Gressenhall: Beech House

Head of the Laundry

You were telling me a minute ago that you were hired to be the Head of the laundry. And who was the woman that had left? A W. Yes, she left. I think she got wrong with the Matron, to be honest. She threw the keys down and the Matron said well, if she’s like […]

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How working at Beech House led to a new career

I worked at what was then called Beech House at Gressenhall from 1956 until about August 1958. I was 20 years old when I went there, had come back home to live at Swanton Morley, and there was no work available of the kind I had been doing, which was horticulture, so I went to […]

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The Assistant Engineer

From 1947 to 1951 approximately I worked at Beech House, Gressenhall, sometimes called The Workhouse, and lived on the site at Cherry Tree Cottage. I was 31 in 1947 and was employed as Assistant Engineer and Labour Master. My wife, Mrs N C was Laundry Supervisor. As Engineer I looked after the boilers and any […]

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The Care Assistant

What was the building called when you were there? Beech House, and we called it the nickname “Spike”. I think everybody in the village called it The Spike. Was there any reason? I don’t know. I was brought up with it, with my parents. That’s all I know. Good gracious! And where did you live […]

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The Matron’s Assistant (1938-1975)

Norah worked in Beech House from 1938 until its closure in 1975. She began as a nursery attendant but later became the matron’s assistant. Spanning World War Two and the introduction of the National Heath Service, Norah’s story gives a detailed account of working life inside the historic building. I was born at Haveringland, near […]

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The nursing orderly (1950 – 1989)

I got into nursing when I was twenty, after my parents had moved to Billingford and then to Rougham. I was after a job and there happened to be one going at Gressenhall. I think they were desperate for staff at the time because, when they interviewed me, they just asked me what my interests […]

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The Young Cleaner

What was your first ever job, or was this job at Beech House your first one? That was the first job – at Beech House. And can you describe how you got that job? I think I just biked round there one day from Longham, and went up there and said “Have you got any […]

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