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St Faith's, Warwick Road

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anne
coventry
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1 of 53  Sat 10th Mar 2012 4:08pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:289

Does anyone have any memories of St. Faith's home for unmarried mothers? I was adopted in 1955 and spent a few weeks there when first born. I would particularly like any memories of women who had to stay there. Pictures of it in the '50's would be a bonus! Lol
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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 53  Sat 10th Mar 2012 4:29pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3833

Hi Anne Wave I walked past St. Faiths on my way to school most mornings. Until I was in my mid' teens, I did not know what its use was. I know someone who lived in there for a while but that was in the sixties. Wave Wave
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anne
coventry
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3 of 53  Sun 11th Mar 2012 6:17pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:289

Hi Philip! Thanks for that. Any period would be interesting to know about - I doubt that the swinging sixties made much difference for unmarried mothers in our city! Oh my Roll eyes
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BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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4 of 53  Tue 13th Mar 2012 9:16am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

I know my late mum and her sisters and brother briefly spent some time here - late 1940's - before being sent off to Barnado's homes. My (late) grannie married in 1942 and by 1944, shortly after mum was born (their second child). My grandad topped himself. Nan then 'lived in sin' with another chap and had two more children. When she split up with this chap, Uncle R and Auntie I went to St Faith's then Barnado's before eventually being moved to Devon so that their dad could not have contact with them. (There was nothing wrong with him or no threat from him - grannie lied to the authorities about him being a bad 'un!) Being 'illegitimate', they were never 'rescued' by my gran's family circle. Before moving to Devon, mum and Auntie H were taken to see them one Christmas Day. Nan told them they were going to see their brother and sister to give them Christmas presents. Instead, she actually 'deposited' them at Barnado's - on Christmas Day! and was overheard by Auntie H talking to the Barnado's staff referring to Auntie I and Uncle R as 'the b*stards!' Being 'legitimate', mum and Auntie H were 'rescued' from time to time by the maternal family. The paternal family was up in Scotland so couldn't do anything. Nowadays, my grannie would probably be diagnosed with bi-polar at the very least. Back then it was 'kept in the family' and the kids suffered for it. I've seen the documents from St Faith's / Coventry Council - grannie lied about how her husband died (saying it was from polio). The Council ordered her to attend a work training hostel in return for taking the children into care. Mum never whinged about any of this when she was alive but clearly had a tough upbringing - with St Faith's playing a brief part in her life.
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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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5 of 53  Tue 13th Mar 2012 11:31am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3833

Hi all Wave A question from me on this subject. What was the building used for to start with in Warwick Rd. Was it a convent school, as has been suggested to me. can anyone help with that also? Wave
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anne
coventry
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6 of 53  Thu 15th Mar 2012 5:24pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:289

Brother Joybert - thank you for sharing that - a very sad story! I imagine St Faith's has many of those Sad Philip - I must try to research that! Thanks Thumbs up
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philex31
Devon
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7 of 53  Mon 21st May 2012 6:10pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:23

I too passed St Faith's many times on my way to KHVIII. What I did not realise until recently was that St Faith's only occupied this location (Dudley Lodge, 143 Warwick Road) from the mid 1940s. Previously it appears to have been the family home of Emanuel Kalker (electrical cable manufacturer), and before him Samuel Gorton (cycle and motor manufacturer). Earlier addresses for St Faith's Refuge for Friendless Girls include: 41 Chester Street (c1900-1905), 25 Coundon Road (c1906-1912), Radford Fields in St Nicholas Street (c1918-1922), and 50 Holyhead Road (1920s-1940s).
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anne
coventry
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Thread starter
8 of 53  Mon 21st May 2012 8:08pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:289

That's really interesting! It always seemed like a private house - it's a lovely building! The other addresses are interesting too - I wonder whereabouts it was in St Nicholas Street? And I wonder if the house in the Holyhead Road still stands? Wave Cheers
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cally24
Wirral
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9 of 53  Mon 25th Feb 2013 2:59am  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:2

My father's birth certificate of Sept 1919 states that he was born at 'Windsmoor', Holyhead Rd. Does anyone know if this was the same place as St Faith's? His mother appears to have been unmarried at the time of his birth. Smile
Carole Wilshaw

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Lyngood
Coventry
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10 of 53  Mon 12th Aug 2013 9:57pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2013  Total posts:1

I was one of those 60s unmarried mothers who resided at St Faith's. My daughter was adopted at the six week time capsule. Whilst there it was regimented and we all had to take part in daily chores - not a bad thing. I remember having to go to the kitchen in the night to prepare a bottle, to find ants everywhere! I never forget one girl who had twins who had to be adopted. I knew there was no possibility that I could keep my daughter as my mother could not accept my predicament. St Faith's was stark but in many ways caring. We were looked after and so long as we towed the line, no problems. Miss Paton I believe was the patron
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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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11 of 53  Mon 12th Aug 2013 10:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3833

Hello Lyngood, & welcome to our forum. Wave Thank you for sharing your experience. We do hope that you enjoy your time with us. Wave
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dutchman
Spon End
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12 of 53  Mon 12th Aug 2013 10:51pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3033

On 21st May 2012 8:08pm, anne said: And I wonder if the house in the Holyhead Road still stands? Wave Cheers
No Anne, it was pulled down when the Ring Road was built. Prior to that it had been on the corner of Bangor Street which no longer exists.
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Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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13 of 53  Tue 13th Aug 2013 4:14am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2863

Hello Lyngood, I should think times have changed a little since then, I could be wrong perhaps. I do believe some secondary schools here have creches for the unmarried students who wish to still further their education, and judging by some reports they are very content with that arrangement. I was sorry your mum felt the way she did, those were the times when girls had to pay for their sins. Now, as for the fathers - no comment!!! Roll eyes
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woodford
coventry
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14 of 53  Sun 18th Aug 2013 9:37pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:172

On 12th Aug 2013 9:57pm, Lyngood said: I was one of those 60s unmarried mothers who resided at St Faith's.
That's very interesting, Lyngood. Have you ever heard anything about your daughter since then? I traced my 'original' family - my first mum, sadly, had died by then but I am still in touch with my half sister. Miss Paton kept notes on all her 'girls' and this provided some helpful information for me. Thanks for sharing Wave
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woodford
coventry
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15 of 53  Sun 18th Aug 2013 9:40pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:172

Thank you for that useful information, Dutchman Thumbs up
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