Norfolk Industrial School for Girls, Fakenham, Norfolk

The Norfolk Industrial School for Girls, sometimes referred to as the County or Fakenham Industrial School, was established in around 1858 by Mrs Sophia Hamond at Holt Road, Fakenham, Norfolk. The School acted as an orphanage and as a training institution for girls entering domestic service.

On November 17, 1868, the establishment was certified to accommodate up to 60 girls who had been placed there by magistrates for reasons such as vagrancy. However, such girls only ever formed a very small proportion of the inmates. Most were either voluntary cases, paying from 3s. 6d. per week to be trained for service, or girls placed there by the poor law authorities. The School had its own laundry in which the older girls were occupied while the younger girls attended a local school. The girls also learned needlework, knitting and general housework. For many years, the matron of the School was Mrs Elizabeth Marshall.

In 1879, following the expiry of the lease on it premises, the School moved to a nearby property at what is now 37 Norwich Road (sometimes referred to as Station Road).

Former Norfolk Industrial School for Girls, Norwich Road, Fakenham, 2014. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1884, Miss Sophia Hamond succeeded her mother as the general director of the School.

The nucleus of the school buildings is a fair-sized dwelling house, to which two wings have been attached, on the outskirts of the town. The accommodation generally is good, the lavatory is a weak spot, and the dormitories are deficient in brightness. There is a fair paved playground, and about an acre of vegetable garden. There is a laundry about a quarter of a mile off, to which 5 or 6 of the older girls go out to work.

The home closed on February 21, 1903. In October of that year, the property was purchased by Dr Barnardo's as a training home for older girls.

The property is now in private residential use.

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals.

  • Norfolk Record Office, The Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DQ. Holds a Register of Children attending Industrial Schools by Magistrates' Orders (1872-1921) which may have relevant entries.
  • Barnardo's Family History Service deals with enquiries regarding records of individual children — various services are available costing from £15 upwards.
  • Making Connections — a service for those wishing to access their Barnardo's adoption records.
  • Barnardo's historical administrative records are now deposited with Liverpool University's Social Welfare Archives with stringent restrictions on their access.

Bibliography

  • 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)
  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)