‘Baby’ talk captivates Tarves audience

Mark Andrew, Haddo Estate Factor and some of the "Haddo Babies" who came along to the talk
Mark Andrew, Haddo Estate Factor and some of the "Haddo Babies" who came along to the talk
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The Melvin Hall in Tarves welcomed some special visitors for a talk given by Haddo’s estate factor.

Among a capacity audience in the Queen’s Room on Friday, February 21, were 13 “Haddo Babies”.

They had come to listen to a Tarves Heritage Project winter talk given by Mark Andrew, Haddo Estate Factor.

Mark gave a fascinating insight into life at Haddo House during World War Two when the property was transformed into a maternity hospital from 1939-45.

Both local women and evacuees from Glasgow used the facility.

More than 1200 babies were born at Haddo during this period and they have since been nicknamed the Haddo Babies due to their unusual birthplace.

The Marquess of Aberdeen gave at least a sixpence of his own money to each of the ‘Babies’, which added up to a considerable sum during the four years that Haddo operated as a maternity hospital!

Moira Minty, Tarves Heritage Project secretary, said: “It was a popular talk and it was lovely to welcome some of the Haddo Babies who each have a very different life story but who all have a special connection to Haddo”

The Queen’s Bedroom is one of the most interesting of Haddo House’s rooms.

It got its name following a visit by Queen Victoria in 1857.

She asked to use it as she didn’t like the state rooms set aside for her, so her bed had to be taken apart and reassembled in the new room.

In 2010, the National Trust for Scotland appealed for Haddo Babies to help shape a special exhibition looking at their stories.

Tarves Heritage Project is always keen to obtain any more information or photographs about the Haddo Babies and can be contacted on www.tarvesheritage.org.uk