Fairmile Hatch Residential Nursey, Cobham, Surrey, Surrey

Fairmile Hatch, a large country house on Sandy Lane, Cobham, was was acquired by London County Council in 1948 and converted into a residential nursery. It accommodated up to 39 children, aged between 9 months and 5 years at their date of admission.

The location of Fairmile Hatch is shown on the 1935 map below.

Fairmile Hatch Residential Nursey site, Cobham, c.1935.

Following the abolition of the London County Council in 1965, the running of the nursery passed to Wandsworth Borough Council.

Some memories and photos of the nursery have been kindly contributed by Elizabeth Ruddle:

I was a student Nursery Nurse at the London Borough of Wandsworth Residential Nursery at Fairmile Hatch, Sandy Lane, Cobham, from September 1971, attending day release at Guildford College and qualifying in July 1973.

The main building was at the top of a long drive with a "lodge" at the entrance on Sandy Lane where some of the staff lived. The staff team lived in. My first pay was £32.50 gross superannuation £1.63, national insurance £2.40, board and lodging £13, take home pay £15.47.

All the staff were called "Auntie" as it was felt easier for the children that attended school to have someone to belong to. The children were arranged into family groups and each had its own garden, also a nursery school. We accepted babies straight from hospital at 10 days old and each one had a "special auntie" who purchased clothing etc for the baby or took the child shopping. We had lots of outings to the local river, park and further afield to the sea and Box Hill. My group had a holiday to Hayling Island.

We had a dog called "LaBOW" named after the London Borough of Wandsworth who owned the home. There was a minibus called the "Brake", no idea why, which took the children to school.

In July 1973 the staff were informed the home was closing consequently I moved on.

After the nursery closed in 1973, the building was demolished to make way for the Burleigh Park housing estate.

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. Holdings include: Minutes of Managing Committee (1949-55); Log books (1958-9).

Bibliography

  • None identified at present.