think I have gone as far as I can go with my search.
I hope you both are well.
Kindest Regards to you both,
Tony.
 

Peters_History

knowlegable brummie
WoW Tony you have been busy researching havnt you... well done .... the house was always known as Nazarath House when I was there... I was there on placement from my collage course in about 1976... then after collage was given a job there... but I left to marry in 1978... so was only there a short time,
Yes it would be great to see any photos you may find... Keep up the good work...Great to hear from you
All the best Angie xxxx
 

pollypops

master brummie
Hi Tony, I am so pleased for you that you have managed to find out more information on your stay at Nazareth House. It must be lovely to have some of your questions answered.
I didn't know that Nazareth House was originally built for the Austin - that's very interesting.
I am still looking for pictures and information for you - I am sure one day something else will turn up.
Thanks for letting us know how you are getting on.
Polly :)
 

Fairney View

knowlegable brummie
Great photos - I have been doing my mums history and I have a form which states she is at Nazareth House, Rednal, Birmingham age 9yrs in 1949 and they are sending her off to Australia as a Child Migrant. She was three when she entered the Nursery there.
When I went to the 'Apology' at Queensland Parliament I met other 'orphans' from there, who recounted the Austin Works, across the road and something about scrumping from the trees over there and dashing back before they got caught!
They called her 'Carrots' for her red hair, but Mum who lives in the Midlands has repressed her memories of that time. Maybe just as well, but sad at the same time.
Little did she know her future father-in-law was working at the Austin Works Longbridge and was for 40years!
 

kryzwicki

proper brummie kid
Thank You Liz for posting the photo that your nephew found. It certainly is of Nazareth House. Photos of the place seem to be scarce but everyones help in the forum has given me encouragement to carry on researching. Thanks again and also thank your nephew for me.
Tony.
 

kryzwicki

proper brummie kid
Hi ! Did you ever get to see Nazareth House for yourself? I thought the place was intriguing although I missed my mum and dad. I had my brother and three sisters with me which helped considerably.
Regards, Tony.
 

Fairney View

knowlegable brummie
Unfortunately, didn't get to Redal on my UK schedule - hopefully next time. This site is brilliant for images and info to place mum's life in context. Lets say one thing: she disowned all religion after her experience, sent us to Cof E Sunday school so she could have a lie in! However I think the Lickey Hills environment must have eased whatever sorrow she felt.
 

Fairney View

knowlegable brummie
Hey Angie, good info to go with the 1912 pic of Nazareth House - My mum was 3yrs in the Nursery in 1944 and unknown to her of course a baby brother also illegitimate awaiting adoption. We only welcomed him into our family after the secret veil was dropped 66 years later.
Apparently boys were more popular with adoptions so mum had to stay till they shipped her to Australia.
How long would they have stayed in Nursery for? 4/5yrs?
 
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