Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

War babies make return to Willersley Castle

A Derbyshire castle is hosting a reunion for a group of people who were born there during World War II.

In the war, Willersley Castle, near Cromford, became a maternity hospital for women from Clapton, East London.

They were evacuated there after the Mothers' Hospital in Clapton was badly damaged during the Blitz.

The castle, now a hotel, is holding a reunion to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first evacuees arriving in 1940.

'Princesses and princes'

Joy Bristow, who now lives in Derby, was evacuated to Willersley as a mother-to-be from Essex.

She said: "I stayed here for 10 days and then was ferried back to the station with a baby and told to get on the train to London."

Tim Rogers from Willersley Castle Hotel said it was a special place for those who were born there as they can tell everyone they were born in a castle.

"There are 4,000 princesses and princes who are roaming around the United Kingdom who were born here at Willersley Castle.

"It's [castle] on their birth certificates so it gives them a bit of authority," he said.

The castle is the former home of industrialist sir Richard Arkwright.


The castle became a maternity hospital in 1940

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