Over 60 people take a tour of Alexander House, where they were born

If you were in town on Wednesday 23 September, you may have seen approximately sixty people having their photograph taken outside Alexander House in the High Street. This building was the Maternity Home from about 1913 to 1950. There were only two homes in Wiltshire in the early years, so mothers had to come from Chippenham as well as outlying towns and villages to have their babies.

This meeting arose as part of the ‘Pass it on’ project led by Dominic Campbell in association with the new Springfield Campus and Corsham Heritage. The object is to gather stories of the life of people in Corsham (and other local towns and villages) down the decades, so that it may be stored at the Wiltshire History Centre in Chippenham for posterity.

Over 60 people take a tour of Alexander House, where they were born

Over 60 people take a tour of Alexander House, where they were born (Pictured: Nicholas Keyworth)

The participants were then invited to the Campus, where some of them were interviewed to paint a picture of their earlier lives in Corsham.

However, the event was so well attended, with people travelling from as far afield as Devon to be there, that it was impossible to gather as many stories as would have been liked. So: were you born in Corsham Maternity Home? If so, let us know and we will pass your name on to Corsham Heritage. There may well have to be another story-gathering exercise in the future!

Pat Whalley

10 replies
  1. Dave Brown
    Dave Brown says:

    I would like to know if you will have another ‘gathering’. I was born here 5 Sept 1947. I was not aware of the place/email etc where we can chat etc. Dave Brown

  2. Jean Howarth
    Jean Howarth says:

    I was born in Corsham Maternity home in November 1945. My surname was Hibberd and despite being a girl the nurses called me Stuart after the BBC newsreader. I was also the biggest baby girl that week and put in a cot “toe to tail” with Miles Ward (the biggest baby boy ) – not that I remember but my mother often told me.

  3. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    I have just found out that I had an Aunt who was born here on 25th December 1933. Her birth name was Joan Purbrick, it appears that she was adopted, so I have no more information about her. But know she would be about 84 now if she is still living. She is my mum’s half sister.

  4. Patrick Hurley
    Patrick Hurley says:

    I was born at Corsham Maternity Home in January 1945 as my father was an army Dental Corps Captain based locally (though I think my mother was involved at some point as well).
    I’ve recently been naturalized as a Frenchman with the aim of avoiding post- Brexit complications in my life.You are welcome to put up a blue plaque to this effect on one of the walls!
    Let me know if there’s another reunion in the future and I’ll see if I can make it over.
    Bonjour to all you other Corsham babies and I hope you’ve had as enjoyable a life as I have (so far)

  5. Colin Craddock
    Colin Craddock says:

    I was born in Corsham Maternity Hospital on 26th July 1945. My parents had moved to Bowden Hill, Lacock after being bombed out of Coventry during WW2. My Mother always said she had had enough when Hitler bombed her out of bed on her birthday! Bowden Hill must have been a bit of a contrast to Coventry! I didn’t know about the reunion until afterwards.

  6. Tessa Bailey nee Green
    Tessa Bailey nee Green says:

    I was born at the maternity home 22nd March 1948, weighing 9 lbs 7ozs! Mum stayed there 14 days, £ 7 doctors fee and £14 for the stay! 3 months before NHS.

  7. Sharon Frost
    Sharon Frost says:

    I am just reading my lovely Mums memoirs. Lynda Cook (Née Wiltshire) She was born July 1947 in Corsham Nursing Home.
    I would imagine 5 out of 6 of her Brothers and Sisters were also born there.
    I do remember my Grandmother (Dads Mum) saying that they had ran out of beds when she had my Dad Chris Clifford Jan 1946 so they put a board over the bath and made a bed for her there. She also recalled snow coming through the roof 🙂


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