Ever Open Door, Bath, Somerset

In February 1892, Dr Barnardo opened an 'Ever Open Door' receiving house in Bath at 55 New King Street. It was one of seven such establishments being set up in Britain's provincial cities at that date, the others being in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Plymouth. The Ever Open Door houses, with their slogan 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission', were open twenty-four hours a day and provided short-term shelter for homeless youngsters while consideration was given to their future, which would generally be in a long-term Barnardo home or emigration to Canada.

The King Street premises could accommodate up to twelve children, with 17 being the upper age limit for admission.

The property still exists and now houses offices.

Former Ever Open Door, King Street, Bath, 2012. © Peter Higginbotham

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals.

Bibliography

  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)