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In search of the old gang for very special reunion

PUBLISHED: 14:20 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 25 August 2010

A resident at a children s home nearly 50 years ago is organising a reunion for his former housemates.

A resident at a children's home nearly 50 years ago is organising a reunion for his former housemates.

Paul Krawczynski, 62, from Norfolk, founded a group for his former home in Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, has organised a reunion event this September.

His old home, The Hollies Children's Home, built in 1902 is now a set of luxury apartments.

Mr Krawczynski, who was raised in the home from 1951 to 1965, organises annual reunions, and hopes to attract as many former residents as possible to meet and share stories and old photographs.

He said: "The events we hold are always fantastic. The grounds we grew up in was our home, it was something special for us. I had a fantastic life there.

"We have people who trace their family histories back to the home, and they want to see what it was like for their family members growing up there."

During his time at the home he was adopted into various families, but would always return to the home, on one occasion walking all the way there from Slough.

He said: "They wanted to adopt me into a family but I kept running away. I walked from Slough to Sidcup to go back to the home I missed it so much.

"When I was 16 and had to leave because of my age, I stayed in the woods and the boys would bring me food."

Another former resident Martin Barnett, 54, from Ayelsford, stayed in the home from 1965 to 1972 after arriving from Elephant and Castle.

He said: "It's like all your family coming back together. I never lost touch with my friends, my old gang are back together.

"I found it really great. We didn't have much of a life before then in Elephant and Castle

"Growing up in Sidcup in those days spoils you. It's so suburban you can't go back to living in London."

The reunion is due to take place on Saturday, September 11, from 10am until 5pm. For more information call Mr Krawczynski on 01692 678 349 or visit the website hollieskids.co.uk.

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