The ‘Now and Then’ column with Aled Jones: Focusing on the site of St Anne’s Convalescent Home

This week’s ‘Now and Then’ column, created by Aled Jones, shows a complete change of scene at a Bridlington location.

By Phil Hutchinson
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 6:00 pm
This colourised postcard shows the former St Anne’s Convalescent Home. Postcard courtesy of Aled Jones
This colourised postcard shows the former St Anne’s Convalescent Home. Postcard courtesy of Aled Jones

Mr Jones’ colourised postcard focuses the former St Anne’s Convalescent Home.

In 1941, the home was damaged during a German air raid during World War II. The site was abandoned for two decades until 1961 when it was replaced by 20 almshouses.

Mr Jones said: “Here’s a truly five star vintage postcard, showing an early twentieth-century view of the former St Anne’s Convalescent Home with St Anne’s Road to the right. It was taken from Flamborough Road and shows a quite busy scene complete with period dress fashions.

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This photo shows the site as it looks today. Photo: Aled Jones

“What I especially like about it is how it’s been lovingly colourised to make it appear more realistic.

“Postcards provide a glimpse into everyday life, and were the text messages of their day. It just amazes me what people wrote on them; the message on this one always brings a smile to my face. In fact, you could say it takes the biscuit – or should I say cake!

“It was sent in summer 1909 to an address near Chesterfield, and provides a curious glimpse of life in the Convalescent Home at the time. Incredibly, the writer, a vexed resident, laments to his mother ‘We don’t have any cake here, I should like a bit of yours.’ Worse still, his message ends with the warning ‘Do not send postcards as they read them before we get them’.

“However, despite the grim portrait, one can safely assume that he received a great deal more than he gave. Why? Because the residents weren’t charged a penny for their stay there, this by virtue of charitable sponsorship. It’s just that the cost of offering free board and lodging was offset by such denied luxuries as cake.

“The home was full of character and charm with spacious rooms and a lovely chapel, and fine-proportioned windows that must have let in so much light.

“Built by Captain E Barnes and opened in 1878, it was run by the Church of England, which held tea parties and other fundraising events to help with running costs. The chapel wasn’t original but added to the existing building in 1897.

“After giving care to thousands of people over many years it’s sad to think of the unhappy fate that befell this grand red-brick building.

“On the night of June 18, 1941, German bombs were dropped on the resort and several buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. St Anne’s Convalescent Home was one of the very worst hit and many residents were badly injured.

“The air raid destroyed almost everything, leaving only a small part of the building unscathed.

“It remained abandoned for two decades, when in 1961 it was replaced by 20 almshouses, known as St Anne’s Houses.”