Sissinghurst

Does the this name mean anything to you

By Ian Mott

Do you remember a house named "Sissinghurst".

Back in May 2012 we received the following request from a René Hill.

Hello, we are trying to find for a friend, the location of a house in Langdon Hills called Sissinghurst where she was born and was fostered at nine months. She is 82 years old and thinks the house was for unmarried mothers. It was on the corner of a road/street and run by two ladies.

We visited on April 3rd but, were so disappointed after asking a police lady and a taxi driver. Knocking on doors and asking quite a few passers-by. We would so like to help our friend. She had a stroke last year and has lots of time to dwell on her past. Are you able to help us in our search?

This triggered the following replies:

The first from Ellen English née Burr. The name rang a bell and Ellen confirmed from “Basildon History on Line” that it was a semi-detached house, used as a nursing home, just a couple of doors  away from Langdon Hills Primary School. It was demolished to make way for Basildon’s housing in the 1960s. Ellen offered to show them where it was located.

Then Shakun Banfield née Chowdhary confirmed that it was a nursing home and that her late brother was born there in 1935. The home was run by a nurse Young and her father Dr Chowdhary thought a great deal of her management of the nursing home and the staff working there.

Colin Humphrey checked the 1929 Electoral and found that Dorothy Eva Young and Lily Young were in residence at Sissinghurst (although they had been misspelt Sissinghunt in the register)

Then in an article by John Bathurst I found the following:

In passing, it should be mentioned that Laindon and Langdon Hills did have its own locality in which what I have described as “the more affluent” could be either confined or treated as an “in” patient. This was the Langdon Hills Nursing Home in High Road, Langdon Hills created out of two adjacent and attached houses (“Sisinghurst” and “Lyndhurst”) which had been made interconnecting. 

This establishment was run by the Misses Young, Altogether, there were four ladies with the surname Young listed at these addresses; Ivy, Rose, Daisy and Lily, and I am, regrettably, unable to say which is which in relation to the actual running of the nursing  home itself. However, after Stan Bathurst was conscripted into the British Army in 1941, my mother Lillian Bathurst went to work in a domestic capacity for the Misses Young. One consequence of this was that we, (Lillian, David Michael and the writer), went on a long train journey from Laindon in the summer of 1942 to stay for a week’s free holiday at a farm cottage called “Leigh Down “ near Skilgate in West Somerset that was the Young family’s own holiday retreat! This was a welcome break from the repeated tensions of living so close to the Thames Estuary during the Blitz.

Photo:The suggested location of Lyndhurst and Sissinghurst

The suggested location of Lyndhurst and Sissinghurst

From Ordinance Survey map of 1937

Ellen English née Burr, met René and her friend Julia and indicated to them where Sissinghurst was located.

If you can add anything to this article it would be appreciated

This page was added by Ian Mott on 16/09/2012.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Good to see a comment from another family descendant (Maidoff/Italy)! David Osborn former Laindon resident also long looked after by the Aunts and kept in touch with family throughout also with my cousin Kenneth and his daughters, has been in contact with me, we are keen to link with Carol Milligan and update.

Best wishes and thank you all. Betty.

By Betty Telford
On 06/11/2014

I am the granddaughter of one of the Young sisters who ran the nursing home/orphanage in Langdon Hills. My mother, Gillian Tilbury, was also born there (1937-1981) and was adopted by Anna Rosina (Nancy) Young. I remember Kenneth from visits as a young child and my mother often spoke of Betty, her cousin. I remember the semi detached house well and it no longer exists.  All 5 sisters moved to Cornwall and have all passed away. I am glad Kenneth was able to care for Auntie Rosie as we all live in Italy.

By Carol Milligan
On 16/10/2014

This relates to my father's Aunts : step sisters to his mother Wilhelmina Jung (Young). They adopted several children one of whom went to live in America they also adopted my cousin Kenneth Greenaway (son of Lilian mentioned above) sadly she died age 30 and left two little boys, the other my cousin Eric. She was trained at the City of London Maternity Hospital. Wonder why they did not also adopt Eric, he stayed temporarily with his father who remarried and Eric used to come on his skates all the way from Canning Town to visit my parents and myself in Bethnal Green, later he went into the Regular Army (Royal Engineers) his brother Kenneth went into the R.A.F., luckily they both survived WW2. Kenneth became chauffeur to the Bishop of Dover. Kenneth died in Kent, after years of looking after one of the Laindon aunts who had moved to Cornwall and she survived till nearly 100.

By Betty Telford
On 22/08/2013

My niece, Carol Clegg, was also born at Sissinghurst in 1940, the daughter of Stanley Clegg who was the son of Mr Clegg who managed Butler's Funeral Parlour, next to Dr Chowdhary's surgery in the High St. Mr Clegg was also well known as a Laindon postman, as was his brother Harold Clegg.

By W.H.Diment
On 17/09/2012

This may not be of much help but my mother told me that my older brother Dennis was born in a nursing home in Langdon Hills. It was 1930, mum was married, but still very young. I’m pretty sure this must have been Sissinghurst. Unfortunately, as she and my brother are no longer around I am unable to glean any further information. 

She also told me that after his birth, the nurses bound her abdomen tightly with bandages from rib cage to lower hip and she had to lay flat for the 2 weeks. No doubt that was considered appropriate before the concern about blood clots etc. When finally allowed to get up, she found it difficult to walk around as the long ‘lie-in’ period had weakened her. Nowadays, newly delivered mothers are encouraged to get up and walk around as soon as possible after the birth. 

Mum decided on a home birth in 1939 for her second child ‘Anne’. Myself (1946) and younger brother Alan (1951) were born at St John’s Hospital in Chelmsford. I look forward hopefully to learning more about Sissinghurst as further information is received.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 17/09/2012
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