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My name is Hetty Feather. Don't mock!
It's not my real name, but not much about me has ever been real.
Welcome to the Foundling Hospital.
Call me Matron, Matron Bottomly.
You were abandoned here as babies by disgraced and sinful mothers,
and duly sent out to be nurtured by a kindly foster family.
Hetty, we're your borrowed family.
It is time for you and Gideon to go back. This is where you both belong.
And so began my time at the Foundling Hospital.
It was a tough and cruel life.
-Has to be you, 25629!
'Matron was my enemy...'
-What's the matter, Feather...?
-'..and she wasn't the only one.'
Get off me!
'But there were good times too. Thanks to my friends.
'And together, we made our own family.'
To our den, our very own place.
But what I wanted more than anything was to find my real mother.
All I had to remind me of her was a penny.
A token she left here when she gave me up as a baby.
It was foundling admission day,
the day poor mothers brought their babies to the hospital
hoping that this place could give their children a better future.
Just like my mother had before them.
Maybe today would hold some clues about my past,
even about my real mother.
Could I ever find her?
It was the senior foundlings' duty to help.
The boys escorted the mothers to stand before Matron,
the governors and their guests. Then they decided the baby's future.
If you would like to follow me.
Matron chose which girls were on duty to see it all.
As long as I behaved myself, I could still be chosen too.
Perhaps I could see what information they had written down.
-Keep it up, Feather.
Were there other lists as well as our records?
Like the names of our mothers, maybe even our real names.
Today was my chance to find out more about who I really was.
First candidate, please.
-Miss Agnes Didcott, and this is my baby. She is such a good girl.
-Why have you brought your child here today?
-We are on the streets, sir.
It is either here or the workhouse,
and I know which place I would rather choose.
Miss Didcott, are you of good character, may I ask?
Upright and honest.
I had hoped to marry her father, but he is a wheeler by trade.
He rolled off to work one morning and he never come back.
Call themselves ladies, they're nothing but gossips.
(Feather! These are paying guests!)
-And is the child in good health?
Strong lungs, rosy cheeks,
give her a crust of stale bread to suck on she's happy as a songbird.
The child's future has to be here, Colonel.
-I must agree.
Your baby is accepted as a foundling, Miss, eh...Didcott.
(She can't even write.)
-Say goodbye to the child.
-Not yet, I'm not ready.
You don't even know her name.
We save personal details for the records.
Her name is Hazel, and you need to, erm,
stroke her cheek to get her to sleep and a lullaby.
Oh, you don't even know her favourite one.
-This would have happened to all of us.
Our mothers would have cried for us too.
# Golden slumbers kiss your eyes
# Smiles awake you when you rise
-# Sleep, pretty baby, do not cry
# And I will sing a lullaby... #
Let her say goodbye properly, she is her mother.
Calm down, Hetty.
Straight to the nursery now!
HAZEL CRIES IN DISTANCE
W-Wait. Please, wait.
I need to take her to Mr Cranbourne. Please, miss!
Mamma loves you, Hazel.
And when you look at this, you will always think of me.
-You will make sure she keeps it?
-Mr Cranbourne keeps all tokens.
I will come back for her, I will, as soon as they let me,
and I'm married and have got enough to support her.
-I never want her to forget me. There must be something you can do.
Her name, don't let them change her name.
Please, I have got no-one else who can help.
-HANDBELL RINGS MATRON:
Promise you'll try.
There you go.
Come on, Judd, Cranbourne's coming.
Are you sure about this?
They promised us high tea leftovers, if we're good.
Steak and kidney pudding.
Forget steak and kidney, I can get us something much better.
Eugh, my nose is running.
Good heavens, boy.
Vince, take him to the infirmary at once.
-I'm feeling a bit peaky myself, sir.
-Both of you, then, and stay there.
There are infants about.
I do apologise, ladies.
-They're up to something.
-They get in trouble, we all do.
That means no high tea rewards.
Mathias...pork pies and scones with jam.
-We've got to stop them.
Ned, you go, you're the keen-eyed one round here.
No stone unturned. I will find out what they are up to.
-She is quite pretty, I suppose.
-Maybe, if she had more hair.
Who cares? I wish it would shut up crying.
Her name is Hazel, and she likes a lullaby to get her to sleep.
-We have to sing to them as well?
-Hazel, it's all right.
Did the mother cry?
Thank you, Hetty. Sheila, the baby needs washing and numbering.
Hazel Didcott, that's her name.
You know, Hetty, from today,
she is going to be baptised with a new name.
She's one of us now.
But, Nurse, you don't understand!
Straight back to the governors' office, please, Hetty.
You and Harriet need to serve cups of tea.
Girls, baskets need preparing.
Her name is Hazel. And I made a promise.
What's in here that could be better than meat pudding?
Whatever we nick, we trade with Stan the dairy lad.
Reckons he can get his hands on anything. Let the pilfering begin!
Vince, snot rag do?
Hand-embroidered - got to be worth something.
-Check under the mattresses, see what else we can find.
Stuff that is worth something.
Just keep searching!
-What have you got there?
-What is it with girls and dolls?
There has to be more, check over there.
-Four penny buns.
-Judd, we are not trading for grub. I want a football.
But where can we play with it, how can we hide it?
Let's just get it first.
What was that?
Scarper! Stash this till tomorrow.
DOORKNOB FALLS OFF AND ROLLS AWAY ON OTHER SIDE
-And you are?
-Ida, Ida Battersea. New kitchen maid.
And not a minute too soon. Where do you hail from, Ida?
Up north, but I have been in London since...well, for a while now.
My last job was a private household.
Well, stick to t'rules.
Don't cross Matron and never fraternise with the foundlings.
-You can't even talk to them?
-Not unless work demands it.
And the kitchen...is my domain.
Yes, of course, Cook.
Well, fetch t'potatoes. Then scrub t'pantry floor.
-Got the governors' high tea to do, I'm rushed off my feet.
I will put my belongings in my room and get cracking right away.
-Polly, I need to go to the baptism!
-We can't get in trouble today.
-Polly, I made a promise!
To her mother. Cover for me?
All right, I will tell Nurse Macclesfield a baby was
sick over you and you have gone to get changed. But be quick.
How about Patience Smallbone?
-You can't, that's not her name.
Her real name is Hazel Didcott.
Which name is it to be?
She deserves to know who she is. Like we all do.
-Stop this at once.
-It's what her mother wanted.
She's Patience now.
I do apologise, Minister, I will deal with this.
No! Don't change her name!
Whatever is the matter with you? You know the rules.
Her name is Hazel, not Patience.
Foundling names are changed to protect them.
-Patience is just the same.
-But, Nurse, please!
Otherwise anyone could turn up here claiming to be her parent.
Then what would happen to her? She might never find her real mother.
Now, don't ever, ever let me see you behave like that again.
If Matron was to hear about this...
Hear about what?
I just wanted to see a baptism, Matron.
The babies are so lucky, and I wanted to hear their new names.
I should never have left my duties. I am sorry, Nurse Winterson.
Is this true?
Hetty meant well, Matron, it's all been set straight now.
Any other misdemeanours today, Feather, will be dealt with firmly.
-If you want to see babies, set to work in the nursery.
-What took you so long?
-Well, the good news is,
I have learned how to unjam a door using my specs.
-What is the bad news?
-Vince and Judd have nicked stuff.
From the girls' dorms, to trade with the dairy lad, for a football.
Where are they now?
Kind of got stuck.
"No stone unturned," you said.
If they've been thieving, we need to get it back.
-HANDBELL RINGS MATRON:
They changed Hazel's name to Patience
and she's going to a borrowed family tomorrow.
She won't come back for years. I promised I'd help her.
Hetty, you did your best.
P Cotton, Havenford. That's Peg and Jem,
my foster family!
If I could get baby Hazel to go there...
I could send a letter with her.
And Peg and Jem could tell her everything -
her name, all about her mother.
And...I could ask them about my mother too.
Finish up now, girls, it's almost time for tea.
-Stop feasting and admit it!
-What're you on about?
-Nicking from the girls' dorm.
-We want their stuff back.
We didn't take anything from the girls, we didn't do anything.
You know us. We're always innocent.
Anyway, you will have to prove it.
Doors closed at last, Matron, and a most successful attendance.
Those less fortunate have given their children a future.
All in a day's work, Lady Asquith.
And as a mark of thanks, Matron, your yearly increment is restored.
As of now.
-A wage increase?
-Much appreciated, Colonel Brigwell.
A well-run hospital is both my duty and my pleasure.
DOOR CREEPS OPEN
Guess what? You're going to Peg and Jem's.
They looked after me.
And now they'll look after you.
I made a promise to your mother. And...
now you can help me find my mother too.
"Dear Jem. This is baby Hazel Didcott. That's her real name.
"Her mother Agnes is pretty, with dark hair.
"Tell Hazel she loves her, and she's going to come back for her.
"She left an acorn tied with a red ribbon.
"Do this for Hazel, Jem, and do something for me too.
"I need to find my mother. Ask Peg if she knows anything.
"Find out what you can.
"You're the only person I know out there, you're my only hope.
"Please write back soon."
Hetty! What are you doing here?
I just wanted to see Patience one last time, Nurse.
She is with the other babies,
waiting to go to her borrowed family!
And you need to go, Hetty, dressed,
before I inform Matron.
Yes, Nurse Winterson.
-Oh, no need for sorry. I'm new.
Don't suppose you could take me to Matron's office, could you?
Foundling 37951, destination - Mrs P Cotton.
-In a hurry, Feather?
-Don't want to be late for chores.
You're going the wrong way for laundry duty.
-Of course, Matron. Silly me.
Oi! You boys, you're meant to help the dairy boy, not just hang around.
Stan was early, Nurse. He started without us.
Is that right, Stanley?
Never a truer word, miss. You're looking well.
You two, work hard.
-What you got there?
-You wait and see.
When the course, is clear, Gid', we follow.
We've got to the end of rec.
for a leather football.
What do you say?
There's fourpence here, this hair slide - genuine tortoiseshell.
This is all girls' stuff. You want a football for THIS?
Do you know what trading is?
No! That's our stuff!
You stole it, you should be ashamed.
We didn't steal it, we found it.
In a cupboard.
That's right, you're always innocent.
So, if you found it...
how about Hetty returns it to its rightful owners?
There you are. Bring the milk.
If Matron's tea is late, Cook will be in a bother.
I need your help.
I made a promise and I need to keep it.
-You watch out while I plant this letter.
Baby Hazel Didcott... she's going to Peg's.
And she's taking a message for me.
-Gideon, use your imagination.
The dairy lad found this in the basement.
Contraband, it looks like.
Well, I never. Give it here.
My hair slide. Wondered where that had gone. What else is there then?
Thieving little blighters.
What was that?
When I find out who has taken these things
it's going to be detention for them.
What's all this?
Goodbye, Hazel, and thank you.
I'm warning you, if I find out,
it's going to be detention for every single one of them.
Is there a problem?
-No, Miss Macclesfield.
-Glad we could help.
Good. Off you go.
Back to your lessons.
Have a good journey, Nurse.
I'd done it, I'd kept my promise.
I'd got a message out.
Baby Hazel would soon know all about her mother.
Now could Jem and Peg tell me something about mine?
All I needed was a letter back.
My mother had to be out there somewhere.
At last, was this a way to find her?
Was this a way to bring her back to me?
# Golden slumbers kiss your eyes
# Smiles await you when you rise
# Sleep, pretty baby, do not cry
# And I will sing a lullaby. #
You mean your stupid tower's haunted?
It is the child.
-We do not wish to merely see the child.
-We want to adopt her.
Adoption is against hospital rules.
I would make you such a wonderful daughter.
Not bye, just...see you soon.
Let's show them a real spook, then see who is scared.