St Deny's Home For Toddlers, Clitheroe, Lancashire
St Deny's Home For Toddlers was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1915 as a replacement for the Society's home at Newchurch in Rossendale. St Deny's occupied a large house on Pimlico Road, Clitheroe, and initially accommodated 30 children, aged from 2 to 5 years.
The location of the home is shown on the 1932 map below.
The home's capacity was increased to 34 after building work was carried out in 1922. The children themselves helped pay for the work by performing in a pageant, which was a popular fund-raising event with the Society at the time. The St Deny's children's contribution to the proceedings was 'Children Through The Ages', featuring items such as 'Bethlehem' (the Nativity story), 'St Nicholas' (patron saint of children), 'St Gregory', 'St Cuthbert', 'The Boy Bishop', 'The Dame School', 'Old Street Cries', 'The Little Waif', and 'The Church Receiving the Children'. The pageant, which ran for three nights at a venue in Manchester, raised in the region of £250. In 1926, money raised by a fête in the home's garden paid for the installation of electric lighting at the property.
In the 1980s, the home was used to provide care for older children with difficult family backgrounds.
The home finally closed in 1992. The property no longer survives.
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.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- 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.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- 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.
- 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)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.