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Home of The Good Samaritan Waverley House Victoria Rd Grappe


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Grappenhall

 

Please can anyone help me with the smallest snippet of information?

 

My mother was adopted from this home in 1967. I have no relationship with my own mother she left me when I was 6, so I know nothing of my maternal roots. I have very cheekily already been to the site of this home and the current owner was so nice and gave me all the information she had, but I am still yearning to know more. I have no rights to adoption records as they belong to my mother, I am terrified of initiating contact for fear of rejection and my only hope is someone local can remember something, anything..I have posted on various sites but have so far found nothing.

 

It was run by C of E from 1949 to 1983-but neither the diocese of Liverpool or chester have any records- someone must remember something. I think it was run by a Mrs Edgerton Smith and there was a nurse called Nurse Gatehouse, I have her registration number from a scrap of paper kept by my mothers adoptive parents.

 

Please,please, if you remember anything get in touch, anything I am told will be treated with the strictest of confidence if it is sensitive. I am desperately trying to piece together my own identity, I lost my dad 4 years back and since then I have felt I need to trace some of my roots. I have ummed and ahhed about contacting my birth grandmother, I know her address etc but would use an intermediary service obviously but want to know as much as possible before I possibly destroy her life-I dont know if her husband knows about my mum.

 

So sorry for the desperate post, but I am desperate for information, please help if you can

 

Can anyone help??

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Hi Kerrypn

 

Having been through the ?adoption? search ourselves I know how frustrating it can be with more brick walls than open doors at times eh?

 

Don?t give up though, the answers are out there somewhere (although at times it seems that they are not) you just have to be very patient and very persistent.

 

Not all searches result in a happy ending though, but some do, and the way we looked at it was that anything good was a bonus but anything bad or a rejection was something that had sort of already happened anyway so we were no worse off really (if that makes sense :? )

 

It?s a shame that you can?t contact your mum though as she may already know more of the information you need or could apply it if she felt it was important to you.

 

Same goes for your maternal grandmother as obviously she would know everything you need to know but again I understand your reasons for being cautious of making contact.

 

Chances are there isn't a day that has gone by that your maternal grandmother hasn't wondered what happened to her daughter but like you have also said she may never have shared those thoughts or facts with anyone else since :cry:

 

Going back to the home in Grappenhall, I suspect (although I do not know for sure as I have never heard locally of it) that like the name suggests it was a home of a ?good samaritan? that ?helped? out with unmaried mothers and their sad plight at the time. It could be that documents and information relating to your mothers birth and subsequent adoption lie elsewhere.

 

Have you tried the records of the nearby Victoria Park Maternity Home which was in existence in Warrington from 1950?s until around 1980 (ish)? I believe that this was the place where many unmaried mother?s of the earlier times gave birth prior to adoptions taking place.

 

Also, If you know your mothers pre-adoptive name (or failing that) your maternal grandmothers name, date of birth or any other family details you could eneter them on a site like genes-reunited which cross matches other peoples family trees which can help. This was a great help to us and resulted in a lady with access to birth/marriage databases in the area we were looking giving us a lot of information for free.

 

You can also apply for copies of birth, marriage, death certificates etc based on such details which in turn can lead to other family names and information becoming known. Unless the rules have changed since we were searching then it wont matter that you are the maternal grandchild as I applied for them and was not even a 'blood' relation.

 

I am sorry for the brief (was that brief :lol: ) and garbled reply as it is late but if anything else springs to mind I will let you know.

 

Good luck and I will ask around to see if anyone I know remembers anything about the 'Good Samaritans' home as I am only 3 years older than your mum so I guess you are only in your 20's :shock::D I feel old now :cry::wink:

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Thank you for your kind reply :)

 

Sadly my mother has refused point blank to supply any information or allow me to access the adoption file-which I have located but have no rights to :(

 

Thank you for the information provided re victoiria park, I will be looking into this, thanks.

 

I think the home was generally better known as waverley house when you are asking people.

 

Thank you so much for taking time to help me, it is very much appreciated.

 

I am starting the contact process, but it will be a long drawn out affair as I am using an intermediary as I felt this would be best for my maternal grandmother.

 

I am 26 by the way, and youre not the only one who feels old, I can feel myself ageing every day since I started looking into this!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Kerrypn, hope everything is going ok for you.

 

Probably no help but I've just been reading a book called 'A Warrington Chronology' and it has the 'Home of the Good Samaritan' listed in it briefly.

 

Under the chronological section for Church of England it says :-

 

1953 Dec 11 - Chapel at Home of the Good Samaritan opened in Grappenhall

 

So going back to your original post where you say the the diocese of Liverpool or chester have no records of it.. that's odd as they opened a chapel in it.

 

I checked further back and the C of E Diocese of Liverpool was created in 1880 (and served parished north of the River Mersey) so if it continued to serve the same area it possibly wouldn't have included Grappenhall.

 

The Diocese of Chester was created in 1541 for what it's worth.

 

Maybe you could ask in the local C o f E churches if they or their members have any record or recolection of the home as it is so recent. St Wilfreds is the church in Grappenhall and St Thomas' C of E is very nearby in Stockton Heath.

 

Good luck and sorry if this is no use to you :oops::D

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My wife recently contacted her "lost" child after many years of searching & Social Services brickwall mentality. The agency she used was After Adoption based in Liverpool ,they were very understanding & efficient producing a happy ending in less than a year.

Don't give up someone out there can help you.

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  • 10 years later...

I lived at Waverley house, Warrington in 1979 when it was a mother and baby home, I often think back to those days, the lady who ran it was Miss Cheung, often wonder what happened to her, she was lovely, a lot of mixed emotions run through my head thinking of those days, wonder what happened to all the girls who passed through there, I was there from sept 1979 until end of November 1979. Hope everyone had good lives. 

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  • 8 months later...

I have recently discovered this discussion forum and would like to share some of my memories of Waverley House, and of Miss Cheung.

Miss Cheung was deeply aware of what each individual in her care was facing during their time at Waverley House.  Many were bearing the weight of having to make heart breaking decisions.  Miss Cheung was not judgmental, nor was she involved in any of the decision making concerning the future of ‘her girls’ and the precious lives that they were carrying.  Her role was to care in every practical way possible, and her faith enabled her to pray that each person would feel well supported and loved.  

I worked in Waverley House for a short period when Miss Cheung (my sister) was ill.  I had strict instructions from her before she went into hospital, as she wanted “her girls” to be well looked after.  Included in my numerous instructions, was to make sure that a 'delicious' roast dinner was prepared each Sunday, to order plenty of fresh milk because protein was important for the girls, and to buy butter and not margarine (because some had cravings for buttered toast for supper!)  This attention to detail on her part, was to make sure that everyone would feel cared for and at home, and because good nutrition was important!  She endeavoured to do her best, in order to make sure that the environment was as comfortable as it could possibly be, although funding was limited.

There was a small building in the garden,  “The Chapel”, where Father Wilkes sometimes held a short service.  There was also a caravan for visitors which was parked at the back of the house.  Mrs Egerton-Smith was a regular visitor, along with several other social workers; Miss Goddard, Mrs Carrington and Miss Sheila B(?) are the names that come to mind.  A lady called Marj came twice a week to clean and polish, she was always smiling and jovial which added to the homely atmosphere.  Our immediate local neighbours often popped in for coffee and a chat; a lady called Sonia from next door, and Mrs Medlock from the opposite house would sometimes appear with garden produce.

Each Saturday, two volunteers came for the day from Thorn Cross, Apple Thorn.  They kindly helped in whatever way they could, usually outdoors tending to the garden and mowing the lawn.  They also did a great job of decorating the office when Miss Cheung was admitted to hospital.  In her absence, the instructions that I were given, were as precise for our community helpers as those given concerning the residents - a tray of coffee and biscuits on arrival, lunch to be served as a proper meal with dessert, and an afternoon tea tray before leaving.  Once again, this was because, "They would probably be missing their homes and family".

During Christmas and New Year, when my sister was needed to stay at Waverley House, she endeavoured to create a ‘family’ atmosphere. One year, along with the residents, the next door neighbours were invited for Christmas dinner, along with our two community helpers from Thorn Cross.  Miss Cheung was an excellent cook and aimed to provide good, home cooked meals.

A memorable and moving occasion was when the first of our Saturday community workers was able to leave Thorn Cross, and his first port of call was to Waverley House with an enormous bouquet of flowers.  I still remember his beaming smile and sincere, heartfelt thanks.  It was very touching that Miss Cheung and Waverley House were even in his thoughts on that day.

Miss Cheung sadly died in 2013. I spoke of her time at Waverley House at her funeral, because it was a very significant and important part of her life.  She genuinely cared about every individual during the immensely difficult period of their lives.  Many letters of gratitude were discovered amongst her belongings after her death.  In order to protect the many confidences, the letters were destroyed out of respect for those who had sent them - it is their story alone to tell.

Towards the end of her life, Miss Cheung still remembered each and every person from her time at Waverley House.  After leaving Waverley, and while still living in Warrington, she trained to be a nurse and then worked in St John's Hospice, Wirral, for many years.  Later in life, she became a hospital chaplain.  I hope that the few memories that I have highlighted will serve to help and comfort in some positive way.  In the time that Miss Cheung was at Waverley, she really tried to make that huge, Victorian house, a safe and peaceful haven for whoever passed through. 

 

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