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St Anne's Children's Home

The former St Anne's Children's Home
Photo by Tony Mould

Care home run by Catholic order of nuns

For over thirty years a large number of children were cared for by a Catholic order of nuns, The Poor Servants of the Mother of God, in a residential home in  Lansdowne Road, Hove. The order had been founded in 1872 by Frances Margaret Taylor (Mother Magdalen Taylor), primarily to do social work with the poor. The nuns moved to Hove in 1948 after their former premises, also known as St Anne’s Home, at 49 Buckingham Place, Brighton, had suffered serious war damage. Back in those early days there were also sister houses at Manor House, Portslade, and Magdala House, Carlton Terrace, Brighton

Development of the properties

The post-war location of the children’s home had originally been a Victorian domestic property known as Wick Lodge, which later became St Michael’s Hall School, an educational establishment for boys. During the war the place was taken over by the military. In 1945 the religious order was able to purchase the main building, known as Claremont. An adjoining property, Woodside, at 3 Lansdowne Road, was acquired in 1948 to be used as a kindergarten for the under-fives at the request of the local authority who used to subsidise the work.

St Ann’s Well Gardens

Although St Ann’s Well Gardens was nearby, the name of the home was in fact coincidental, St Anne being venerated as the mother of the Virgin Mary, for whom the nuns had great devotion. The water source in the nearby public gardens just happened to be dedicated to St Ann in common with several other holy wells in various parts of the country.

Change of direction in care policy

Both girls and boys were cared for at St Anne’s Home for Children, which was for them more like a big family unit from which they used to attend nearby schools just as any other local child. This use of the premises continued until there was a change of County Council policy in 1983 in favour of relocating such children with foster families. Despite this, St Anne’s Home did not close down. From the mid-1980s it was used for residential care for people with learning difficulties, and work with the homeless.

Continued work until 1994

For a period the unit called Marina (3a Lansdowne Road), along with Woodside, was leased to East Sussex County Council to provide day care facilities for mothers and young children, and residential accommodation for young girls. The order also operated a soup-kitchen and clothing store. This work continued until 1994 when the nuns moved out into nearby Woodside, re-naming it St Anne’s Convent, where they remain to this day.

Home is now Buddhist Centre

The former St Anne’s Home (Claremont) was placed on the market, while Marina continued to be used for the care of persons with learning difficulties. While unoccupied, the old buildings were taken over by squatters who caused a great amount of damage before they left after being served with an eviction notice in 1995. However, in 1997 the premises were once again restored to good order when they were purchased for their current use as the Bodhisattva Kadampa Meditation Centre.

Many children – many memories

Many children passed through the doors of the home during the thirty-five years of its operation. There are many memories. One that stands out is the time that they were invited in as extras during the making of the film Oh! What a Lovely War, a musical about WW1 filmed in 1968 in many locations around Brighton and starring all the leading British actors of the day. There was also an earlier film called The Secret, which was actually filmed partly in St Anne’s Home, featuring the children and some of the nuns, and also at the Brighton Film Studios in Centurion Road.

I  would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Judy Middleton’s Encyclopaedia of Hove, Paul Shaw, the Archivist for The Poor Servants of the Mother of God, the Archivist for the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and David Fisher, in providing information for this article.

Comments about this page

  • I have many happy membries of St Anne’s children’s home/convent, and was in the film ‘Oh what a lovely war’. I was taken out to the pictures by a family who were acting as aunties and uncles, was taken to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, when i returned the gates had been locked and  I had to climb the smaller side gate with my acting uncle and walk up the long drive in the dark to the main door knocking and ringing the bell untill one of the nuns opened the door, only to hear ‘forgot you were out’.

    By Julie Lenane (29/05/2011)
  • Wonderful to read the history and see a photo of where I grew-up, St. Anne’s Hove. I was in Woodside aged Three, then went over to Claremont but sadly no photo’s of the place, cannot see the building from the gates at the bottom of the drive. Went to Mary Magdalena Junior School, is it still there? Can you tell me the name of the Church almost next door? I had my First Communion and Conformation in there, big events in a child’s life. Walked every day to senior school The Sacred Heart in Hove which was in Two parts, one uppermost of the road name already mentioned run by nuns, lower part of road more modern building at the time, no nuns! Please could you refresh my memory by telling me (1) Name of road school was in? (2) name of second building or was it still part of The Sacred Heart? (3) Are the schools still there but known by a different name? Hope you will be able to help me as I might have moved away but my roots are still in Hove. Thank you for the photo that brought back memories but which I can share with my family.

    By Bernice Evans (06/06/2011)
  • Julie – great to hear you were in the film. Did you ever see yourself in it? Thank you for your memories. Bernice – not sure about the Junior School, but the senior schools you ask about were in the Upper Drive. The former schools there were all amalgamated into the present day Cardinal Newman comprehensive school as far as I can tell. You can find out more if you put Cardinal Newman into the search box at the top of this page.

    By Pat Benham (13/06/2011)
  • You can also look up Cottesmore for more info on St Annes.

    By Jillian (14/06/2011)
  • Pat, I have not seen myself in the film. I am trying to get film so I can watch it with my 16 year old daughter.

    By Julie Lenane (14/06/2011)
  • My sister Andrea and myself were at St Anne’s from 1963 until 1966. Our time there was sometimes lovely but also not so great. I particularly hated doing my week in the kitchen. I used to love going over to see the babies on Woodside. The long drive is one of the memories I have, as was the plank swing in the garden . My sister and I were in St Joseph’s group with Sister Beniganus, a young pretty Nun who was kind.

    By Zoe Balcombe (22/09/2011)
  • I was at St Anne’s in the late 60s with my two brothers and older sister, our baby sister wasn’t allowed as the convent didn’t at that time take babies. I became good friends with two sisters called Anna and Veronica, I was particularly close to Anna, perhaps being abandoned by my mother had something to do with this? The nuns were great and fun, my young brother was very close to Sister Loretta, she wore white habits most of the time. My brother used to stay with her during the night as he was inconsolable, cried all the time. The dinner lady scared the hell out of me, pulled my hair to make me eat my food. I just for some reason couldn’t, wouldn’t eat all my food. Gill who worked as a volunteer, took my hand and let me spit it all out down the toilet, she was quite literally a godsend, and to this day is the only person and her husband who’ve known me from the very early journey of my life. I recently re-visited the convent as I will always affectionately know it, and was surprised that the Buddhists had now taken it over. One thing I do remember, and very vividly, is the drive up to the main door, and the concrete pebble-dashed garage that housed the mini-bus. As I walked up drive, I said to my then girlfriend, there’s a garage up here on the left, and sure enough I was right. We had many trips out in this bus, and always seemed to sing ‘my bonny lies over the ocean’. Funny, that from our walk along the front, I was able to mentally navigate our way right to St Anne’s. Although I was never there for very long, a couple of years maybe three, it will always hold a special place in my heart forever. My thoughts are with you all who once, like me, walked and ran around the convent in the care of such beautiful people.

    By Vincent Menham (27/10/2011)
  • I too lived at St Anne’s from 1950 – 1967. I have many photographs of my days there and I still keep in touch with Monica and Dot who were ‘in charge’ of St Martin’s Group. Tonight I have learnt that Dot may not make it through the night as she had a stroke and has been in a care home for the past 3 years. Not only do I remember taking part in the film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ but also in 1954 I appeared in a film called ‘The Secret’ which was filmed at St Anne’s. Many of the other children also appeared in it and although I was only 5 at the time I can still remember filming in the Brighton Film Studios. Many summers were spent having picnics for us 60 children on The Devils Dyke and many Christmas parties were attended which were organised by the Post Office, M&S and other big businesses. I have many other memories and although the nuns were very strict it was a good childhood although it did not prepare you for the ‘outside world’. By the way I was known as Anne Wall and I remember you Vincent.

    By Veronica Anne Tumber (07/02/2012)
  • I was at the Kids Home in the early eighties. I have a lot of great memories there and in fact all of my happy childhood memories are from when I was there.

    By Syd Spencer (20/03/2012)
  • Veronica Anne Tumbler, please contact me via my email ( I’m curious to ask how and what you remember about me. You say you also have pictures which I’d be interested to see. Thank you.

    By Vincent Menham (03/04/2012)
  • Hi there everyone. I just came across this site after a friend told me about it. I stayed at St Anne’s in the early ’60s at the same time as Veronica above mentions. Monica rings a bell but I’m sure there was a helping out there called Rose. I can remember Sister Dominic. Yes, I also remember the place as somewhere that was nice for me as a child.

    By Noel Perry O'Conner (09/08/2012)
  • How interesting to read memories of other people who lived at St Anne’s. I was there from 1949 till 1962 and would love to share memories if anyone remembers me.

    By Jean Williams (12/11/2012)
  • I remember St Anne’s Convent in Brighton – my sister, Elizabeth and I (then known as Muriel) used to take out two young sisters from Ireland – I can’t remember their names now – this must have been in the 1950s. They had a young brother too. We used to take them on outings and take them home to have tea with our family – they were very fascinated with our bathroom as they had to share bathrooms at the home. They also used to keep a little of the afternoon tea that we gave them to take back for their younger brother. I believe that their father eventually married again and was able to take them home to Ireland.

    By Judy Fasanelli nee Jayne (12/01/2013)
  • My sister Muriel and I used to take out two little girls in the 1950s. They lived in St Anne’s with their two little brothers. We loved having them to our home, giving them a lovely tea and sometimes a little gift. One day we observed them sliding food in to a paper bag that they had asked us for, it was to share the tea with their little brothers at the home- we were so touched by this.

    By Elizabeth Jayne (14/01/2013)
  • I wonder if the two sisters from St Anne’s Home in the 1950s are Maureen and Eileen? They had two brothers in the Home with them. Father used to visit them, but could not have them with him.

    By Elizabeth Daymond, ( Jayne) (15/01/2013)
  • Hi all, I was at the convent with my brother in 1954, my name is Linda Beirne. I’d be interested in any photos you all may have.

    By Linda Beirne (09/02/2013)
  • Whow, so glad my sister told me about this site. My sisters and I were at Saint Anne’s in the 70s. I have very happy memories and sister Anna was my favourite sister. My sister visited St Anne’s at the weekend. Sadly it was closed so she didn’t get to look around. Many happy times had here. Lovely staff -thank you to them all.

    By Cristina Salustro (16/02/2013)
  • Hi, I lived at Woodside and Marina House with my brothers Anthony and Paul and my little sister Michelle Benyovits. I have happy memories of living there with all the other children and nuns and carers who looked after us. My favourite person was Maggie Hoy. I remember our variety minibus and being in the film ‘Oh what a lovely war’ and our first holiday trip with the nuns was to Butlins at Camber Sands. I was naughty and got sent home early. It’s my big 50 this year and it has taken me this long to accept how my life has been in the past and to realise it was never my fault that I was placed in Woodside. Thank you to everyone who looked after us.

    By Josephine Benyovits (06/03/2013)
  • First time in 50 years I have heard stories from people who were in St Anne’s at the same time as me. I would love to hear more and see any pictures from the fifties. Does anyone remember Sister Claude? Please reply to

    By Kevin Brady (now Kevin Rangecroft) (06/03/2013)
  • Does anyone know if ok to put a pic on and is there any more sites for St Anne’s?

    Editor’s note: Have emailed you directly Josephine. Jennifer 🙂

    By Josephine Benyovits (15/03/2013)
  • Hi my name is Nina Alberici. I was in St Anne’s childen’s home with other children. I would love for any one who remembers me to write back. I do remember John and Anne and also the cook who was found dead at the time.

    By Nina (10/04/2013)
  • St Anne’s was one of the recipients of Marks & Spencer’s ‘waste’ food. I worked at M&S London Road in the 1970s-80s. ‘Waste’ was the out-of-date or damaged food that was sold to the staff at a reduced price at the end of the day. What was left went to a range of different local good causes (long before the FareShare scheme). It was always a long drawn out affair when the nuns arrived as they picked over the food and only took a limited range, whereas the other charities took the lot. At the time I was going out with a catholic girl of strong opinions. When I moaned about the time the nuns took to sort the food she replied in very forthright terms “Geoffrey, nuns are not greedy people…that’s why they are ****** nuns!”. Some nuns did take the lot and when I asked what happened to the food, a very Irish nun said “It all goes in the soup”. As that day the ‘waste’ was a deal of smoked salmon, the mind boggles.

    By Geoffrey Mead (11/04/2013)
  • I lived in St Anne’s from 1964 until 1966. I don’t remember very much – I was only 4 years old. I do remember that the nuns were very strict at times. I was there with my two older sisters and my brother who would have been 6. I would love to see any old pictures or anything they may have about St Anne’s. My email is   Regards

    By Joan Clark (nee Beresford) (18/06/2013)
  • Hi, myself and my brother David were at St Anne’s in 1980, for around 9 months. I remember the nuns, but the refugees stand out more! They were lovely people who lived separate to the home, but within the vicinity. The smell of their cooking and their friendliness still remains with me. I remember two brothers and a sister, in the home: Joanne (who I shared a room with), Andy and little John. I also remember a staff member called Linda, who I recall got very nasty with me for laughing at her when she scolded me. Other than this, very positive memories. I was 10 back then and my brother 12.

    By Tracey Hayward (was Hall) (18/09/2013)
  • I am trying to find out about nana . My mum was adopted when she was small at three weeks old. Me and my sisters wonder if she had any family. Thank you so much.

    Editor’s note: sorry Virginia but we do not allow sharing of information on third parties. If you are looking to locate family members, visit GenesReunited which you can find by ‘Googling’ it.

    By Virginia Houlston (24/09/2013)
  • Tracey I remember you, also David. My name is John Harper so it’s bad news  I am afraid about my sister Joanne as unfortunately she passed away at the young age at just 16. She died of meningitis whilst living with my mum in Telford, Shropshire where she is buried. Andy lives in Hastings. Say Hi to Dave for me if you still see him. All the best. 

    By John Harper (07/02/2014)
  • I remember being friends with a girl called Margaret who lived in a children’s home run by nuns in the 60s. I went to St Joseph’s primary school in Black Rock. I remembered the home was in Black Rock on Balcombe Road. I also remember going there for dinner one night. Can anyone enlighten me about this home? I never thought it was in Brighton.

    By Frances Trewin (24/03/2014)
  • I would like to hear from anyone who remembers me. We all thought my name was pronounced ‘Ninna Albersy’! I was at St Anne’s with John Thomson, Theresa Rogers and Anne Wall. Anne, I saw your message here, I’d love to hear from you and anyone else who was there. 

    By Nina Alberici (01/04/2014)
  • I was at St Anne’s but can’t remember the exact dates – I think about 35-40 years ago, I remember Josephine, Michelle and Paul and Anthony Benyovits. I was there with Sister Claire, Sister Consolata and Maggie Hoy. I was in the house called Marina. I can remember a boy called Steven and a small boy called Paul. Me and Steven used to go out with some volunteers at weekends, one lady called Ingrid in particular. I have some photos, is there a site where you can post photos? I’m sure I went to Summerhill School. [Hello Donna, if you take a look at the home page there is a video on how to post items. Also an email address for Jennifer Dury, Editor, if you are still unsure. Best wishes] 

    By Donna Maria King (07/05/2014)
  • I also remember an Irish family called the O’Connors; they were at the Marina home the same time as me and the family Benyovits

    By Donna Maria King (07/05/2014)
  • I was at St Anne’s from 1954-1964. From the posts here I remember very well Anne Wall ( I have a picture of us together at a garden fete in Southwick).  We used to go to ballet classes together. I also remember Nina very well (always known as Beracy). Glad to know your real name. I was firstly on the “1st landing”  in Monica’s room, with, I think Anne Wall, until my heart operation in 1960.  After that I was moved to the 2nd landing with “Dorfy”. Just last week I visited there after over 40 years.  The grounds we used to play in have totally changed, the day room is now a major Buddhist shrine. I remember very well the events we used to have there. My friends were Elizabeth Greenhill, Kathleen Warnett, Anita Dixon and Jeanine Jacobs. My greatest friend at the time was John Thompson, until he went to live with Frank Evans. I’ve got one picture of all us kids opening their presents in the Day Room on Christmas Day, 1962. I was known by my childhood nickname: Frankie. My full name is Francesca Fleming. My email is: I would enjoy hearing from anyone, Anne and Nina especially, as two I remember.

    By Francesca Fleming (21/07/2014)
  • I was at St Ann’s with my sister Maggie 1963/64. There was a woman helper named Connie who was very strict. I recall being there during Easter, Christmas and Summer. We attended St Agnes’ School. Would love to see some photos.

    By Jimmy Devlin (12/08/2014)
  • I was at St Anne’s in the 1960s, leaving in 1969. I was here with my brothers Chris and Brian; we all went to St Madeline school. We were also in the film ‘Oh what a lovely war’ which I have a copy off on DVD. If you watch it I am the girl with the balloons on the pier by the gun range. I remember my time spent at weekend with Mr &Mrs Wallace who were lovely. If anyone remembers me or my brothers I would love to know.

    By Teresa Keating (Muspratt) (23/08/2014)
  • Hi, if anyone remembers me I’d love to hear from you!  I was there from 67 to 76.

    By Veronica Capaldi (04/09/2014)
  • Does anybody remember being at St Anne’s in the mid 1980’s? I was having trouble at home with my parents, so decided to take a ride in my car from Surrey towards Brighton, not knowing where I would end up, somehow I found St Anne’s and took a chance to ask the nuns if they would take me in, they very kindly accepted me and I stayed there over Christmas.  They were very kind and loving providing food and lodging free.  The only name I remember was of one of the staff  her name being Martine who lived in Saltdean, where my nan had lived. Shame it’s now a Buddhist centre, doesn’t seem to do it justice.


    By Jeanette Harmon (13/09/2014)
  • I lived in St Anne’s 1973 to 1975 with my brother Ronnie.  I remember the O’Connor’s, and Benyovits, in fact Thomas O’Connor and Anthony were my boyfriends – I was only 10 haha. I remember the name Donna King. Sister Hilda was the nun in charge. I also remember the treats from Marks and Spencers. We went to St Mary Magdalene’s in Spring Street, then I went to Dorothy Stringer with June Porter because we went Catholic.

    By Tracey Wallis (01/10/2014)
  • My brother just confirmed we live in st Anne’s until 1977 so please get in touch if you remember us. 

    By Tracey Wallis (02/10/2014)
  • I was in St Anne’s from maybe 1974 for a short time then returned in 1977 I think. I will have to check some paperwork. My sister Tracey was also sent here so please, anyone who was there in those years would love to hear from you as all my memories were very happy there.  

    By Donna Maria Laycock (17/11/2014)
  • I was reading Nina’s comments about the cook at St Anne’s recently and remember Agnes in that large kitchen, in fact she is buried at St Mary’s in Portslade. We used to visit this other convent on occasions.  I thought you might be interested to hear that Frances (McHugh) who helped in the kitchen a lot sadly passed away and the funeral was yesterday (8th January 2014).  I tend to think of us all as we were but we are all getting older which does tend to make one look back.  I notice lots of comments re films and dancing, as it happens I am still taking dancing classes and it all started with those great shows at the convent.  I do remember you Nina (Alberici) but can only picture you as a young girl.  Not sure how long you were at the home but I was there for 13 years.  We all seem to remember that long drive which I remember walking down when I left in 1962. 

    By Jean Williams (09/01/2015)
  • Sadly I inform you that my mum Nina Alberici (also known by the name Beracy in the home) died on the 18th August 2014 :'(   If anyone remembers her or maybe has a picture of her as a little girl please contact me as I would love to see it. Thank you 

    By Leane Alberici (01/03/2015)
  • Leane, I am so sad to hear that your mother Nina has died, but thank you for telling us. I am pleased that in her last years she was able to share childhood memories of St Anne’s and connect with old friends on our pages here. A very memorable contributor. Before I wrote the above piece on the convent, my St Ann’s Well Gardens page was where former convent people used to share their thoughts. There are twelve there from Nina if anyone would like read them. Here’s how you get there. In the panel on the left at the top of this page select ‘Areas’ from the list. On the new page select ‘St Ann’s Well’, then ‘Introduction to St Ann’s Well’, and then ‘Welcome to St Ann’s Well’. Scroll down that page to read the messages. The first from Nina was dated 07/08/2009. We will miss her.

    By Pat Benham (17/03/2015)
  • Hi Veronica Capaldi. I remember you – you were friends with Sue and Tracy, both sisters, and Lucy who would spend time with us. Lucy’s mum would visit also, I remember her being a nurse or something, you might remember. We sometimes went round to the park round the corner, the beach, Saltdean Lido – remember the ladybird invasion? ‘Jaws’ was showing at the flicks – remember the old flea pit as it was known? Myself and my brothers were upstairs in Brenlock, the big building. 76 was a hot summer and I never thought it would end. It ended for me on the day I left the convent with my brothers and sisters and made the long journey north. I really did not want to leave.  I remember the soup kitchen and a queue of hungry souls waiting for soup and bread, served from the hatch round the back of the building.  We used to prepare our own food in the kitchen, it was usually followed by Bird’s Angel Delight. Then we would wash up after, taking turns each mealtime. My sisters, Wendy and Carol, and my little brother Terry stayed in Marina and Woodside. Perhaps you remember us? Monica, Maria and Des were aunties and uncle. I can honestly say that we were all well looked after by the nuns and staff. I have very fond memories of those times and if I had a time machine I would seriously go back. Happy days.


    By Patrick Doyle (28/05/2015)
  • I used to come to St Anne’s regularly on a Sunday in the early ’60s with a local youth group to meet the children and take them out for the morning, either down to the seafront or to St Ann’s Well Gardens where they played in the playground. We bought them all sweets or other things, and we were invited to come to Christmas parties or Irish dancing evenings. Does anyone remember Frank Evans who had an old London taxi with a Brylcreme bottle for indicator light? I believe John used to look after things there. I remember the Capaldis, and a boy called Jimmy who came for lunch on some Sundays as well as being taken out for a trip with my parents. Sister Benignus, and others. I think I still have photos of the Christmas parties.

    By David Shelton (30/06/2015)
  • I was going into hospital to have an operation and to take my mind off it my husband said lets go down to Brighton for the day. I have often visited Brighton over the years, but never went back to visit St Annes, so with my hand on my heart we went to Hove. I knew I would feel very emotional as I walked down the curved path to the convent. I missed seeing the grotto to the left with the statue of Mary dressed in blue with the two conch shells at her feet. I was there in 1958 as my parents were divorced and custody of me was given to my father who put me in St Annes. I was not a Catholic so to this day don’t know how I managed to end up living there. Happy times for me, always someone to play with. Not like home life which was full of tears. I only have happy memories of my stay, angel cake, liberty bodice, hot chocolate, hot summer days on the beach and Saturday morning pictures. I aways cry when I think back to those days, but they were happy days.

    By Evelyn Andrews (05/10/2015)
  • I haven’t been on this site for a while and was sad at hearing about the passing of Nina Alberici.  I remember her very well and am delighted she had a daughter.  I must look through my photos and will email you Leane.

    By Jean Burchell (09/02/2016)
  • Hi Evelyn.  I’ve just seen your comments and, do you know, it’s a carbon copy of my thoughts. Hope your operation was successful and that you are on the mend by now. I was at the Convent from 1949 till 1962 so our paths crossed for a few years although I don’t recognize your name – which I can’t understand.   I often tell my family about those days at St Anne’s and everything you have said they have heard too. I think we were very lucky to have been in such a safe and happy home. Hope to hear further. My name then was Jean Williams.

    By Jean Burchell (nee Williams) (09/02/2016)
  • Hi Jean, yes I’m pleased to say the operation went well and I am on the mend. Do you live near Brighton and Hove? I love Brighton, always have, always will and have often wondered if many of the “in-mates” have returned to see what has happened to St Annes. I have to say I don’t remember many names of the children there, not even sure how long I was there for. I remember going to the primary school up the road and even going to dance classes. I’m so pleased that you could relate to my thoughts and memories, and I’m sure we could share quite a few more, fairisle beret for church, codliver oil and malt by the spoon, tuck shop lollies and bathtime with the Mable Lucie Attwell notice saying “Please remember don’t forget to never leave the bathroom wet”. Look forward to hearing from you again.

    By Evelyn Andrews (21/02/2016)
  • I was in this home at the age of 3 with my two sisters Kit and Eileen. This was 90 years ago! Anyone else remember that time?

    By Susan o'Grady (nee Shannon) (23/02/2016)
  • Hi, I’ve just discovered this page. My Nan, Rosemary (Hewet) Howat, was in the Children’s Home until she was 18, she’s now 73. She was in there with Anthony Worall-Thompson, the famous chef. Does anyone remember her? She was a lover of Elvis Presley and always done the boys hair like Elvis. 

    By Kirsty Howat (18/04/2016)
  • I was there from 58-66 and in love with Anna Capaldi. Where are you now?

    By James O'Regan (01/05/2016)
  • I have just been going down memory lane reading all the above and realising what a great time we all had.  Life was so simple then with lots of I have many photographs from our youth.  My email address is and I was then Anne Wall

    By Veronica Tumber (02/05/2016)
  • I was in the home with my brother and sister for 5 weeks – it wasn’t very pleasant. We were walked every day down to the little river and ponds near the seafront. It’s still the same today. Not happy memories.

    By Dorothy Sumner (nee Davies) (02/06/2016)
  • This is for Kirsty Howat regarding her message (18/04/2016). Kirsty, there were two St Anne’s children’s homes. The one your mother was at and where Antony Worrall Thompson also attended was in Vernon Terrace.  Go to ‘People’ then ‘Local Folk’ then put St Anne’s Children’s Home c1960s into the search box at the top of the page.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

    By Pat Benham (03/07/2016)
  • I remember in the summer of ’76. Some new play swings were installed on the grassy area between the big building and Marina and Woodside. The local paper, The Argus I think it was called, came and photographed the new installation with all the children lined up in front of it, most of the kids were the little ones from Marina and Woodside with some from the big building, I was in Brenloch on the first floor of the big building. Anyway, the photo featured in the paper, I remember seeing it, but I was not allowed to be in it because I had been naughty. In fact I think I am the reason they got the swings, they knew some kids might be bored. I’m sorry that I had some of you being naughty but I was rebellious - well I was only 13 and couldn’t deal with stuff. Somewhere in the archives of said paper may exist a copy of that photo, perhaps you remember it? You might be in it. Sister Hilda could not take to me, I’m sure she was relieved when I left in the September of 1976. But all the other staff tried there best to reach out to me. I was stubborn and had already built a big wall around myself. London taught me some bad behavior patterns and always moving around has an affect on you personally. I had previously been a guest at the Paddocks children’s home run by the Caldecott Foundation, another beautiful place. I never knew why I stayed at these places. I hope all the other children went on to good things and have happy experiences in their lives and a big thanks to the staff entrusted to care for us all. God bless.

    By Patrick Doyle (21/08/2016)
  • I was wondering if any of you out there may remember the Quinn children? They were here in the early 60s – there were 3 girls and two boys. Many thanks.

    By Joanne(Joanie) Lukeman (Shearsby) (29/09/2016)
  • I was there in ’56 and ’57. I remember some of the names like Nina and Theresa Rogers (she had a brother called Brendon I think). I remember the O’Connors, Seamus and John if I remember well. My best friends were John Smith and Florrie Carpenter. I also went to school down the road and was in Mrs Harvey’s class. I believe I remember Jean, and if my memory serves me well she was a head girl there and ate at Monica’s table. I also remember Philomena Wilkinson, and so many others where my memory fails – Susan, Marcus, Christine  etc…

    By Raymond Walton (05/11/2016)
  • Hi, my name is Annmarie Wallace. I am doing some research on my nan, who has passed away. I’m trying to build a family tree but I found out that she was adopted. Before she was adopted she orphaned at a children’s home run by nuns. Her name was Barbara Jean Clark, born 8th Feb 1936. Apparently she was from Kent but lived most of her life in Brighton. Is there anyone who can help me or tell me how I would find out if this was the children’s home where she lived. Many thanks.

    By Annmarie Wallace (03/01/2017)
  • I was at St Anne’s Convent in about 1972 /73 with my older sister Wendy and brother Micheal. I was around 5 years old at the time and only remember bits and pieces of that time – such as the female helpers who gave me baths and were very caring. I recall goldfish in the bath, maybe a fish tank was being cleaned out? In the back of the building was a play area which had swings and a pink elephant climbing frame. I would love to hear from anyone who might remember us and would love to see any pictures of the home inside and out.  Thank you.

    By Terry Hawker (23/01/2017)
  • I too was here after going into care for the second time. I was 2 years old and there was a blood red leather sofa as you came in, white painted cupboards with toys in and the stripey toothpaste. Wore red/white gingham canvas shoes. One of the young independent flats occupied by a teenager caught fire and every now and again I will smell that same unique smell. This was circa 1976/7.

    By Sherealeen Ali (25/01/2017)
  • Hi, I can remember being at St Annes.  I have a photo somewhere of doing the nativity at Christmas.  I was the angel Gabriel.  It’s good to see the building hasn’t changed.  I went to St Mary Magdelanes in Spring Street made my communion there then went to Cardinal Newman. I remember sister Ita.  She was so loving and funny.

    By Margaret Reilly nee Guiry (24/02/2017)
  • Hi, I was at St Anne’s in the early 1980s on two occasions. I had a great time there with lots of fun memories although some of the nuns were very scary. I remember a holiday at Butlins, Bognor with some staff, kids and a Sister Kathy? Maybe wrong name. We were encouraged to enter the ballroom dancing competition together. I also remember a staff member called Maria? Marie? Spanish I think.

    By Roy Wells (07/03/2017)
  • I was in St. Anne’s in the 1950s with my sister Eileen, brothers Terry and Willy. I remember Ann Wall. My dad called me Maureen and my real name then was Margaret Caulfield, now Maggie Dougherty. I have many memories of St. Anne’s and a walk to school along the beach.

    By Maggie Dougherty (11/03/2017)
  • Hi, Judy and  Elizabeth, I wonder if my sister Eileen and I are the ones you had to your house for tea?  Would love to know.

    By Maureen (now Maggie) Dougherty (16/03/2017)
  • Hi, My name’s Brenda, I was at the home St Annes from 1968-1977. I was there with my two brothers, Leon and Tony, our surname Albert. I remember Anna, Veronica, Sue and Tracy and also Lucy Dutta. We all lived in the same building in the same landing. We had some good times, I went to St Mary Magdalene primary school, then went to Cardinal Newman. The Nunes I remember were sister Anne, sister Rosseta, Sister Paul. Joan was one of the staff that looked after us. I also remembered two other girls from my side, St Anne’s. Their names were Linda and Lorraine. I last saw Lucy in 1984, that time she had a daughter. Please if any one remembers me please contact me at

    By Brenda Sakara (08/04/2017)
  • I was in St Annes from 1970 -1974 along with both my sisters Lorraine & Lynda and my baby brother Alan. My sisters were on the 1st landing and I was on the 2nd landing. We were all Smith at this time. If anyone remembers any of us please contact me it would be lovely to hear from you. It would also be lovely to see any photos during these years . 

    By Barbara Smith (24/04/2017)
  • For anyone interested, I have located the film called The Secret filmed in 1955.    St Anne’s is featured in this film which I have ordered and look forward to seeing some of the children at the home in that year.I have tried many times over the years to locate the film so very pleased to have finally found it.

    By Jean Williams (01/09/2017)
  • Hi Evelyn, do you remember Janette  Macominskey or anyone for that fact? She was a girl with very long blonde hair who had a best friend called Evelyn?

    By Jasmine Coutts (07/09/2017)
  • Reply to Maggie Dougherty from Ireland, formerly Maureen. Yes, I am sure that you and Eileen would have been the two little girls from the Convent that we used to take out and take home for tea in the 1950s.  Did you have two little brothers?  Maureen and Eileen took some items from teatime back to the home for their little brothers. Their father came from Ireland later to take them back  there.  We were very fond of them and will never forget them.  I will tell my sister, Elizabeth, of your message.  I am sure she will be most interested to learn that you have been in touch.

    By Judy Fasanelli (11/09/2017)
  • Hi Jasmine. Evelyn, the girl in the last post, had long dark hair.  

    By GARY COUTTS (11/09/2017)
  • Message for Jean Williams: I have been searching for the same film ‘The Secret’ for a number of years myself and I wonder if you could steer me in the right direction to get a copy of it to view. The film was mentioned to me by my teacher at Peckham Park School, London. I remember being an extra in ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’ aged 12. Myself and my brothers and sisters were placed in the loving care of St Annes convent childrens home until 1976. Sister Anne asked me if I’m sure I had not been here before and said that some of the children here had been in a film. I could not remember at that point, I now remember the early years of my life after a long sleep of about 40 years plus. I had indeed been at the convent and remember being in the garden talking to some girls that lived there who themselves were in the film too; my memory is now restored. But I have wondered about the film ‘The Secret’, and would like to see the convent as it was in 1955. Thank you.  

    By Patrick Doyle (14/09/2017)
  • Message to Patrick Doyle. I too have a copy of the film “The Secret” which a kind gentlemen in America sent to me through contacting him on the internet but I can’t remember who he was.  I was in the film at the age of 5 and my name was Anne Wall.  You do not see much of the convent in the film but the opening is a car driving up the drive and Monica opening the front door.  There is another scene where one of the rooms is used as a hospital ward and it is this bit that I am in, with Mandy Miller & Richard O’Sullivan

    By Veronica Anne Tumber (26/09/2017)
  • Hi Jasmine, I was at St Ann’s from 1957 and my best friend was Janette. She left very suddenly and I never found out what happened to her. Gary, I never had long dark hair, mine was always short curly and wild but very blonde. Jasmine do you remember me at all? I remember so much about my time there but can’t remember many of the children’s names except Janette. So lovely to read your post as I haven’t looked on this site for a long time. Hope to hear from you again.

    By Evelyn Andrews (15/11/2017)
  • Message for Patrick Doyle.  I have only just seen your comments re St Anne’s and could steer you in the right direction if still needed.

    By Jean Williams (30/11/2017)
  • Hi Evelyn, I am Janette’s stepdaughter, I’ve told Janette and she remembers you and was very emotional, she’s so happy you’re well. Please email me on, if you would like to get in contact. I think Jan would really love to hear from you.

    By Jasmine Coutts (09/12/2017)
  • My name is Larry Hunter. I was in St Anns Convent early 60s till late 60s. There are four of us Michael Trevor and Wayne my brothers. Anyone got photos or memories of us, please. 

    By Larry William Hunter (14/01/2018)
  • Hi Veronica Capaldi.  I went to school with your sister Rosetta. Did you have a sister Anna as well? Often thought about her over the years and wondered how she was. Myself and my mother used to visit the convent at lot and remember Sister Claude well.  My name then was Frances McCormack

    By Frances Rushe (09/02/2018)
  • Message for Anne Wall. I was at the home in the early 50’s along with my sister Theresa. She remembers you and Nina. I think I featured in a film scene of The Secret along with some of the other children at the home at that time; the scene with Mandy and Richard. Would love to get the film – can you help please? My no is 02891-273824. I have happy memories of my time in Brighton and so did my sister Theresa.

    By Brendan Rodgers (09/03/2018)
  • To Jean Williams-(1-09-2017). I would be interested in obtaining a copy of the film “The Secret”. Can you please let me know who I should contact.Thanks in advance.

    By Brendan Rodgers (12/03/2018)
  • To Raymond Walton(06-11-2016). My sister Theresa and I were in the home  you mentioned, at the same time as your goodself. Some memory you must have. My e-mail address, if you wish to correspond is:

    By Brendan Rodgers (12/03/2018)
  • I have wonderful memories of St Anne’s. When I worked at Wades on Western Road I met a lovely girl called Elaine Whitfield who lived there. She took me back to St Anne’s many times and the nuns were so kind. I remember Sister Claude and Sister Mary and the cook used to make the most delicious sponge cake with pink icing. I was always sent home with a large slice. I actually envied Elaine living there, There was so much love there.

    By Margaret Wesche (28/03/2018)
  • God…only just found this site after my brother mentioned it in a Twitter this evening to do with where we both came from. Both Peter and I are now actors and singers and we were at St Anne’s between 1957-1962 I was there for about a couple of years before he came too. I remember dear Monica and Dorothy very well. Sister Claude gave me the belt for stealing at the junior school where we were taken daily. I remember the headteacher (I think his name was Mr ‘Firkin’?) giving us the cane, before telling Sister Claude. I told myself I mustn’t cry in front of him. I was about 5. We used to climb along the low wall on the way. I was in a ch 4 documentary in the 90s I think, to do with my father and we went back to the home as we talked about our parents having to leave us there and dad’s feelings as he remembered .. Indeed a challenging time.. however.. it was amazing to see Monica again.. both Peter and I loved her so much. Do any of you have contact with her still? Would love to share our memories good and bad about our times there, if any of you might have been there at the same time. Many thanks for starting this link … Eve (Polycarpou) was called ‘Eva’ 

    By Eve Polycarpou (02/04/2018)
  • Eve Polcarpou – I am still in touch with Monica who is 93 and lives in Adelaide Crescent, Hove.  I saw the documentary of you and your dad, and I believe I saw Peter in Les Mis or was I imaging it?

    Anne Wall.

    By Veronica Tumber (21/04/2018)
  • Hi, this message is for anyone who remembers me, Elizabeth Greenhill I recently contacted Maria Fernandas I was at the convent from 1955/68 and I was with Monica/Ann/Dot and when I left school I stayed at the convent working for another 2 years. I went home to London but found it hard to settle as time went by it became easier,now known as Liz Truman.

    By Elizabeth Greenhill (26/04/2018)
  • Hi, for those who asked for the link to The Secret film here are the details; email

    I was so pleased to finally get a copy and will treasure the film.

    We searched for so long to get any info about the film and when we found it were surprised it was so easy to obtain.   So patience paid off eventually!

    Good luck and hope you get your copies ok.

    By Jean Williams (30/04/2018)
  • Hi Elizabeth, of course I remember you, how lovely to see your post on the site.   Often wondered what you went on to do. I left St Ann’s in 1962 but have often looked back with memories of my 13 years in the Home.  Hope you remember me too. Will post again later.

    By Jean Williams (30/04/2018)
  • Hi Jean, lovely to hear from you. The reason for the note was I am writing a mini booklet about my life to leave for my children. I have never talked about my past, I have 3 boys, 6 grandchildren, married twice but having a good life. I hope you are too. What are you up to these days? Hope to hear soon. Take care.

    By Elizabeth Greenhill (02/05/2018)
  • Hi Elizabeth, pleased to hear you landed on your feet and are having a good life. I too have been lucky enough to find happiness and have been married for 46 years with two daughters and three grandsons. Still living in Hove and retired.  Interesting to hear about your booklet, a brilliant idea.  I have a photo of you and I with my Dad taken in St Anne’s Well park by the wishing well. If you wish to write to me here is my email address

    By Jean Williams (03/05/2018)
  • Hi my name is Albert I was in St Anne’s with my brother Desmond and sisters Jackie and Sarah between 1975 and 1978 would like to hear from anyone who remembers us.

    By Albert Fearon (12/05/2018)
  • My name is Steve and I was at St Anne’s Convent during the early 60s and often wonder what happened to those I shared my time with there. I still have quite vivid memories and some names still spring to mind, these were: Joseph Downey, Mike Hunter, Rosemary Leake, (not all of the names, just a few who I remember right now) and of course Phillis who ran the top floor dorms. I used to sweep the yard at the back door almost daily due to all the leaves congregating there and remember the swings in the playground at the back of the building. I went to St Mary Madeline school for a short while before going to Cottesmore. I often wonder if it would be possible to visit the old St Anne’s building, it has a lot of memories for many who spent their early years there.

    By Steven Gould (24/05/2018)
  • Yes, I remember Monica, Dot and Anne. All like family to me.

    By Rosemarie (25/05/2018)
  • Well it has been a few years since I found this site. I have loved reading all the messages. I always wonder how life has been for all whom lived at the convent in Woodside and Marina House. This was such a big part of our life. I hope you all found happiness.

    By Josephine Benyovits (17/06/2018)
  • Hi to all.

    By Charles Weigel (28/07/2018)
  • Hi Josephine, how’s your family?

    By Albert (07/08/2018)
  • Hi 

    I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Today I found a fully functioning Singer sewing machine in an antique store. Inside one of the drawers was the original manual. On the cover was the address of St. Anne’s Home. Lansdowne Rd. Hove 2 Sussex. I was excited when I found the sewing machine, I am thrilled that it has travelled such a long distance to find me! I’m sure there were several sewing machines there over the years, I had hoped to upload a photo for you but it’s not allowing photos. Any extra information you might have about it’s history can only add to the charm of my new find.  

    By Joanne Temko (11/08/2018)
  • Hi all,

    I lived at St Anne’s for 6yrs in the 1960’s I was from San Francisco America My name is Charles Weigel.

    By charles weigel (12/08/2018)
  • Hello I’ve just stumbled on this site Wow !! I lived in Woodside then Marina House (name pulled out of a tombola I picked ticket with Marina House on ,still that today 2018) from 1967-1976 with my two sisters Josephine  Michell and bro Paul ,I was a little sailor boy in Oh what a lovely war (extra) I still can’t spot me in that film lol !! We had good times and bad times ,good times were skateboarding down Churchill Sq from 1974 I am still skating now at the age of 56 , The people I remember were the O’Connors Paddy ,Mary ,Thomas , Albert Doyle was my best friend and had the most amazing afro hairdo ,yes I remember Tracy Wallis who was a girlfriend at the young age of 10 ha ha !! So much to say and I hope all the kids that were there have found happiness and fulfilment in their lives , Hope to hear from anyone that remembers me And my bro n sisters Tony x 

    By Anthony peters (benyovits) (13/08/2018)
  • Hi Anthony, it’s Albert wow! it’s brilliant to see message, how are you my friend? My great memories were summer 76. wow!! Say hi to your family.  Albert.

    By Albert Fearon (Doyle) (26/08/2018)
  • I have a message for Jean Williams from Lina Dennison: If you email me I can pass you Lina’s phone number. Lina is looking forward to being in contact with you again.

    By Gwen Fairfax (15/09/2018)
  • How interesting to read about the Singer sewing machine you have found.  Having lived at St Anne’s I can say that we had a sewing room with a Singer though not sure if it was the only one.  When we were older we spent time in the sewing room.  Extraordinary to think that the manual has the address of the Home on it.    Will we ever find out how it traveled so many miles?  I have spoken to someone who lived at the home and she seems to think that there was only one Singer machine used all those years ago. Will look out for updates on this. Thanks for the information.

    By Jean Williams (31/10/2018)
  • Hi all,

    I lived at St Anne’s for 6yrs in the 1960s I was from San Francisco My name is Charles Weigel.

    By Charles Weigel (17/03/2019)
  • Hi everyone, does anybody remember me and my brothers, Daniel McNally, Robert McNally, Duncan McNally and Terry McNally? We were there in the early 60s. I would love to hear from anyone who has any memories and/or photographs.

    By Daniel McNally (18/06/2019)
  • I was at St Anne’s from 1950 to 1954. My names was then Teresa Sliska. I remember Sister Claude and Sister Monica very well, and going to Mary Magdalene school. If anyone remembers me I would love to get in touch. I am 71 now.

    By Teresa Hay (26/07/2019)
  • Wow … a lot of comments on here.. I need to ask if St Anne’s was ever a children’s convalescent home… I stayed in the St Leonard’s/Littlehampton area when I was 7 in 1958.. I just can’t remember the name of the place I stayed at… There seemed to be a lot of prayers…so it could have been here. If not, does anyone know of a convalescent home for poorly children in the late 1950s, please? Thank you, Lesley.

    By Lesley Diss (10/08/2019)
  • I was at St Anne’s well from 1949-1951. I remember a boy called Jimmy who I think was a similar age but I think I was one of the younger ones being 4 years old when I left. I don’t remember much although I had long hair and they cut it. I also remember everyone having a tuck box on a Sunday although I didn’t have one but I used to be given some chocolate. I think I was quite happy there and it was quite like a family.

    By Mary Fenn (02/09/2019)
  • Following a visit to the Buddhist Centre on their Open Day, I am looking for photos of what was St Anne’s Children’s Home. The tour guide took us on a partial visit of the buildings and has agreed to arrange a private tour at a later date. I shall be visiting with Lina Dennison and Pamela Joyce plus family and as we only have a handful of photos it would be great to gather some more which the tour guide would be most interested to see. My email address is for anyone to contact me. I would be so very grateful to anyone who could help.

    By Jean Williams (23/09/2019)
  • Hi All.
    My name was Sandra Kingston and I lived here with my sister Sharron and my brother Philip until around 1968.
    Larry Hunter, I think I might know you and your brother’s from a children’s home in Uxbridge? We were there until 1972, we went there from the convent. I don’t remember too much about the home but I remember watching my sister do ballet in a big show! my memories were mixed, some good some not so! If anyone remembers us I would love to hear from you! My email address is:

    By Sandra Brennan (30/09/2019)
  • Anthony Benyovits, wow, a blast from the past, and Albert Doyle, Thomas O’Connor, Josephine, happy days. I’m now 56, I remember your dad lived in Halliburton Road, my friend lives there, I always think of you, hope life has been kind.

    By Tracey Wallis (02/10/2019)
  • Hi to everyone, I lived in St Annes conference from 1966 to 1967 my name is Charles Weigel, I had two sisters and one brother living at the home in different parts I remember we used to have a man coming to take us out for the day and to take us to the cinema we came back from the cinema I need to climb over the gate and one of the systems opened the ground floor doors to let let us in. I also remember a general handyman called Frank I used to hang around and sometimes helping one day my transistor radio didn’t work and I asked him if he could help me out and I did not have any sound or anything coming out he took it but unfortunately I never got it back I would like to see some more pictures I’ll say and content back in the days that we used to live in the government it was a fun place for me as I used to be always going out by myself I was only about 8 and 9 and I used to do these things freely I must have been a wild one.

    By charles weigel (05/11/2019)
  • I have posted on this page a number of times, had no response from anyone. It would be nice if someone who had relations to visit at St Anne’s Convent, Brighton, to have old pictures of you been taken by the other parties. Would be lovely to see some pictures of different people and different places from the home p, inside and outside. It would be really nice to share our childhood memories. Thank you, Charles

    By Charles Weigel (23/11/2019)
  • Hi Albert Doyle, I remember you. Have you still got the trophy that you won in that race you took part in, in 1976? You used to live around the corner from me in Dulwich. I lived in the big building further up the drive, Claremont, it was called and our landing was called Brenloch. Yeah 1976 was great, wish I had not left. O well, happy memories, hope you are well.

    By Patrick Doyle (03/12/2019)
  • Hi to you all
    I remember being in the Main building I never realised it was Claremont. Went in early 60s with my sister Rosetta.
    They were happy times for the most part and yes we were so lucky having good care and having all the children to play with; be with were our family I loved you all. I remember Monica; Dot, Sister Claude then I think Sister Hilda took over who was strict! Sister Anne, Sister Loretta sister Iris. I don’t remember the name of my Landing? I remember Audrey & Joan as the staff they were funny I used to tease them we had fun. The children I remember are The Irish families The Doughherty’s The O’Conners. The MacDonnells, Brenda, Rosemary Leake, Mary; Kay Whelan – lost touch with them.
    Vincent Frankie & family, David & June Porter – forgive me if I haven’t remembered the names of everyone. I have some pics – would like to share these how do I do this?
    Hi Anna – get in touch and I will help.

    By Anna Capaldi (26/12/2019)
  • I too lived in Brighton from possibly the 1960 like you. I can’t remember names it’s so far in the past. I would have loved to remember everyone I tell you would like to see pictures which I had no response at all, ever been seen your post. I was so happy to see your post – my name is Charles Weigel I had a brother called Brendan and two sisters called Sheila and Mary. I had a younger sister but she was lucky to be living with her mother as my mum – thank you for sharing your memories.

    By charles weigel (28/12/2019)
  • My name was Kathleen Fewell and I lived at St Anne’s Convent with my two younger brothers. They both lived in the nursery, so I didn’t get to see them every day. I lived there from 1955-59. I was 9 years old when I was moved to Enfield in Middlesex (now part of Greater London). I had long dark brown hair and I remember a girl who was in the film ‘O’ What a Lovely War.
    I can only remember to always having a hatred for the vegetable swede as I was forced to eat it until I was sick. I’m now 67, happily married, a mother and grandmother and I managed to drag myself up by my bootstraps.

    By Kathy Thake (06/01/2020)
  • Hi Anna,
    I was in Clairmont (the big building at the top of the drive) along with my two brothers
    John and Robert Doyle. My sisters, Wendy and Carol, along with my little brother Terry were housed in Woodside and Marina. I remember some of the names you mentioned, I remember a boy with very dark suntan but can’t remember his name. There is a photo of all the kids stood next to the newly installed swings on the grassy area: the Argus news printed it in the paper. I remember Veronica Capaldi, who lived in Marina or Woodside. The landing that we were on was Brenloch. Does that name ring a bell for you? iI may be the same landing as you yourself was on. We were there in 1976 and we left on 22 September. That date is etched in my memory as I did not want to leave. The more I look back, the more I seem to remember. Happy days

    By Patrick Doyle (17/01/2020)
  • Hi everyone, does anybody remember me and my brothers, Daniel McNally, Robert McNally, Duncan McNally and Terry McNally? We were there in the early 60s. I would love to hear from anyone who has any memories and/or photographs.

    By Daniel J.McNally (19/01/2020)
  • Hello Anna,
    I was at St Mary Magdalen’s school with your sister Rosetta. 1961/2 until 1968 ( our last year of junior school was spent at the Central School in Church Street as St Mary Mag’s was being demolished ahead of the new school being built).
    I hope life has treated her well, and you too.

    I was Margaret Doogan.

    By Maggie Williams (31/01/2020)
  • I so wish I had photographs of my childhood at St Anne’s 1973 to 1977 , I remember so many of you, it’s sad because when I was fostered I left with no photographs, home, school, growing up, makes me sad because I was so happy having you lot in my life….

    By Tracey Wallis (02/02/2020)
  • Tracey, I am so sad that you have no record of your time at St Annes. I have wonderful memories of St Annes Convent although I was only a schoolgirl at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in the fifties who shared times with quite a lot of the girls at the convent who I got friendly with from St Annes Home and will always remember them. Michaela Reddington was one and another one was a girl whose parents were performing at the Hippodrome and they invited me backstage to see the artists performing – I will never forget that. The King Brothers and they sang A White Sports Coat and Pink Carnation! What a thrill that was in that beautiful theatre. I also remember the lovely nuns and ladies at the Convent – they made me so welcome. In later years I lived with my family in York Avenue in a house backing onto the convent – the house was beautiful with a green tiled roof and my lovely mum decided to get rid of all her Art Deco furniture and donated it to the Nuns. I have hundreds of pictures of my childhood and am so sad that you do not have any but you do have your memories Tracey and they are the most valuable of all. I am so glad they are happy and wish you all the best. Jillian.

    By Jillian Foley (03/02/2020)
  • Just one more little comment on St Annes Home. I do have a copy of The Secret which my son got for me. It does not have many pictures of the Convent I am afraid but if anyone wants to borrow it please email me. I am afraid the film is a little boring not like the beautiful life at St Annes in the fifties!

    By Jillian Foley (04/02/2020)
  • For a number of years I have put comments on this page and two people Direct but had no response so I’m very sorry that this website does not work for me today is the 1st of April 2020 we had a virus for a number of weeks called the Corona virus call covid-19 so I do not know if I have the virus or not or if my family had the virus of friends of people who I used to know this convent I’ve had no response through the years and if people are to read this in weeks or months or years to come they will know that we had an outbreak of a very bad virus which is taking thousands of people from this Earth hopefully I will survive this virus and perhaps I will carry on put in comments and requests on this page all I have to say now is God save us all the Corona virus in London yesterday was 1808 people today day it is talking about 500 more deaths which brings the total to over 2000 + this is all I have to say if I survive her I will be back if I don’t I’m sorry that I did not get more response from people who I think possibly could be a life as I am 63 now and not in so good health not virus related and if anyone reads this even if I’m not on this earth that still can reply back to this page with any response if I have died within this period of time from the virus I still can be reached in heaven.

    By charles weigel (01/04/2020)
  • I’m looking for old photos or video recordings of St Anne’s Convent Brighton Hove.

    By charles weigel (12/04/2020)
  • Not a day goes past without thinking of our lives in the convent – such happy times. I hope everyone is keeping well and safe. Sending out so much love to you all! Josephine Benyovits

    By Jojo Marie (16/04/2020)
  • Hi Josephine Benyovits,
    I’m Carol Doyle, I was there in 77 for about 9 months. My 4 brothers were separated from my sister and I, with them being in the other building. My sister and I shared a bedroom with your sister Michelle in Marina House. We went to Summerhill School, I remember Sister Consolata as being really nice (excuse spelling) Playing British Bulldogs, the holiday, going to Devils Dyke . And then there was Des Devenney who is a priest now ……. Lots of good memories from there ….. wished I’d have been there longer.

    By Carol Doyle (27/04/2020)
  • What has happened to all the young children what lived at St Anne’s convent is there any one of us still alive perhaps we may have some photos between us to actually share with all of our friends who lived at St Anne’s Convent from the 1960s onwards and possibly the early days from the 40s onwards to the 1990s or possibly further back we must get our activity amazing because it is getting more and more later in life and we shall pass this earth without finding out anything about St Anne’s Convent in Lansdowne Road Brighton which we all lived happily Once Upon a Time get the ball rolling come out from your hiding share your thoughts and memories there must be a lot more of us still alive on this earth who can share things are on this page goes I have been on this page for a number of years and had no response can’t help us all.

    By charles weigel (10/05/2020)
  • Hi everyone – does anyone remember me being at the home. My name is Teresa Nee Marchant. I have difficulty remembering those years as I was only about 3 or 4 back in 1952 – 1953 and was being shuttled between my separated parents. I remember the nuns but due to my own situation I was very scared for most of the time. I am not even sure I was at St. Anne’s or somewhere else. I don’t think I was resident as I was told I was living with my dad. I would be grateful to know if anyone can remember me.

    By Teresa Cruwys nee Marchant (18/05/2020)
  • I used to live at St Annes convent Lansdowne Road in the the 1960s to 1969 which I left to go back to my mother and live and eventually there was actually four of us in the home and we actually all got back together in the 1970s to London to live in my memories of living in the convent I used to have such fun I must have been about 9 or 10 when I left before that I used to go out to the cinema with a man who used to take a group of us and when we came back we used to have to climb over the Gates and someone used to let us in through one of the side doors does anyone remember this? please contact me to catch up with the good old times. Also I remember a man called Frankie used to do DIY task for the convent I used to help him occasionally. In front of the home there used to be a flower bed and he was told to actually concrete it over and I helped him I explained to him while I was helping that I had a transistor radio which wasn’t working so I gave it to him to fix for me but unfortunately he never returned it to me it’d be good to receive the transistor radio back after all these years just to see if he didn’t actually fix it he told me he had done a lot of Photography work so it would be nice to actually see some of his photographs with website and content and possibly the children they used to take photographs of there. I think I actually went to his house as well. I don’t really remember that would be nice to actually contact him. I do also remember going to a man’s house and he had miniature trains not tiny trains big trains which was his hobby it was so nice to go there and see his collection of trains does anyone remember this? I also remember Brighton in the 1960s where the Brighton taxis or mini cabs used to take us out for day trips it was a fantastic day to go out does anyone remember this? I also remember I used to go on holy days to go and pray in some countrysides it was an exciting thing to do we found treasure and hidden treasure from someone who put lots of objects in the Tomb Raider did not take it we actually put a note in it so I don’t remember where or when does anyone remember? when I was in the home they actually made a film called What a Lovely War I wasn’t actually in it unfortunately it would have been exciting to actually do this, but I think my brother or sisters were in it does anyone remember it? The man who used to take us to the cinema sometimes took us back to his house and we had baked beans on toast and in those days we used to trust people and he was a good man and does anyone remember this? I remember one day in the swing area a fantastic selection of swings banana Boat or whatever you call it but it was fine. I used to talk to the girl on the back side of the houses to the convent and one day she was so kind that she gave me a monkey which wasn’t real it was a toy monkey, I was in my glory with this. What a friend, hopefully she can respond if she remembers giving this toy to a young boy in the 1960s.I do also remember helping in the kitchen by doing odd jobs and sometimes I used to help the priest and he was a good man, has anyone served Mass at St Anne’s like me? I was lucky that I was able to sneak out and go down one of the roads where one of the side Cinemas was and there was a shop with toys and I used to look at the window at the sky electric and the Johnny Seven gun which had many purposes.I used to go down to the beach by myself and jump off the railings to the gravel it was fun but possibly I was not supposed to be doing this as I sneaked out, did anyone manage to sneak out and do things like I used to do? It would be nice to hear from you. I was there from the 1960s to the 1969 thank you for reading my post. Charles Weigel.

    By charles weigel (20/05/2020)
  • I met a young lady through this website, she has contacted me and she used to live as a child and Woodside at least someone has tried to contact me we having a few text between one and ever so far seems to be going well at least there is someone contacting me which is very appreciated and it is fantastic to actually get contact with the living person who was a child at St Anne’s Convent Brighton Lanes download home so if there is anyone who would like to contact me I would like to find out if anyone on this website or their friends or family have photographs of the building of St. Annes conference internal and external and photographs of all our young memories of children who live there I have asked for this request a number of times but got no response.It is easy to respond to the website you can even send personal information through my email address so don’t be shy, stand up, be proud, be happy and send some information as soon as.

    By Charles weigel (28/05/2020)
  • This is for Anne Veronica Wall/Tumber? please contact me, I would like to meet up? My details are near top of this page, you have commented just underneath my comment.
    Heres hoping…Vincent

    By vincent menham (01/06/2020)
  • To David Sheldon from Jimmy Devlin,
    I remember when Frank Evans and probably yourself used to take me out for the day at the weekends.

    By Jimmy Devlin (09/09/2020)
  • Hi, I worked at St Annes 1967/68 my name is Anne, also my friend Frances also known as Frankie was there. I also remember sister Paul who was great fun .unfortunately I am not very good at remembering a lot of names but I remember walks to from school I often wonder how everybody did in the future.
    I would love to be in touch with Frankie again as I married and my husband was in the navy and with travelling we lost contact.

    By Anne Rogers (nee Beddoe) (28/11/2020)
  • I remember all this I was at St Anne’s from 1959 to 1968. Thomas McGonnell from Ireland with sisters Linda and Pauline, brothers Gerry and Mike, hope someone remembers us.

    By Thomas Mc gonnell (12/01/2021)
  • I was wondering if anyone had any information About the Home From the late 1960s. I hope someone has photographs to share or videos. It would be so good to see the old days.

    By charles weigel (26/02/2021)
  • Hi
    I was at St Annes with my two brothers, we were the only black kids there until David & June Porter arrived. Think it was around 66-69. I remember their dad used to hang me by the ankles and tickle my feet – I always remember wanting him to be my dad. My name is Pat, my brothers are Sheldon & Sendor. Mostly happy memories from the home. Remember an older girl called Anne, she was not so nice and a girl called Charlotte, we used to call her apple Charlotte. Sister Anne always looked as though she was floating. Sister Paul was nice. Sister Lorraine or Loretta used to pinch you when she was annoyed.

    By Patricia Alexander nee Fraser (27/02/2021)
  • This page is amazing!
    Just found it – Des Devenney
    Was there two years, 1976 -1977.

    Hello to Brenda, Leon, Tony, Albert,
    Wendy, Micheal, Teresa, Veronica, Capaldi, Rosetta too,
    Lucy, Dutta, Sue, and Tracey.
    Patrick, John, Robert,Carol,
    Wendy, Terry, Doyle.
    The other Desmond upstairs.

    I remember Others from Woodside and Marina.

    Hope you are all well and happy.

    I’m on

    The past with all its tragedies and triumphs is irreversible – the road to the future is always under construction!!!
    One day at a time !! Every day is a bonus!

    Many thanks for many memories!


    By Des Devenney (06/04/2021)
  • I was at St Anne’s around 1977 for about two years, my name at the time was Denise Duffy and my younger brother was Paul Duffy.
    One memory was that we were going on holiday and my brother had a fall in the park and he was upset that he could not go swimming, we lived on the second floor and some kids I remember were Kim Pepples and Bubbles, who were two sisters. If any one remembers them it would be nice to contact them.

    By DENISE BAWDEN (17/05/2021)
  • Hello Des,
    What a nice surprise seeing you visited here …
    I tried to mail you but they are coming back undelivered. My mail address is
    Could you send me a mail please?
    Is anybody else in contact with Des Devenney here?

    Regards to All.
    Carol Doyle.

    By carol Doyle (19/05/2021)
  • It’s been a long time putting A post on here. Can someone put something on here so I can read it from the 1960s to 1969. Love to hear from you all. Thank you very much.

    By Charles weigel (22/09/2021)
  • Hi, I was in a convent in Hove in the mid 60’s, but I’m not sure which one I don’t think it was this one sounds like it was a nice place. The one I was in was a big place and the sexes were separated, it was not nice if any one could help me track it down I would be grateful.

    By vincent peter naylor (14/10/2021)
  • I lived at Saint Anne’s for 6 years in the 1960’s. Does anyone remember my name, Charles Weigel? I had one brother Brendan And 2 sisters, Sheila And Mary.
    I’m looking for people who knew us, we were Americans.
    And I’m asking and begging if anyone has got any photographs of the home and children and days out we all joined together, fun days.

    By Charles weigel (13/11/2021)
  • I Was at St Anns but I don’t remember anyone apart from Connie, a nasty bit of work.
    Also I recall Christmas day 1965, when my 3 year old sister and I were sitting together on our own in a large room full with other kids who had family members and visitors. We were left on our own,
    the nuns gave us a wrapped present each, my sister had a doll, My gift was a concertina, and I was overjoyed. However, an evil bitch of a woman who was visiting another kid, came up to me and told me that I had the wrong present, and swapped the concertina for a plastic aeroplane.
    Happy days,

    By Jimmy Devlin (20/11/2021)
  • Hi there,
    My mum worked at at Anne’s in 1980(ish) her name was Margaret but lots of the children called her Maudy. She passed away recently and she spoke all the time about ‘her children.’ It really was one of the most fulfilling times of her life, had she not married my dad, I don’t think she would have ever left. I have some photos of her time there and wondered if anyone remembered her as I thought some of the children in the photos might like copies.

    By Alisa Holt (22/12/2021)
  • I’m sorry to hear that your mother Margaret passed away, I was not at the convent at that time of the 1980s That’s always of the convent in the late 1960s, but it would be lovely to see some old photographs I’ve been searching on here for years for old pictures of the home.

    By charles weigel (24/12/2021)
  • Hello everyone, has everyone had a good Christmas and a good beginning to the New Year?

    By charles weigel (09/01/2022)
  • Was there a Rosemarie Cuddihy at St Anne’s Children’s Home, probably sometime in the late 50’s or in the 60’s?

    By Annette Keeney (11/03/2022)
  • It’s good to see your reply.
    There must be a number of us still alive.
    So be really nice to see how many of us respond to this when I found this page so I could communicate with people about pictures and memories of our loving home. But I think everyone must have passed through this Earth because there is no response anymore.

    By charles weigel (17/03/2022)
  • I’m so very pleased that after all these years , I had put a message on this site to find my best friend called Jannett Mckomiski who was at St Annes around 1958. Her stepdaughter got in contact with me and we met this year for the first time. The last time I saw her I was 7 years old. She always had wondered what had happened to me as I had about her. Sadly Jannette was not in good health but I was honoured to be invited to her wedding. Meeting her again was wonderful and I’m so pleased we found each other all be it for a very short time. Sadly Jannette died. We did not stop talking about our very happy times at St Annes and how we were there for each other at a very sad time in our lives. There is always a chance that someone will read your post and contact you. Good luck.

    By Evelyn Andrews (21/05/2022)
  • Hi Charles,

    I have a vague memory of the name Sheila Weigel, to be honest, I can’t really remember the dates properly, we were there about ’67-’69.
    I remember when we got the first Sunshine Coach and my brother Sheldon was in a play at the University of Sussex. We watched the moon landing, we put on a production of Peter & the Wolf. I remember reading from the bible in the church because I could read very well. Oh god! Those Sunday church hats in the big hamper. We used to walk the blind people home from church too.

    My brother Sheldon passed away at the beginning of this year, he was 61. Sendor is still alive, although he got thrown out of the home as he was always fighting with the nuns. I remember he pulled the Liverpudlian nun’s headpiece off….

    By Patricia Alexander nee Fraser (24/06/2022)
  • Patricia Alexander nee Fraser.
    It’s so good to hear from someone who knows someone.
    Sorry to hear about your brother.
    I would like to know more about yourself.
    Myself I live in London. Where do you live now?

    By charles weigel (05/08/2022)
  • Hi Charles,

    I lived in London (Deptford) up until 2019. I moved to Ashford, Kent in November 2019. I look after my mum, she has dementia. My daughter is heavily involved with Notting Hill carnival so I will be in West London from Sunday 28th August – Tuesday 30th August. I will be staying at the Hilton Holland Park. It will be nice to meet up. I don’t have any pics or anything but it will be nice to meet someone from the convent. My email address is


    By Patricia Alexander (19/08/2022)
  • Hi to Donna Maria Laycock (posted back in 17/11/2014). I was there late 70s/ early 80s and remember it fondly even though I was very young, probably 3yrs-5yrs. Do you remember me there? Also there was a boy there called Timothy, do you remember him, he was older than I was. It would be lovely to hear your memories! I remember visiting Spain with the nuns and some of the children. I had a friend I remember fondly called Tracy. I hope you’re well. Gracie.

    By Gracie Fry (06/10/2022)
  • Hi to Alisa Holt (posted back on 22/12/2021). I was there late 70s/ early 80s and remember it fondly even though I was very young, probably 3yrs-5yrs. Also there was a boy there called Timothy. I remember visiting Spain with the nuns and some of the children. I had a friend I remember fondly called Tracy. I would love to see some photos if you still have them! Gracie.

    By Gracie Fry (06/10/2022)
  • Merry Christmas to all our friends who lived at St Anne’s convent I hope to hear from people from the 1960s. PS; Have a very happy New Year. Hope to hear from you all, I know there is a lot of us still alive and kicking.

    By charles weigel (10/12/2022)
  • I am posting this comment on behalf of my mother in law who currently lives in Australia. My mother in law Margaret Maria Bird was placed in St Anne’s convent in 1945 along with her sister Gloria Ann Bird. They both stayed in the convent until they finished school. I’m trying to find out if there are any records and/or pictures of my mother in law around this time. My mother in law was 5 and her sister was 7 when they were placed in the convent. My mother in law has no photos, documentation or school reports before the age of about 15 years. I’m trying to find anything in relation to her early life at St Anne’s convent. Where would all the documents and records from this period be stored? Any assistance would be gratefully received.

    By Sharon Wills (29/12/2022)
  • Hello Sharon. It looks like the information you’re looking for is held in the archives of The Poor Servants of The Mother Of God. They are based in Roehampton:
    The info in the article above was partly provided by their archivist, Paul Shaw, who has also written a history of the Brighton homes. There’s a copy at The Keep in Brighton: “Outline of the history of the Brighton foundations of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, 1904-1997”, but it doesn’t look as though the detailed records are kept locally.

    By Gill Wales (30/12/2022)
  • Hi Patrick Doyle,
    It’s great to read you remember me. The memories you recount I have too, I also wish I never left when I did as I wasn’t ready. Please email me
    Love Veronica.

    By Veronica (26/03/2023)

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