St Anne's / St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, London

The St Anne's Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1911 at 20 Thornton Road, Balham. The home had previously been located on Clapham Road.

Unfortunately, the home's name caused confusion with other locations in the area and so in 1914 was renamed St Winifred's Home for Girls.

The location of the home is shown on the map below, published in 1916 but still showing the original name.

St Winifred's Home for Girls site, Balham, c.1916.

St Winifred's Home for Girls from the west, Balham, c.1911. © Peter Higginbotham

St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, c.1921. © Peter Higginbotham

St Winifred's provided temporary accommodation and other support for up to 40 girls aged from 15 to 21 who were in between posts as domestic servants, or in need of training in order to obtain work.

St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, c.1927. © Peter Higginbotham

The home had its own training laundry which was operated by the girls.

St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, c.1928. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1921, St Winifred's became the new home of the children and staff from the St Barnabas' Home For Girls in Newark which was being closed.

Girls at the home were given plenty of exercise. Below is a gymnasium class in 1923.

St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, Gymnasium Class, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

Gymnasium class at St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

St Winifred's Home for Girls, Balham, c.1931. © Peter Higginbotham

Part of St Winifred's was used as a receiving home for children coming into the Society's care. They were given temporary accommodation until being placed into adoption or transferred to one of the branch homes. In 1925, the receiving home moved into large new premises that were erected in the St Winifred's grounds and became known as the Receiving Home of St Peter and St Paul.

St Winifred's closed in around 1934 although it is believed that the laundry training department continued in operation until the Second World War. The premises were later occupied by the Rudolf Memorial Home.

The St Winifred's building no longer exists and Primrose Court flats now occupy the site.

Records

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Bibliography

  • Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
  • Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
  • Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
  • Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
  • Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.