The Brocket Babies
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A number of Brocket Babies have asked how the mothers travelled to and from Brocket Hall. The responses we received are:
1. From midwife Norah Pardey (via Tim Reeves):
It all depended on who the mums to be were, if she was a commoner attending The City of London Hospital Maternity unit and everything was going as planned she would be put on the FREE scheduled bus. These ran twice a week ferrying mums out to Brocket Hall, dropping the newbies off then taking the Mums with babies back. The mums would make there own way to and from The City of London Hospital. Private well to do mums to be often came by car, and some emergency mums came by ambulance, but very rarely. Those a bit better off would come by train and taxi, this included those who had the fare paid by employer or the father of the baby. As there was no NHS the free bus was paid for by the war office, it was a old charabanc coach with wooden seats, it would often take 2 or 3 hours to travel the short distance as the coach would have to pick its way through roads closed by fallen buildings and craters. Mrs Pardey believes the bus ran right thro the war and for about a year after.
2. From Sheila Rabson (Brocket Baby):
Father hired a car to get my mother there. She was driven up from London to the hospital. After I was born (January 1947) the same thing happened. The only car available to hire was a Rolls Royce but it did manage to get through the snow! My parents always joked that I had ideas above my station due to being born in a stately home and coming home in that Rolls Royce.
3. From Janice Morphet (Brocket Baby):
I was reflecting on your piece re how did mums get to Brocket as I think that I have a vague memory of discussing this with my father. I was overdue and my mother was at Brocket a bit longer I think. My father visited her whilst she was there and I thought that he mentioned a Green Line bus. I could be wrong …