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Children's home/assessment centre

Memories of Ampthill....
or maybe trying to trace an old friend or relative
...any local history in fact

Children's home/assessment centre

Postby Sharon1111 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:51 pm

Hi there. . Wondering could anyone help me? I am trying to get information on the children's home/assessment centre I was sent to as a child around 1983/84. I think it was Ampthill. . It was big assessment centre with three wings, I was blue wing. . It had 'school' on premises. . We were on lock down to wing for first 6 weeks then allowed to associate with kids on other wings,use recreation room . . Which had pool table. It's probably closed down by now but I can't find any details on Internet. . If anyone could help with information I would be so grateful. Thanks.
Last edited by Sharon1111 on Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:32 pm

Hi Sharon and welcome to the forum. I think it may have been the building that has just been knocked down next to the old Council offices called Russell house

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1189

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7964

I thought there was some info on here somewhere from long ago, but I can't find it.
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby grandmajenny » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:46 pm

Hello Sharon,

You are remembering Houghton Lodge Observation & Assessment Centre. I worked there from 1980-85 on Red Wing so undoubtedly knew you. The building is still there but it is now the local Social Services office, & it is at the end of Houghton Close, Ampthill.
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby Sharon1111 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:23 pm

Omg. . Thank you grandmaJenny. I am struggling to put everything together right now but the name Houghton is ringing bells somewhere in my mind! Now I know for sure I can chase records. . It might help to punish the person that was the cause of me being in the care system at all. Thank you.
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby Sharon1111 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:25 pm

Thanks Caroline too for your reply. . People are so nice helping. . It really will help me. . All the info triggers more memories which is a good thing. Thank u.
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby Mishka » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:38 pm

Funny but I was just thinking about this place today. It was called Houghton Lodge, although I think there is another building in Ampthill with the same name?

I was there in 1975...I think. It was a very long time ago! Anyway, was the best thing that happened to me at the time. I was not headed toward a good place. Not that I was a bad kid I just hung around with the wrong people.

When I was there we were only segregated for a week before mixing with the other kids and then I think we had to stay four weeks before we were allowed on home visits.

I remember there was a children's wing, a girls only wing and a boys wing. At night each section was secured by door alarms and there was a house parent who slept over on each section. Not that this stopped anyone getting out of course ;)

I remember the staff were wonderful and although I was there for six months it really wasn't that bad an experience at all. It helped me a lot and totally changed the direction I was going in.
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:52 pm

sad to see it all gone now
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby Mishka » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:24 pm

CraftsbyCarolyn wrote:sad to see it all gone now


The building is still there it's just under different use.

It was a very odd mix though. There were children there simply because a parent was in hospital so they were being cared for at Houghton Lodge. There were some really problem kids who had gone completely off the rails and there were kids like me who were a bit lost and just needed some guidance and direction. It was though quite a happy sort of place, which perhaps people might be surprised about as these days children's homes don't exactly have a good reputation!
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Re: Children's home/assessment centre

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:53 pm

sorry I got confused on this, didn't read the whole thread
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