Roger and Janice

The Rainham Hall day nursery operated between 1943-1954

Roger and Janice Cunningham were married in the church of St. Helen and St. Giles, next door to Rainham Hall, in November 1965. When they first started their courtship, neither remembered that they had both attended the day nursery at Rainham Hall, and at the same time.

Our 2017-2018 exhibition entitled, 'Remembering the Day Nursery at Rainham Hall', was based on the memories of those who attended the state-run war-time nursery at the Hall which operated between 1943-1954. As part of our historic research, a volunteer-led oral history team interviewed former attendees and captured their memories. One of the most remarkable stories we uncovered from the time was about Roger and Janice. 

Janice, a fair haired girl, beaming out from her old nursery photos attended the nursery from 1946-1950. Roger, a boisterous and playful boy, attended from 1946-1948.  They shared a childhood of play and adventure in the grand, old house in Rainham with its large gardens.

However, when they met as teenagers neither remembered each other and it was only when Roger's mother recognised Janice that the connection was made. Sure enough, Roger and Janice, appear in the same photographs taken at the nursery. The Hall has been part of their lives together from a very early age and considers to be a special place for them. 

Roger and Janice were amongst the first visitors to the Hall when the building opened in October 2015 following our major conservation and interpretation project. Our volunteers on duty were fascinated to hear about their extraordinary story, and we are grateful to them for sharing their memories.