Langford Cross / Cherry Tree Children's Home, East Clandon, Surrey
In 1938, the Langford Cross Children's Home, previously based near Maldon, in Essex, relocated to East Clandon in Surrey. Its new premises were the former Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease, a convalescent home of the Alexandra Hospital in London.
Following its move to East Clandon, the Langford Cross Home gave preference to the homeless children of sailors. It also operated for a period as an Approved School. The superintendent of the Home, who had moved with it from Maldon, was Miss Hester Janet Booth. Miss Booth (affectionately known to the children 'as 'Aunt Hester') continued as Honorary Director of the Home up until the 1970s and died in 1984, just a few months short of her hundredth birthday. By 1970, the Home had become known as Langford Cross Family Home.
By 1980, the demand for places at the Home was falling and it began to receive children with disabilities being supported by the local Cherry Trees charity. The arrangement proved successful and within a couple of years, the inmates were all Cherry Trees children. In 1986, the trustees of Langford Cross offered the leasehold of the site to Cherry Trees who then managed to acquire the leasehold for the sum of £50,000. Unfortunately, the purchase drained all of Cherry Trees' funds and it was only after a massive fund-raising effort, together with a donation from Lord Onslow, that the charity was saved from collapse.
Cherry Trees continues to provides respite care for children and young people with severe learning and physical disabilities.
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- None identfied at present — any information welcome.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- Cherry Trees Respite Care Home
- None noted at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.