A PLAQUE honouring the memory of over 100 Basque child refugees sheltered in Brampton has been unveiled on the building they were once housed. 

The plaque is currently on display on the side of Anchor’s Union Court retirement housing scheme, what was once the old Brampton workhouse where children stayed after arriving from Bilbao. 

Carmen Eckersley, formerly Carmen Santibanez Cid,  was among 4,000 children on a ship sent from the Basque region caught up in the Spanish Civil War, after Guernica was bombed, in the run-up to World War II.

The 95-year-old said the visit brought back 'so many memories'. 

News and Star: SS Habana bringing Basque child refugees to the UKSS Habana bringing Basque child refugees to the UK (Image: Supplied)

"I was so pleased to see so many people turning up for the unveiling of the plaque," she said. 

"I will be forever grateful to the people of Brampton and the surrounding community for the support they gave to the Basque children," Carmen said. 

Carmen, her brother and her sister were sent to Britain via the ship SS Habana, arriving from Bilbao.

While her siblings were housed in Glasgow, Carmen found refuge in Brampton, one of about 70 colonies established across Britain.

News and Star: Plaque proudly displayed in BramptonPlaque proudly displayed in Brampton (Image: Supplied)

The conversion of the workhouse into a suitable hostel for the children was led by Lady Cecilia Roberts and her husband Charles.

Not long after arriving, Carmen left the hostel to be fostered by the Alford family.

"I will also be so grateful to the Alford family in particular and their son Norma who fostered me.

"I just wish to say a big thank you to all who have supported this project," she said. 

Carmen's son Luis Eckersley unveiled the plaque to the public. 

Luis Eckersley, Carmen's son, presented the plaque to the public.

He thanked multiple organisations that supported the project including The Basque Children Association of 1937, Brampton Parish Council, Brampton Historical Society, Anchor Homes and Malcolm Little, the designer of the plaque.

In addition, Dr Rob David, author of the book 'Happy and Safe' focused on Basque Children in Brampton, expressed his gratitude to everyone who supported his work.

Dr Stephanie Wright from Lancaster University gave a talk on the work being executed in the archives from documents provided by the Roberts Family.