St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, Sussex

St Luke's Home for Boys was established by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1901 at 2 Crescent Road, Burgess Hill, Sussex. The house taken for the purpose was the property of Mr W. Meeds and had previously known as Freshfield. It was converted for its new purpose under the direction of Mr S. Peach, architect. The official opening took place on October 18th, 1901, with a ceremony of dedication performed by the Archdeacon of Lewes, Robert Sutton. The master and matron were Mr and Mrs Pugh, with Miss Barton as assistant matron. The home initially accommodated 24 boys aged from 8 to 12, but its capacity was increased to 33 after building work in 1909.

The location of St Luke's is shown on the 1910 map below.

St Luke's Home for Boys site, Burgess Hill, c.1910.

St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Schoolroom at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1922. © Peter Higginbotham

Boys at the home were expected to help with the household chores such as washing the dishes.

Dish-washing at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1926. © Peter Higginbotham

They also turned their hand to culinary crafts such as jam-making.

Jam-making at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1928. © Peter Higginbotham

Outside activities such included football and cricket. The home had its own team that played other local sides.

Football team at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

Exercise Drill at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

Gardening was another popular pastime.

Gardening at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

Falling numbers of children entering residential care, together with the threatened loss of the home's grounds for housing development, led to the home's closure in 1971. The staff and some of the boys were then transferred to the Hawk's Lease home at Lyndhurst.

The Crescent Road property no longer exists.

Records

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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.