John Passmore Edwards


Pegwell Bay Convalescent Home

History page 1

Mr B T Hall General Secretary of the Workingmen's Club Institute Union, 1893 -1929.


As far back as 1878 the Council of the Union considered the possibility of establishing a Seaside Home for members, their wives, and families but an initial attempt foundered, "its principal achievement being to add another heavy financial burden up on the slender and embarrassed finances of the Union".
At a meeting of the Council of the Union, held at the East St Pancras Reform Club on Saturday, 6 February 1892, the Council resolved to " take into consideration the advisability of a Convalescent Home, and that a committee be appointed for the purpose of drawing up a scheme".
The appointed committee, N W Oviatt, F Campbell, Ben Ellis, J W Dorman, J H Holmes, T J Mason, and Jessie Argyle, who had agreed to act as honorary secretary, met and produced a very modest scheme, estimating an annual expenditure of £600 per annum, and subscriptions from the clubs varying from one guinea to £4 4s per annum. The proposal was to lease a large house on the South East coast and adapt this for the residence of 15 "patients". Circulars were sent out to all of the clubs but response was insufficient for the project to proceed.
View of the Pegwell Bay Convalescent Home  with gardens and bowling green
The following year, June 1893, Hodgson Pratt reported to B T Hall, Secretary of the Union, that he had spoken to Passmore Edwards who would like to see a deputation on the matter. At the ensuing meeting Passmore Edwards sought assurances that that the Union would guarantee to keep a home going if he gave them one. After giving such an assurance the meeting ended with Passmore's response of "very well, go and find your site, and I will buy it, and build you a home on it".
The "bedroom block" extension at the Pegwell Bay Convalescent Home. However, the search for a suitable site proved as difficult a task as any and it was Passmore Edwards himself, who in May 1894 informed them that he had purchased a disused hotel and grounds at Pegwell Bay and that he thought that this would suit their purposes. An inspection by the Secretary followed and found that the builders and decorators were already in attendance, the conversion almost complete.
M A Adams carried out the earlier  extensions to the original building
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© Dean Evans 2004
June 24, 2005
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Passmore Edwards autobiography,,  A few footprints.