Former pupils in exhibition on bygone school

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FORMER pupils of a historic care home and school are the stars of an exhibition.

The Thomas Coram Foundling Hospital School was built in Chesham Road, Berkhamsted, to educate youngsters in care. It is now home to Ashlyns School,

The school base opened in 1935 – it had previously been located in Surrey for nine years and before that was in London.

Philanthropist Thomas Coram originally set up the school in 1739 to care for children whose mothers could not look after them, often due to poverty.

The Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square, London, has interviewed 56 former Berkhamsted pupils, 14 from Surrey, and three from the London site as part of a four-year Foundling Voices project.

Their tales will be used in a museum exhibition from Thursday, April 14, to Sunday, October 30.

Interviewee Barry Tarbox, 69, grew up in Ravens Lane, Berkhamsted. He went to the school from 1953 when it was shared with foundling children.

He said: “The top floor was all of their dormitories and living area and they were educated with us. You could not invite them to your house – they were not allowed out unless they went as a whole group.”

The site became Ashlyns School in 1954 when it was taken over by Herts County Council.