DAINTY teas, home made cakes and the powerful cocktail of castor oil and orange juice to shift recalcitrant overdue babies – these were memories which came flooding back when young mums of 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago met last weekend for a poignant reunion.

Banner Homes, the Wooburn Green based developer building upmarket townhouses and apartments on the site of the Bon Secours Hospital in Candlemas Lane, Beaconsfield, invited all the mothers to a celebration marking the re-siting of two foundation stones recovered when the hospital buildings were demolished to make way for the redevelopment.

The maternity wards at what was then known as St Joseph's Nursing Home opened in the war years as a safe haven for expectant mothers from London.

Sister Lilias Clare Kane, who delivered the last baby before the unit closed in January 1978, arrived for the reunion by train from the Bon Secours presbytery in London. She was accompanied by fellow midwives from the Beaconsfield era – Sister Michael Damien who will be 90 next birthday – still with a glimpse of her trade mark vibrant auburn hair under her blue habit – and Sister Joseph Patrick.

Sister Anne Campbell, another of the Bon Secours nurses, came by car from the St Dunstan's Convent in Bourne End and Father John Udris from St Teresa's in Beaconsfield brought his guitar ready to encourage the gathering to sing but what with the nuns recognising the mums and the introductions to the grown babies and the greetings of neighbours with shared memories of St Josephs, there wasn't a lull for a song.

Among the 75 guests was Dr Hugh Smith who retired ten years ago after 44 years in local practice.

Cynthia Raggatt brought her younger daughter Kay who was born at St Joseph's in 1963, a couple of years after her elder sister Georgina.

Bucks Free Press Neighbourhood News correspondent for Tylers Green Mary Wiles said the reason she chose St Joseph's 28 years ago when she was expecting her son was because the NHS only kept you in 48 hours "and I wanted to be in for a week. I was looking forward to the rest" .

Dawn Page loved the pampering when she had her three sons and daughter at St Joseph's in the Sixties and so did Audrey Bitcheno and her sister Phyllis Masters who between them had seven children at the Beaconsfield nursing home.

On a day of radiant sunshine after grey skies all week, it was brilliant timing for an Indian summer. Divine intervention was the only explanation.