1931 – 1979 (Nursing Home Days)


George Green’s death in 1929 marked the end of the use of the Plantation as a private house. In the following decades it was used first as a private clinic, and then as a hostel for midwives in training. Fortunately some of them took photographs in their leisure moments (few and far between according to some of the accounts they have given of their life at the time!).

PGPT151 and PGPT154
Date: 1930s
Source: Advertising brochure for nursing home in 1930s

After the death of George Green in 1929 a group of doctors took over the lease of the Plantation and set up a clinic and nursing home. (Since the garden was opened to the public in 1980 many visitors have told us their memories of family members who were born or worked at the Plantation – see PGPT137-146).

Professional photographs were taken by A.E.Coe and Sons Ltd, Norwich, to illustrate the facilities available for patients. These 2 photographs show (left) one of the upstairs bedrooms, with views down on to the garden, and (right) the operating theatre, downstairs to the right of the front door. The window on the left of the picture has been altered to let in more light; this feature can be seen as you approach the north side of the house from Earlham Rd.

Date: unknown
Source: Green family album
This view has been taken from the rustic bridge, looking South (cf PGPT001) It appears to be a companion photograph to PGPT006. It is notable that the lawn and main path have been grassed over: the trangles of ivy on the terrace walls (cf 001) have been replaced by ivy ‘columns’, and the elaborate pattern of the flowerbeds in the foreground are similar to those in the 1930s photograph (PGPT )

Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT151/4

This photograph (label ‘View of Garden’) must have been taken from the rustic bridge, looking South. The Palm House has been demolished and replaced by a rose garden(?). In the foreground a framework can just be seen beneath climbing plants: was this the remains of the glazed structure (entrance to the underground chamber for the boiler) just visible to the right in PGPT002?
Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT151/4
PGPT152 gave the view of the garden looking South, here we have the view looking North. The label was ‘House from grounds showing tennis court.’ The contrast between the untidiness of the bed on the West of the lawn (left) and its neat appearance in PGPT019, 021 is striking.
Date: 1930s
Source: Photograph donated in 1997 by Mr T.C.L. Walwyn
In the 1930s the Plantation was home to a maternity clinic/nursing home where private doctors performed operations and delivered babies. During this time the room to the right of the front door was converted into an operating theatre see PGPT154).Here a group of nurses, smartly dressed in their uniforms, pose with newly delivered babies and a mother(?) on the lawn beside the house.

Mr Walwyn sent these photos from his home in Vancouver, Canada. He was born in the Plantation clinic, and identified himself as one of the babies in the wheelbarrow in PGPT145.

Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT143

Presumably a mother with the baby she has borne in the Plantation clinic.

In the background are visible an urn shaped like a shell (still there) and the balustrade (now restored, see PGPT040/1/2).

Photographs dating to 1947 and 1956 (in the archive but not included here) show the same urn but with a fence replacing the fallen balustrade.

Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT143
Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT143
As in PGPT143, a smartly uniformed nurse is showing off her charges – in a rather risky conveyance! The Roman Catholic cathedral can be seen in the background of this photograph taken on the lawn beside the house. Mr Walwyn identified himself as one of the babies in the wheelbarrow.

This same nurse appears in PGPT145/6. She is posing in front of the Doulton ceramic fountain on the lawn to the South of the Plantation house (see PGPT014).

Date: 1930s
Source: Photograph donated by a nurse
The background chosen here was the front of the Plantation house. The nurse looks very similar to the one in PGPT145. Was this a record of a patient being collected after a successful stay in the maternity home?
Date 1935
Source Photograph given to PG archive by Mrs Trick, nee Drake
The rustic summer house shown here in the garden of ‘The Beeches’ (cf PGPT051) was of similar taste to the summer house in The Plantation (cf PGPT007). This garden has been built on since 1980 for an extension to the hotel and part of its car park.
The house in the background is Chester Lodge, in Chester Place.
A pre-war aerial view from the south. The fountain appears to be in action
Date: 1940
Source: photograph from Harvey family
This photograph, showing Edward and Connie Harvey in 1940 resting after a game of tennis, was donated with quite a story.

Edward Harvey’s sister was on the midwifery staff at Plantation house and so when he came home on leave from the army in 1940 he was allowed to play on the court on the lower lawn with his wife, Connie. Sadly, he was killed in Italy in1944.

Mrs Harvey remembered having ante-natal care herself at the Plantation, though babies were born at Earlham House. She remembered that her sister-in-law lived with other nursing staff in ‘the bungalow’, which was built on the area now known as the ‘triangle’, to the East of the entrance yard.

Source: unknown
This photograph was taken on the lawn to the South of Plantation House. It shows a gardener standing beside a fountain, parts of which were discovered here in 1980 and removed into the protection of the brick shed in the Plantation garden. This ceramic fountain was made by Doulton, and is very similar to one that appears in a photograph of the conservatory at Carrow ( ).
St John’s Roman Catholic cathedral can be seen in the background.
Date 1940s
Source Photograph given to PG archive by someone who had lived in the Plantation house during her training as a midwife
PGPT 047
Date 1936
Source Photograph given to PG archive by Mrs Trick nee Drake (the child in the photograph)
The side elevation of ‘The Beeches’ with its 19c conservatory is in the background. Mr H.J.Drake was tenant of the house for most of the 1930s.
Date: 1940s/50s?
Source: donated by visitor

Date and subject not known. The interest lies in a further illustration of the original 1857 date plaque (see PGPT186 etc).

Date: 1947-50
Source: Photograph donated by Mrs Dalziel
Mrs Dalziel was also a trainee midwife and she donated photographs of herself and her contemporaries after she visited the garden in September 1990 from her home in the Wirral.
Date: 1947-50
Source: as PGPT138
Here the style of numbers on the original date stone can be seen clearly (see PGPT136)
Date: 1947-50
Source: as in PGPT138
The midwives are seen here in front of Plantation house, in their uniforms, setting off for work on their bicycles, their accustomed method of transport.
Date: 1947-50
Source: as PGPT138
Another of the photographs taken by midwives staying at the Plantation. The background chosen here is the Doulton fountain then situated on the lawn beside the house (see PGPT014)
Date: 1956
Source: as PGPT137
As in PGPT141, these midwives also have chosen the Doulton fountain on the upper lawn as the background of their photograph. Cardigans and different plants in the fountain basin indicate a different time of year!



Date: 1956
Source: Photograph donated by Mrs High, trainee midwife
Mrs High donated several photographs to the PG archive.

The original date stone is visible here (see PGPT137)




Date: 1956
Source: as PGPT137
This time the group of midwives has chosen the wall at the northern end of the lower lawn as a background for their photograph (cf PGPT060) The pedestal on the left clearly lacks an urn which should stand on top. The plaque is one of several of the same design in various parts of the garden: it is tempting to think that once again Henry Trevor bought a bargain lot from Gunton Bros. Certainly the mouldings which frame the plaque and the cross design on the wall are Gunton style (see PGPT043/4)


Date: 1960
Aerial view some time during the sixties.

The Palm House area and half the lawn has already been abandoned and the fountain basin is empty

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