LAST month we appealed for memories of the former Convent of the Holy Name and its successor Day of Salvation Ministries Gospel Centre at Ranelagh Road, Malvern Link.

The appeal was made in association with conservation specialists Broadway Heritage, which has just converted the Grade Two listed building into new homes for the 21st century.

Malvern resident Joan Evans, now in her 89th year, is well placed to respond to the appeal, as she came to live in Merick Road, close to the convent, almost sixty years ago and still lives there today.

She said: “The convent in those days was home to both sisters and novices, some of whom helped out at St Matthias and Newland Church, and my sons attended a Sunday School at the convent for a few weeks before going to the church.

“The land where the pensioners’ bungalows are today was an orchard where the sisters kept bee hives and were self sufficient in fruit and honey and the site of the Merick Road doctors’ surgery was a kitchen garden with a rose garden next door.

“After a while the sisters made a home for unmarried mothers and the rose garden became a space for games and I can still remember them playing netball there.

“The field at the top of our road, now part of the Spring Lane Business Park, was used for growing vegetables and rhubarb which was made into wine, and three men and a tractor were employed there,” she said.

Broadway Heritage managing director Michael Hodges said it was fascinating hearing from an eye witness from all those years ago and he was extremely grateful to Joan for sharing her memories.

The Convent of the Holy Name in Ranelagh Road, established in 1879, was home to some 250 nuns in its heyday before finally closing in 1989. It was succeeded for some years by the former Day of Salvation Ministries Gospel Centre.

We will publish further memories over the coming weeks and the writer of the best letter will be invited to cut a ribbon to reopen the former convent which has now been transformed into six new homes, including original features where possible.

Now work is starting on building fourteen completely new homes in the grounds.

Please send your responses by email to