|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Trees, 2-4 Broadlands Road, Highgate, N6 4AN
The origins of Hill Homes lay in the Hornsey Housing Trust, which had been established in 1933 by Cllr Margaret Hill, the wife of Professor Archibald Hill, Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine.
Mrs Hill, elected to Hornsey Council in 1929, acted as Chairman for the Housing Trust, which converted properties into affordable apartments for low-paid workers and their families. Increasingly, however, the Trust began to provide homes for the elderly. In 1939 it opened a Home for the Aged at No. 47 Cecile Park.
During WW2, major air-raids over London began in September 1940. The Trust began to manage properties which had been requisitioned to house elderly people made homeless by the Blitz. The Highgate Home for Aged War Victims (later Gate Home) opened in Nos. 9-11 Hampstead Lane in 1940. When this became full, the empty Highgate School Sanatorium at No. 87 Southwood Lane was acquired to provide accommodation for the more infirm elderly.
In March 1944 it was announced that the Highgate properties would be de-requisitioned after the war. Mrs Hill felt it would be morally wrong to disrupt the elderly once again from their homes. She called a meeting of the Housing Trust committee at her home at No. 16 Bishopswood Road on 6th June (D-Day) and it was decided to establish a charity, Hill Homes Ltd, to continue the work of providing affordable homes for the elderly.
Unable to purchase the properties in Hampstead Lane and Southwood Lane, the charity instead bought No. 14 Bishopswood Road (later named Woodlands) and No. 2 Broadlands Road (later named Trees) in 1945.
Between 1945 and 1947 three more houses in the area were acquired - No. 21 View Road, No. 22 Shepherd's Hill (later named Nuffield Lodge) and No. 22 Stanhope Road (the Stanhope Residential Club, later named Stanhope Lodge). The residents of the Home at No. 47 Cecile Park transferred to the care of Hill Homes Ltd., moving to No. 21 View Road, which was named Delia Grotten. The charity also took over the running of Gate Home until it closed in 1948.
From 1950 it also leased Whittington at No. 20 Broadlands Road, which had been established by the King Edward's Fund for London as a halfway house for the rehabilitation of elderly patients.
In 1953 a home for the frail and mentally ill elderly was established in Northolme, No. 22 Broadlands Road (later renamed Gwendolen Sim).
By 1958 the charity was running six Homes for the elderly or infirm in the Highgate area, with a total of 225 beds. It worked closely with local hospitals. Residents remained in the Homes until the end of their lives, unless they had to be admitted to hospital. There were almost 100 employees, including gardeners.
Weekly charges for the Homes varied from £3.17s (£3.85) to £5 15s 6d (£5.78); 55 residents paid their own maintenance, while the remainder were maintained by their County Councils under Part III accommodation.
In 1960 there were seven Homes with 230 residents.
In 1963 a purpose-built home for the chronically sick - Goldsmiths' House -was built in part of the garden to the rear of Whittington.
In July 1967 Homfray House opened adjacent to Trees. It replaced Stanhope Lodge, which was sold in 1968 to raise funds to build more accessible accommodation.
During the 1970s several of the Homes were improved. By 1976 the charity had 216 residents in its various Homes.
In 1985 a fund was established to raise money to modernise and improve all the accommodation.
In 1990 Newstead, a purpose-built nursing home, opened on the site of Goldsmiths' House.
|References (Accessed 16th May 2015)
Hogben GH 1958 The Health of Hornsey. The Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hornsey. p. 42.
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