Calthorpe / Handsworth Home for Girls, Handsworth, Birmingham, Warwickshire

The Calthorpe Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1893 at 111 Church Hill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham. The home was officially opened by Lady Calthorpe on September 29th, 1893, with the Bishop of Lichfield conducting the ceremony of dedication. Lady Calthorpe was the Honorary Secretary for the Birmingham district branch of the Society, whose fund-raising efforts had made the opening of the home possible. The home could accommodate 30 girls aged from 7 to 16.

Calthorpe Home, Handsworth, c.1925. © Peter Higginbotham

Girls at Calthorpe Home, Handsworth, c.1903. © Peter Higginbotham

A major renovation of the building was carried out in 1903, during which the girls lived at other Society branches. The Bishop of Lichfield re-opened the home on July 25th, 1903.

Maypole at Calthorpe Home, Handsworth, Mayday 1911. © Peter Higginbotham

Girls at Calthorpe Home, Handsworth, c.1913. © Peter Higginbotham

Girls at Calthorpe Home, Handsworth, c.1913. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1920, the home was renamed the Handsworth Home for Girls.

Handsworth Home for Girls, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

At the start of the Second World War in 1939, the girls were evacuated to other branches. After the war ended in 1945, the premises were re-opened as the Handsworth Nursery, renamed the Beatrix nursery in 1964.

Records

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

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.