A TRIO of former pupils are inviting residents on a free tour of Croome Court to share stories of when it was a boys’ school during the 1950s to the 1970s.
Ex-pupils Gordon West, Peter Chlebko and Vincent Conlan will take visitors across the three floors of the mansion house, with the opportunity to explore the adjoining Red Wing building, until Saturday, January 27, to share the fascinating tales of their childhoods.
In 1948, the National Trust site was bought by the Archdiocese of Birmingham Catholic Church to be run as a school, and for more than 30 years housed up to 150 boys at a time, who lived onsite and were taught by the resident nuns.
Called St Joseph’s, the school offered places to boys as young as six-years-old, who had a broad range of disadvantages, including those who had suffered neglect in the family home, had learning difficulties, disruptive behaviour or illnesses.
Vincent Conlan, who was taught at St Joseph’s School in 1967, said: “I personally returned to Croome in 2011. It’s always been my intention to one day take people back in time and explain to them what it was like to live in such a beautiful building.
“I want to introduce them to the era of when it was a school run by nuns and the sort of antics us children would get up to. Life in those days wasn’t easy.”
Alice Padley, Croome’s finance co-ordinator, said: “The former pupils have been returning to Croome to talk about their time spent here and to attend our yearly reunions.
“As staff, we’ve been lucky enough to hear lots of their stories and experiences, with some happy and some sad. I’m delighted they’ll now have the chance to share their stories with our visitors.”
The tours will run from midday to 2pm.
Croome’s park and lakeside are open from 10am to 5.30pm and Croome Court is open from 11am to 4.30pm every day.
Call the National Trust site on 01905 371006 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome to apply or for more information.