THERE has been much interest in the Memories 264 article about Hardwick Hall, on the outskirts of Sedgefield.

As our potted history said, the Hamilton-Russell family left the hall and began breaking up the estate in the 1920s. Our history also said that during the Second World War, the hall had a number of military uses and then it became a maternity hospital.

Tongue in cheek, Don Taylor emails from Sadberge to ask: “I was amazed to find the uses during the war – a Bevin Boys Hostel and an Army training camp – and that it only became a maternity hospital after the war.

“My wife, Barbara, however, claims to have been born at the hospital in January 1944, and she has shown me documents to support this.

“If your dates are correct, could you please let me know who is to blame for her deliverance?”

Could the Bevin Boys, who were good at mining, have helped?

The dates for this period of Hardwick history are hazy, but Howard Brightman and John Cunningham – both Hardwick babies – have been in touch from Bedfordshire to help out.

“My mother told me many years ago that a wing of the hall was segregated at the start of the war to provide maternity services because it was unlikely to be bombed as it was in the countryside, well away from obvious targets like docks and railway lines.

“My mother had married in Finchley, North London, but as my father was abroad and the bombing in London was intense, she travelled back to her home in Deaf Hill, Trimdon, so that her mother could help with the maternity.

“John and I were born just a few days apart in October 1941 and were unaware of each other until 1953-54 when John joined our senior school in Muswell Hill, North London, and I recognised his northern accent and so our birth connection was exposed.”

There must still be thousands of Hardwick Hall babies still around – our own Mike Amos, for example, plus the BBC’s US reporter Peter Bowes, and, as Memories 198 reported, the last mayor of Sedgefield, Cllr John Robinson and his wife, Maxine.

Perhaps they can help us out of this haze.

If you were born at Hardwick Hall before October 1941, please email with your date of birth so we can find out who was the first.

Similarly, we don’t know precisely when births finished there, so if you were born there in the 1960s, please email your date of birth and we will try to work out who the last was.