Lady Hoare and the thalidomide story

78 Hamilton Terrace

Sir Frederick Hoare and Lady Mary Hoare lived at 78 Hamilton Terrace during the 1960s.  Sir Frederick was Lord Mayor of London in 1962 and at that time his wife set out to provide support for some 600 families whose children had been affected by the thalidomide tragedy.  This drug, taken during pregnancy to help with morning sickness, had produced babies with disabilities like half an arm or leg.

Lady Hoare established a charitable trust to raise money to help these families. She rounded up well-known celebrities including Judy Garland who donated her £2,000 fee for appearing at the London Palladium in 1963, and she raised £150,000. Lady Hoare was awarded an OBE in 1972 but sadly she died of cancer a year later.

The Lady Hoare Trust has now merged with the charity ‘Contact a Family’  which offers support, advice and help to families with disabled children.

This page was added on 20/12/2017.

Comments about this page

  • I was the second Medical Social Worker in the country (North East) to work with what became a large and dedicated team covering all the country. We were often called together for training and exchange of ideas and experiences, at Hamilton Terrace where we received Lady Hoare’s generous hospitality and wise encouragement. I can find no record of the work of this team, only of the later Thalidomide Trusr. Why. ? !.

    By Mrs Rosemary Seaton. (07/02/2021)
  • Tried to reply to your email but it was returned. Please email me at

    By Jane Leaver (27/02/2021)
  • My name is Annette O’Callaghan. My mum worked for Lady Hoare at the house in Hamilton Terrace . Mum helped sort out clothes that were donated for resale for the charity . My siblings and I spent a lot of time at the house, often with some of the thalidomide children. Lady Hoare was very kind to my mum and let her keep some of the clothes and we were allowed on day trips to Pevensey Bay with the children . Lady Hoare had two dogs one was an Old English sheepdog called Oliver who I adored . This was mid 1960s

    By Annette O'Callaghan (21/07/2020)
  • Is there any chance you could send us a copy of your photo to go with this post? Bridget Clarke editor

    By Bridget Clarke (10/02/2020)
  • I am certain I am not alone as one of the “Thalidomide babies” to have had the very great honour of meeting this wonderful lady. I have a fantastic picture of her holding me (I would have been about 2 years old)

    By Simone Illger (09/02/2020)

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