From Gruel to Gourmet: The Story of Fegan's Homes for Boys in Stony Stratford
The story behind the icon

The History of the Building
The Life and Times of Mr. Fegan
Daily life at Fegan's Homes
Christmas for Fegan's Boys
Life on the training farm, Goudhurst
Moving On - life for the boys after Fegan's
Fegan's Boys - where are they now?
Contacting Fegan's Homes
Useful Links
This page is for Tom Hammond. Without him Fegan's Homes may never have existed.
When in September 1871, Mr JAMES WILLIAM CONDELL FEGAN was at a seaside resort, his health was completely restored. While he was taking an afternoon stroll on the beach, a gust of wind blew a lady’s hat off into the sea. As she sobbed out her loss to the small group that had formed around her, a small boy worked his way to the middle to find out what was wrong. Then before anyone could stop him, he walked out into the sea to retrieve the hat .When he had collected his reward off he went.

Mr FEGAN followed this small boy till he was able to talk to him. Poor Tom had no father or mother, there was no one to look after him. He was trying to make ends meet on what he could get from the holiday visitors.
Tom was invited to join Mr Fegan at his lodgings the next morning for breakfast. Tom consented to accompany Mr Fegan to London. Later that day some kind ladies purchased him some clothes.

The following afternoon at the appointed time for their return to London, Tom appeared with a large flat fish basket, with a rolled up old print apron in it . It was put to Tom that he should leave the basket behind. He was told that he would never need these things again.

A tear sparked in his eyes and his voice faltered with emotion. He replied “No sir, I’ll stay behind , but I won’t leave them! They’re all I have got left of my poor mother's. This is the basket she sold her water cresses in at Portsmouth , and that’s her apron.” The landlady had sold all of the other things they had, to pay off what was due on the rent. It was agreed that Tom could keep his basket with him.

Mr Fegan and Tom walked to the train station to get the London train. As the train sped on its way to London, Tom got quite carried away with it all. At one time he rushed across the compartment to where Mr Fegan was sitting; then dragging him over to the window, pointed out some thing of interest to him. Tom was far too excited to sit still for long and this provoked some angry words. At last Tom crawled under a seat and went to sleep till they arrived at London.