Convent Orphanage in Baldock

Edwin Weston

My name is Edwin Weston and I am trying to locate a convent orphanage in Baldock where my brother and I resided for about three years in the early fifties. As we were both very young (6 and 7 years of age when we left), we do not remember any details of the location or name of the convent. I remember the large dinner hall and being served hot lemonade and bread and jam. There was a big stairway going up to the dormitories. The convent had its own spacious grounds at the back which were surrounded by farmland. I remember there were rose gardens (I think) and also being taken by the sisters to watch some kind of coronation parade, but did not see very much because it was so crowded. The sister superior was an elderly little lady. I remember once I was sick and had to stay in the locked dormitory and a sister brought me lunch on a tray. I got very lonely and jumped out of the second floor window and gashed my lip. A policeman came to my bedside the next day and told me I was a naughty boy.

I live in Canada now and have never returned to Baldock, but I’m curious to know the name and exact location of the convent. Based on the memories and comments of other people, I believe it may be St Joseph’s convent (but I am not sure). Does anyone know if the convent is still there? Also is there a photo of it anywhere? Any information would be much appreciated.

This page was added on 23/02/2017.

Comments about this page

  • I was there in 1961 when i was ten..you guys have brought so many memories flooding back.I recall we were given our pocket money once a week to buy sweets..me and two of my friends planned to discreetly take more money than needed and escape from the covent that night..which we did.It was so exiting.We left the grounds and kept walking through the night with no idea of direction..we walked what seemed for hours..A policeman on his bike suddenly appeared..”Hey boys what are you doing walking so late at night”,We said,going home to london!!!.He made us follow him to the police station..the police were so kind..kit kats..hot chocolate..so warm cosy and comfortable there with the police..until the convents driver came to take us back.The nuns were waiting..and boy did we get it.They sent us up to our dormitory..not a word was spoken.We thought we got away lightly..the nuns waited till we fell asleep..then woke us and, gave us the biggest strapping you can imagine..great memories😂😂😂

    By Christopher Patroklou (29/07/2020)
  • Hi Edwin, I was at the CONVENT OF PROVIDENCE in Baldock in the early ’60s. Your description closely matches my memories of the place. I remember the big dining hall. Breakfast was bread and jam, and supper was hot lemonade and bread. I think that lunch was the only hot meal of the day (except Sundays when we had spam, which was a huge treat! I remember the big staircase up to the dormitories. The grounds, which seemed huge to me, (I was 7 when I went there) backed onto farmland. There was a rose garden through which we walked to get to a Lourdes grotto where we went to say the Angelus when the weather was nice. There was also an apple orchard and green houses that some of the nuns tended. I think that much of the food that we ate was grown at the convent. I remember us all, inmates and nuns together, shelling peas when the pea crop was harvested. The nuns were wonderfully kind to me. I will always be grateful to them.

    By Chris Austen (05/12/2018)
  • i was in a kinda nunnery in baldock in the 50,s’i just wana know where it is and what was it.this is my name now,but at the time it was the greek version.mickalagis gavrielidis

    By michael.gavriel (29/09/2017)
  • You can see pictures of the convent as it looks now at:

    https://stmichaelshitchin.wordpress.com/st-josephs-convent-baldock/

    By Stefan (23/02/2017)
  • Hi Edith, there was indeed a St Joseph’s convent in Baldock. The building still exists but it is no longer a convent – I believe it may be a care home.

    By Stefan (23/02/2017)
  • Dear Edwin Weston, please contact Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies who may be able to help with your enquiry

    http://www.hertsdirect.org/hals

    By S Williams (23/02/2017)

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