THIS is Drayton Old Lodge, a lovely wedding venue overlooking the Wensum Valley in the village of Drayton. It was a nurses’ home until roughly the early 1990s and then spent a decade or so as a conference centre. Today I would call it a hotel, but the website fights shy of that term. So “venue” it is. I thought it had been built in 1914 as a purpose-built nurses’ home, but now I’m not so sure – and that’s where I need your help. Take a look at this crest. it doesn’t feel “corporate” to me. There’s some suggestion that the building didn’t become a Home till 1917. So I’m wondering if this was a posh old pile where perhaps the owner perished during the First World War. But that’s complete speculation at the moment.
It’s a great spot, one of many along the Wensum where I have the sacrilegious desire to chop down dozens of trees. Without the woods on the hillside, you would have a gorgeous view down onto the river valley below. But I digress. Who can EBR have been in Drayton in 1914? And how was he (she?) related to HR. If you can help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 15th update:
It probably closed as a nurses home in the 1970s rather than the 1990s. Documents at the Norfolk Record Office talk of it being the home of the Norwich Health Authority between 1975 and 1993. The NRO also has some great black and white photos of nurses at the home taken in the late 1930s. The photos of Sister Parr, Nurse Fincham and Nellie Burton were handed in anonymously in 2009. If that was you, do get in touch. Sadly though, the NRO had nothing to help me work out how the building started life.