Upper Downing latterly a care home for the elderly. Formerly a care home for children visited 2019

in #creativecoin3 years ago

Urban Exploring (UE) tends to be seen by many as an interest that should be frowned upon. I agree to a certain extent having seen a lot of childish immature offerings made by millennial goontubers, and Instagram idiots. Who think it’s more about them than the actual building/graveyard/ graffiti et all. Never mind the vandals, taggers or thieves. Most of whom lurk on Facebook pages.
As an explorer covering the U.K. and Europe, my aim is to bring an unseen glimpse into places that would otherwise remain silent in decay. I try to take my photographs in as sympathetic a manner as possible, always remembering that I am just a vehicle for other people’s memories. I hope you enjoy my work.

History

Upper Downing or Downing Ucha' was a very large old country mansion set in secluded grounds and approached by a long drive was opened in 1948 as a home registered under section 37 of the National Assistance Act 1948 for 48 older boys and girls.
The home was administered by the former Flintshire County Council and in the 1971 Regional Plan it was described as providing accommodation for up to 24 children but the intention then was that it should be replaced in 1973 by homes in St Asaph and Prestatyn.
In the event it survived the transfer of responsibility to Clwyd County Council for nearly three years until 31 January 1977. During the 1970’s and 80’s it transpired that major child sex abuse was taking place across North Wales and was subject to a major investigation by the NCA

Lost in Care - Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Care in the Former County Council Areas of Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974 chapter 17.02

http://www.julyseventh.co.uk/pdf/Lost_In_Care_Report-Formatted.pdf

Off loaded by the council it was purchased by a private care company for the elderly; it closed and went into administration in 2007

An imposing white building totally trashed internally, with many personal effects and medical records strewn about. My visit in pictures, most of the building was pitch black with just a head torch to get me around.

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I see so many in Wales, you have it good over there! The town spots are mostly wrecks with little personal effects left.

Some detailed dialogue about Fred I see!

Just to put the history right! In mid 70s a syndicate bought Upper Downing hall and opened a residential home but only lasted a couple of years as there was an accident involving a resident who subsequently died. Then it was bought in 1979 by a Mr and Mrs O'Hara who only owned it for 12 months. In November 1980 the home was bought by my husband and myself with only 15 residents in substandard conditions when capacity was 40. My husband and I spent 6 years bringing the place up to standard, so much so that we were unofficially recommended by social services and we were full most of the time. From 1980 to 1986 UDH had a very good reputation in the area and we ran a thriving business. We lived in the cottage (the linking annexe had not then been built) and it was a much loved and restored home with beautiful gardens surrounding both the cottage and the main house. I am devestated to see what has become of our beautiful home. Our oldest son attended the whitford junior school, then with only 2 teachers and 2 classes (about 30 pupils altogether). We sold the business in 1986 and it was bought by a liverpool business man who created the company Altbridge. When he sold it anout 2005 it was bought by another private company who were unable to make it pay and who went into liquidation leaving staff unpaid. Incidentally UDH was the Dower house of Downing Hall which could be reached via a footpath through the woods. The plaque on the wall says 1734 but while we were there we uncovered an older plaque that read 1556. Most of the house is Georgian but there are earlier traces of Elizabethan indicating a very old house indeed Hope this clears up some of the inaccuracies of the initial report. We did some investigation and we did not find any evidence of abuse at UDH when it was uncovered at other childrens homes. As i said we are devestated to see what has become of our much loved home where our second son was born in 1983.

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