A LITTLE HISTORY
"LEST WE FORGET"
THE FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE CONVALESCENT
HOME FOR MEN FOUNDED 1917
THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO THE MEN OF THE
UNITARIAN AND FREE CHRISTIAN
CHURCHES WHO FELL IN THE WAR 1914 – 1918
THESE PREMISES WERE ERECTED IN 1930 – 31
AND OPENED ON 16TH MAY 1931 BY
HARRY HIRSCH Esq. OF LEEDS
T.M FALCONER. CHAIRMAN HOMES COMMITTEE
J. DAVIES. VICE CHAIRMEN
T.FLETCHER ROBINSON W.P CRANKSHAW TREASURERS
CHARLES PEACH. SECRETARY
The Nightingale Centre and its Unitarian links go back to the early 1930's when a convalescent home for ex-servicemen was built on the site in Great Hucklow. It replaced a more primitive building at Windmill village a mile along the road. Also in existence was a similar establishment for women, a large property called Barleycrofts. This has now been converted into three residences and is situated opposite the village chapel. It is these buildings along with an area of ancient woodland that makes up the present-day Nightingale complex.
In the early 20th century 'deprived' children from the inner city areas of Sheffield and Manchester were brought to the centre on open-topped lorries. Typically they stayed for a week, often introduced to country life for the
first time. They were accommodated in a Children's home complex which has long since been demolished. By today's standard it was all rather primitive but some 1500 children each year benefited from the fresh air and outdoor experience the beautiful Derbyshire countryside had to offer.
The commitment to social responsibility and the needs of children has continued and is an intrinsic part of the Nightingale Centre's year, with weeks set aside every summer to provide children in need with a week's holiday at the Centre arranged by the 'Send a Child to Hucklow' organisation.
Over the years the Nightingale Centre has been much developed and extensively modernised, but throughout it has provided a place where groups of people of all ages can meet in a caring, warm and friendly environment allowing everyone who crosses the threshold to benefit from its unique ambience.