Bolton Council Homes
In 1930, the Boards of Guardians, who had administered the poor relief system in England and Wales since 1834, were abolished and their responsibilities were taken over by county and county borough councils. Each council set up a Public Assistance Committee to oversee its new duties, which included the operation of the various children's establishments previously run by the poor law unions in each area. The Bolton Council's Public Assistance Committee took over the Bolton Union's Hollins Cottage Homes on Plodder Lane, at the south side of the Bolton workhouse site, where around 175 children could be housed, and a 16-bed Working Boys' Home at Townleys House, a property just across the railway line, at the north-east of the workhouse. The latter appears to have closed in about 1936.
Following the passing of the 1948 Children Act, councils were required to provide care services for all needy children in their area, especially those who lacked a normal family home. In common with other local authorities, the council established a new Children's Committee, whose responsibilities had previously been spread across separate Health, Education and Public Assistance Committees. The Committee took over responsibility for the Hollins Cottage Homes. By 1952, a separate home for 12 boys had been opened at Crompton House, 228 Wigan Road, Bolton.
The 1948 Act had recommended that where children needed to be in residential care, they should be in 'family group' homes, which ideally accommodated no more than eight children, or twelve at most. By 1953, the council was moving in this direction with two mixed 'family group' homes at 26 Church Road and 53/55 Archer Avenue, Bolton, housing 6 and 8 children respectively. The latter establishment was on one of the council's new housing estates. By the same date, the Braxmere Children's Home was opened to accommodate up to 16 children at 358 Belmont Road, Astley Bridge, Bolton. In 1954, further Family Group Home had opened at 37/39 Stanworth Avenue, followed in 1955 by another at 571-573 Chorley Old Road. The Elizabeth Ashmore residential children's nursery opened on 30 January 1955 1t 291 Chorley New Road. The same year saw the opening of a new Family Group Home at 196-198 Newby Road, on the Breightmet estate, and the closure of the Hollins Cottage Homes.
By 1965, the Archer Avenue home had closed, as had Stanworth Avenue by 1967. However, a new home was opened at 50 Church Road, Bolton. By 1970, there was a new 6-bed Family Group Home at 576 Darwen Road, Dunscar, and a 14-bed home, known as The Poplars, on Withins Lane, Bolton.
By 1975, new homes had opened at 198 and 217 Deepdale Road and at 125 Ellesmere Road, Bolton. The following year saw the addition of three homes previously run by Lancashire County Council. They comprised 52 Washacre and 37 Southfield Drive, both in Westhoughton, and Burnthwaite, on Old Hall Lane, Bolton. The homes in operation in 1976 are listed below:
|Braxmere, Belmont Road, Bolton||16|
|Burnthwaite, Old Hall Lane, Lostock||24|
|571-3 Chorley Road, Bolton||12|
|26 Church Road, Bolton||6|
|50 Church Road, Bolton||6|
|Crompton House Boys' Home, 228 Wigan Road, Bolton||12|
|576 Darwen Road, Bolton||6|
|198 Deepdale Road, Bolton||6|
|217 Deepdale Road, Bolton||6|
|Elizabeth Ashmore Residential Nursery, 291 Chorley New Road, Bolton||30|
|125 Ellesmere Road, Bolton||*|
|196 Newby Road, Bolton||6|
|The Poplars, Withins Lane, Bolton||*|
|37 Southfield Drive, Westhoughton||*|
|52 Washacre, Westhoughton||*|