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Stowfield House

Stowfield Boys

Stowfield House Boys

Back: Micheal Pope, ?, Robert Peacey, Malcolm Allen
Left: Brian Peacey, Des Brown.

Thanks also to Des Brown.

Wendy wrote (April 2008): "I recently came across this photo from my past of a group of boys who lived at Stowfield House in the early 1950s. As I thought about it, I realised that I knew nothing about their situation. Was it an orphanage? Were the boys refugees? Had they lost their parents during the war? How many boys lived there? I can remember a lot of them coming to Lydbrook church every Sunday evening with Mr. and Mrs. Sterkx who were the Matron and the Director. I would be interested to learn something more about those boys I knew more than 50 years ago".

Margaret Wilce added (April 2008): "The boys were evacuees mainly from London, they went to Joys Green and Lydbrook Schools, at least two were adopted by local families".

Ann Butcher added (June 2008): "Sometime between 1935 and the 1950's Stowfield House was a boy's home. Not exactly an orphanage but I'm not sure what. My brother Donald Wall was a resident there for some years during the war.He always seemed to have very fond memories of his time there. Unfortunately he died in 1964 when I was little so I can't add any more".

D. Keith Wilks added (May 2009): "Senior boys from Stowfield Home attended Berry Hill Secondary School. Some are mentioned in my book 'Teacher in the Forest' - John Hardwell and perhaps Don Wall, Peter Procter. Others I cannot remember".
(Keith's book will be of interest to all former pupils of Berry Hill Secondary School and was printed in Lydney in 2007. Copies are still available from local bookshops).

Roy Taylor added (September 2009): "I was at Stowfield House from 1949 to 1953. It was an orphanage for boys".

Fred Dager Brown added (January 2010): "I was boy at Stowfeild House (twice) once when I was about four and later when it was run by Mr and Mrs Sterkx. I remember a Michael Pope or Derek Pope but cannot remember any others except the two King brothers and the gardener called Jack. I do know that the Sterkx's had a daughter who ran a shop in Lower Lydbrook. We used to walk to Church via the old railway line which ran over the old viaduct. I am now 71 and memories have dimmed somewhat, but I would be willing be emailed if you care to. I was known as Fred Brown in those days. My name was changed through adoption later. Best regards. Fred".
in April 2011, Fred added: "... Reply to Roy Taylor. I think you were after me at Stowfield House as by 1949 I was at another home in Cirencester. Im now 73 but still have strong memories of the home Particularly the Sterxes. He was a nice upright gentle man dominated by his wife. I heard later that she died in a factory accident. .... I went back there later with my late wife when it was a nursing home and apart from a few structural changes it was much the same"

Des Brown added (November 2012): "... I have given names to all except one. Myself and other boys from all over came to Stowfield when it was open. I was there all the years as a Boy's Home. There were only 6 boys left in the last 6 months. I was still going to Forest of Dean Mining and Tech. in Cinderford and left when I was 16. I remember Mr Wilks he was a good teacher and did a lot of good for many boys like mysel. I been back to Stowfield in the last few years as I know this house like the back of my hand. They have tried to put the house back to what it was and they have done a good job. A lot has been lost as being a hospital. Old maps will show that Offa's Dike went through this house and there was a strip of no mans land there 10 yards wide. I remember the 1947 snow which was over 6ft deep . Many of us are well over 70 - I am 74. History stops with us boys when we are all gone. I do'nt think that there was any boy that lived there had a bad time and we were looked after very well even if we never had fresh bread lol weeding crazy paving .I've never been in contact with any old boys over the last 40 years. It would be great to hear from any one of these boys. Des BROWN" Contact Des at: Des.Brown AT Hotmail DOT CO DOT UK (leave out the spaces).


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