St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, Sussex

The St Gabriel's Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society home in 1926 at 18 Wellington Road, Brighton. It was a replacement for the Society's Brighton Home for Girls which had closed in 1921, since when the girls had been in temporary accommodation.

St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, c.1926. © Peter Higginbotham

Older Girls at St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, c.1927. © Peter Higginbotham

The girls at Brighton enjoyed taking part in the activities of the local Girl Guides and Brownies, becoming members of the 31st Brighton Company and Brownie Pack. The home's matron set up a subscription fund to pay for the cost of their uniforms.

Girl Guides and Brownies at St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, 1923. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1927, St Gabriel's was turned into a home for 30 toddlers aged from 2 to 5 years.

St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, c.1927. © Peter Higginbotham

Also in 1927, the home was paid a visit by boys from the Gordon Home at Croydon.

Croydon Boys and Brighton Babies, 1927. © Peter Higginbotham

St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

By 1935, St Gabriel's had reverted to being a home for older girls aged from 10 to 16 years.

The home closed in the early 1980s, then was re-opened as a Family Centre. In 2018, the property was being refurbished after a period of disuse.

Former St Gabriel's Home, Brighton, 2018. © Peter Higginbotham

Records

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.

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.