The Brocket Babies
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1. From June Godby - received 15th March 2013
My parents lived in Hornsey when my mother, who was registered at the City of London Maternity Hospital became a patient at Brocket. I was born at 9 o'clock on15 February 1942. I remember my mum telling me that the fall of Singapore was being announced on the “wireless”. My sister Stella was also born at Brocket in January 1947. She remembers our mum telling her she saw the stars through the window on her way to the delivery room and decided on the name Stella if the baby was a girl. (She was convinced she was having a boy and only chosen a boy's name). The other memory our mum shared with her was that unmarried mothers had to wait on the married mothers and clean and scrub the floors. She thought this was very wrong. I remember going to Brocket with my dad to collect my sister. I don't know how we got there but I remember sitting on a bench seat at the bottom of the staircase which was very decorative and I think the carpet was royal blue. I lived in High Barnet most of my childhood, moving to south London and north Kent in 1960. Circumstances took me back to Hertfordshire between 1988 and 2004 and I remember doing a walk in the early nineties that included the footpath going past Brocket Hall. I never expected there would be a time when babies born there would be able to re-visit.
Discharge Cards added to the Information section.
1. From Paul Quick (Weston super Mare, Somerset) - received 15th March 2013 and updated 28 April 2013 with additional photo showing Lord Brocket
My mother always had an urge to visit Brocket Hall after the war but never had the opportunity as it was not open to the public. We lived nearby in Stevenage and the closest we got was the large white gates leading to the road. In 1984 she was diagnosed with cancer and given only a few months to live.
In Oct/Nov 1984( A Saturday) I picked up the phone and dialed Brocket Hall, the phone was answered by a chap who turned out to be Charlie Brocket. Apparently he had been passing through the office section which was closed for the weekend and answered the phone. I told him I was born at Brocket Hall and gave him the story about Mums wish to visit and her illness etc. He invited us to visit the next day. I did not tell Mum where we were going but stopped at the white gates as we had done on many previous occasions. She said 'wouldn't it be nice to see the house' so I drove though the gate, much to her astonishment. I parked right outside the front door. It was Sunday so I was alone, and took Mum inside. There was nobody around and no bell to ring. All I could discern was a smell of roast beef coming from upstairs. I left mum in the lobby, followed the smell and finished up in a kitchen where a very nice young lady was cooking Sunday lunch. She turned out to be Lady Brocket (Ailsa) I think was her name. I obviously frightened the life out of her as she dropped a spoon on the floor. I quickly explained the situation and asked where Charlie was. She did not have a clue but turned off the gas and spent the next two hours giving us a guided tour of Brocket Hall. We found the room my mother was in which was now allocated to a maid. Lady Brocket took many photos of us in that room. Charlie Brocket did turn up in the end and apologised to us for not being there to meet us. I apologised for ruining his lunch.
A lot has been written about Charlie Brocket over the years but I shall always be grateful to him and his wife for making my mothers last few days some of the happiest of her life.
1. From Jennifer Stone (Kingussie, Scotland) - received 4th April 2013
I was born at Brockett Hall on 20th October 1946 to Pauline Muskett who named me Alison Muskett. Within 3 weeks I was taken away for adoption by wonderful parents who re-named me Jennifer and we then moved to Scotland and I was brought as an only child. After many years I discovered I was adopted and found my records for Brockett Hall only last year. Sadly my birth mother passed away back in 1991 without ever knowing I was trying to find her, but thanks to the internet I have managed to trace my family. I have found and met my brother Peter and his family who live in Hatfield not far from Brockett Hall. It is fantastic after all these years to finally have answers to so many questions and more importantly to have forged links with my family that will never be broken again. Please feel free to contact me if anyone would like to know how I managed to trace my birth family.