Site of Dr Garrett’s Memorial Home, Conwy

The houses around Dr Garrett’s Drive occupy the site of a home where generations of children came for respite from the polluted streets of Manchester, Bolton, Coventry and other English towns and cities.

Aerial photo of Dr Garret's Memorial Home, Conwy, in 1945The home was founded by Dr Thomas James Galloway Garrett, who trained in Dublin and worked as a GP in Manchester. His own health began to suffer, and in 1916 he and his wife Catherine moved to the sea air at Morfa Conwy.

Realising that the air would benefit many urban children, they set aside rooms in their house, Minydon. The children’s home soon expanded as other houses were purchased through fundraising efforts.

Rotatable rooms at Dr Garrett's Memorial HomeWhen Thomas died in 1923, a newspaper said the home was perhaps the best in Britain, with its school, recreation rooms, library, playing ground, outdoor shelters and sunlit dormitories. You can read more about Thomas and Catherine on our page about their grave at St Agnes Cemetery, Conwy.

She continued to run the children’s home and left it to Manchester City Council on her death in 1938. The council took over in 1939. In the 1950s Dr Garrett’s Memorial Home accommodated 150 children, aged two to 15 years, for convalescent stays of about six weeks.

Photo of children playing pool at Dr Garrett's Memorial HomeThe 1945 aerial photo, courtesy of the Welsh Government, shows how close the home was to the seashore (top right corner). The other photos, courtesy of Conwy Archive Service, show some of the open-sided rotatable rooms of the 1940s, and children playing pool in one of the outbuildings c.1980.

The home came under the council’s health department until 1974, when it moved to social services, reflecting a change in the reasons children were sent here. The home closed in 1989. See the footnotes for stories of events and people at the home.

Postcode: LL32 8GZ     View Location Map

More information about Dr Garrett’s Memorial Home – Conwy Archive Service
 

Footnotes: People and events

The home provided employment for local residents including Henry Hughes of Whinacres, who retired in 1960 after 42 years on the indoor staff. For the last 20 years of his career he never took a day’s sick leave.

Local suppliers were contracted to provide milk and other provisions.

A local League of Friends supported the home. During the 1950s the mayor and mayoress of Conwy visited the home each Christmas and handed out sweets. In January 1972 local man John Craven, dressed as Father Christmas, gave the children gifts from the Round Table and Ladies’ Circle.

In April 1961 the Conwy branch of retailer FW Woolworth presented a giant Easter egg for the 130 child patients. Joseph Ryan, aged 8, had to whack it twice with a rolling pin to crack it! When the mayor and mayoress of Manchester visited in 1972, children gave them a box they had made and decorated with pebbles from the nearby beach.