St Nicholas' Home for Crippled Children, West Byfleet, Surrey

The St Nicholas' Home for Crippled Children was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1893 at Chertsey Road, West Byfleet, Surrey. It was a replacement for the St Nicholas' Home's previous premises at Upper Tooting. The property, sometimes referred to as Byfleet Hall, was formerly associated with the Princess Mary Village Homes at Addlestone.

The official opening, on June 7th, 1893, was performed by Lady Louisa Egerton, with the Bishop of Winchester conducting a service of dedication in the home's small chapel. There was then a presentation of purses by members of the Children's Union and others.

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1903. © Peter Higginbotham

Notice of opening of St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1903. © Peter Higginbotham

The new home could accommodate 60 children, comprising girls aged from 3 to 12 years and boys below the age of 7. Apart from being larger than the old building at Tooting, it had very few stairs which made life much easier for those in wheelchairs.

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1903. © Peter Higginbotham

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1907. © Peter Higginbotham

Dolls and crutches at St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1903. © Peter Higginbotham

The home's small chapel stood in the garden at the rear of the house.

Sunday morning chapel at St Nicholas' Home, West Byfleet, c.1907. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1908, the home moved a mile or so to new purpose-built premises at Pyrford.

Immediately next door to the St Nicholas' Home, and opened on the same day, was the Society's Byfleet Receiving Home.

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.