the unique 'hidden gem' in West Sussex

Rustington Convalescent Home: unveiling the unique ‘hidden gem’ in West Sussex

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Nested on a calm seven-acre, Rustington Convalescent Home stands as a beacon of comfort and care. Often described as a hidden gem, this unique establishment has been catering to the needs of individuals seeking solace, recuperation, and a peaceful environment, irrespective of their background and income, for over a century.

In a recent editorial by Elaine Hammond in Sussex World, the essence of Rustington Convalescent Home’s uniqueness is beautifully captured, shedding light on its rich past and the compassionate purpose it continues to serve.

The Carpenters’ Legacy

Rustington Convalescent Home’s journey is interwoven with history, guided by The Carpenters’ Company, a modern livery company originating from a medieval guild in London. Founded by Sir Henry Harben, a past master of the company, Rustington Convalescent Home’s roots delve deep into the late 19th century.

The 23 October 1897 agreement outlines Rustington Convalescent Home’s purpose – to provide a haven for individuals from the working classes during convalescence or illness, whether gratuitously or with prescribed payments.

Sir Henry Harben: A Visionary Philanthropist

Sir Henry Harben, a visionary with a philanthropic heart, embarked on a mission to create a place of solace and restoration. The Sussex Express article recounts Sir Henry’s journey – from his achievements in industrial life assurance to his love for cricket and the establishment of Warnham Lodge. Hammond’s words paint a vivid picture of Sir Henry’s generosity and dedication to local institutions, churches and medical charities.

A Legacy for the Working Class

In a world where appearances can deceive, Rustington Convalescent Home breaks stereotypes. Its magnificent architecture is specifically designed to provide respite care and an ideal setting for recovery for all ages from all walks of life. Despite the grand exterior of Rustington Convalescent Home, the cost of a stay at Rustington Convalescent Home is heavily subsidised, with guests enjoying a 50% reduction in the cost of their actual stay.

Hammond’s article highlights this profound aspect, emphasising that the grandeur of the building serves a noble purpose – offering affordable care to everyone.

Building the Dream

The Sussex World article takes us back to the roots of Rustington Convalescent Home, tracing Sir Henry’s search for the perfect site. The article reveals that Rustington’s Mewsbrook Furlong captured Sir Henry’s attention, and he acquired the land known as The Sea Field.

Sir Henry Harben’s aspirations were brought to life with the help of architect Frederick Wheeler. The result was a stunning Georgian-style building set just 250 feet away from the seafront. The serene surroundings and functional design aimed to promote healing and well-being. The home had an entertainment hall, medical room, smoking room, dining room, and other facilities that cater to both the physical as well as mental well-being of its residents.

Notably, Rustington Convalescent Home was ahead of its time in terms of technology and amenities. The home embraced electricity, cavity walls, glazed tiling, and other modern features that were incorporated to enhance the comfort of the residents. The main staircase, still standing today, was made of solid teak, while stained glass windows bore the home’s motto: “Peace and Rest.”

A Legacy Continues

Throughout its history, Rustington Convalescent Home has weathered challenges and embraced change. The Sussex World article illustrates the home’s evolution, from the addition of more beds during the First World War to the continuous modernisation efforts that keep Rustington Convalescent Home’s facilities at the forefront of comfort and convenience. The dedication of Rustington Convalescent Home’s staff and its enduring commitment to quality care shines through in the article.

A Timeless Vision

As Rustington Convalescent Home celebrates its legacy, it does so with unwavering dedication. Amidst the changes in the world, Rustington Convalescent Home remains a sanctuary of care, a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can find dedicated care and attention for relaxation and recovery.

Elaine Hammond’s insightful portrayal of Rustington Convalescent Home in Sussex World beautifully aligns with the spirit of Rustington Convalescent Home itself – a balance of history, compassion and dedication. Rustington Convalescent Home’s legacy, as showcased in the article, invites us to appreciate the hidden gem that has been serving the working class for over a century.

The Sussex World editorial, a testament to the power of storytelling, brings to light the fundamental values that define Rustington Convalescent Home, a unique place for all.

For a more detailed exploration, you can read the full article written by Elaine Hammond here: Sussex World Article. And to discover more about Rustington Convalescent Home, visit our website.

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