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Jul 15 13 7:08 PM

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Hello everyone,

My (2) brothers David & Mark Pryce (who have since passed) and I were at Harpenden from 9/76 – 12/80. I was 5 when I first went into the home. We were in flat 11 and Sue and Paul Stage were the house-parents, who lived in the flat upstairs with their own two children Alison and Michael Stage. Some of the other Children’s names who were actually in care with us whose names I can remember were Angela Neal, Stephen  &Peter Dorsett and Eugene Thames, Cecil Thames. As far as members’ of staff go I remember a  Mr. Murray, Mr. Spencer, we had a young german lady as well, I can’t remember her name though.  There are also a couple names throughout my file (possibly members of staff) but I have no recollection of them by names are Goodman, J.C. Burn and Oxborrow.

I’m looking to connect with former members staff or anyone who was there during that time, who might remember me or my brothers to fill in some of the blanks. A couple of people who were in different flats that I reached out to are so far removed from their time in Harpenden, and want no parts of it, or they don’t remember me. Unfortunately my photos were lost in a fire back in 1989, and would also love to see any if there are any floating around from that time.



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Posts: 603

#1 [url]

Jul 15 13 8:14 PM

Hello Charmaine,

Welcome to the site.

I can't help you with names from your time at Harpenden other than JC Burn. He was the principle of the branch. I left in 1973 and do not have any information of events after that.

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#3 [url]

Jul 25 13 10:10 AM

Hello Charmaine,
Welcome to this site, it is good to hear from someone from Harpenden in more recent years.
Lots of people who write here were here in the 60's or before!
I was at Harpenden from 1971-1985 when the Home closed.I was a staff member in Flat 8 then after the Stages left we moved into Flat 11.
Sorry I cannot place you, I should because I was also the Nurse and did Surgery with  Dr Bird.
As already said Colin Burn was the Superintendent,Christine Goodman was a houseparents then 
moved to the office.She was tall with glasses.Murray Oxburrow was another staff member again
Tall with a beard! He often drove the vans.
Some of the children in my group were the Delpratts, the Ryan family,John Mark,Mary,Paula.
We have had reunions at Highfield I donot know we're you live but you can go up there anytime.Youth
with a Mission own the site but welcome N.C.H. People.
Any thing else you think I may know please ask,   I still keep in touch with the Stages.
All good wishes.
Barbara Ackroyd.

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#4 [url]

Jul 25 13 3:55 PM

Hello Barbara,

Thank you for your response, and the information you shared. I can’t picture Christine Goodman, but I do remember Murray Oxburrow (or Mr. Murray as I knew him as) having a beard.

I also remember the Delpratts very well, Tina and I played together and were around the same age. Kim was the oldest sister and Tracey was the youngest one. I reached out to Kim and the brother Amos on facebook about five or so years ago, but neither one of them remembered me; although, Amos vaguely remembered one of my brothers.   

I currently live in the States; I’ve been here since 1983. So unfortunately I won’t be visiting Highfield anytime soon. Unfortunately, I don’t get back to the UK as often as I would like it seems I only go back for funerals. If it crosses your mind the next time you speak to the Stages please give them my regards, they might actually remember me.


Thank you, again.

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#5 [url]

Jul 25 13 10:45 PM

Dear Charmaine,
Thanks for your reply. I hope all is well with you in the States, I should remember you as I looked after
Amos,Kim, Tina and Tracey. I do not do Facebook! Tracey was a little bit older than my own daughter
We did keep in touch for awhile. Tracey went to a Foster family in Dunstable did a course in child care. the last I heard she was married with two children.I heard at one of the reunions that Tina 
Had a drink problem, so sad she was a lovely girl. Amos had been in trouble too.
We're you in the choir? Colin Burns wife used to run the choir. 
We're are you in the states, one of the regular writer on this site lives in the U.S.A. shelagh,
but was at Harpenden before our time.
Good wishes,
Barbara Ackroyd.

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#6 [url]

Jul 29 13 2:02 PM


It’s sad about Tina…When I messaged Amos and Kim on facebook , and asked about Tina they both said they no longer speak to her.  Tracey was probably too young to remember me, but I’m glad she’s doing well.

I don’t recall ever being in the choir, I didn’t remember there being a choir…If it was my choice I definitely wasn’t, if it was something chosen by the staff for me then there’s a possibility.

Most of the memories I have are actually being in the flat with the members of staff and the rest of the children, (some of which are better than others) playing outside, and Roundwood Park School. I have no memories of any other staff members from the other flats, nor any other children outside of flat 11, besides the Delpratts.

I’m in Connecticut...I was actually browsing this site for a little while before I had enough courage to post and I do recall seeing a post where someone mentions being in the States it must be the person you mentioned.

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#7 [url]

Jan 16 16 5:33 PM


My 2 brothers Gary and Shaun Courtney were at Harpenden in the 1970s (They both had ginger hair) my brother remembers that they was in the last house on the left as you enter the oval. They were both in the choir with Mrs Burns and made many records including one with Davy Jones and one for the queens silver jubilee.  Do you remember either Gary or Shaun??? Shaun also remembers an Uncle Don who worked in the house?

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