Belfast Ever Open Door, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
In 1899, a Barnardo's 'Ever Open Door' receiving house was opened at 110 Great Victoria Street, Belfast. It was the eleventh such establishment to be set up in Britain's provincial cities and followed on from those already opened in Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Portsmouth 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 under the age of 16 while consideration was given to their future, which would generally be in a long-term Barnardo home or emigration to Canada.
In 1911, the Ever Open Door relocated to new premises at 15-17 Crumlin Road, Carlisle Circus, Belfast, where twenty-four children could be accommodated. There was another move in 1918 to St George's Villa, 2 Holywood Road, Strandtown then again in 1924 to 106 Holywood Road. By 1937, it was operating at 114 Holywood Road then in 1940, following the outbreak of the Second World War, the children were evacuated to the Tubba Na Carrig home, Belfast.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Barnardo's Family History Service deals with enquiries regarding records of individual children — various services are available costing from £15 upwards.
Making Connections — a service for those wishing to access their Barnardo's adoption records.
- Barnardo's historical administrative records are now deposited with Liverpool University's Social Welfare Archives with stringent restrictions on their access.
- 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)
- The Barnardo's website.
- The Goldonian Website — memories and information from former Barnardo's children.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.