Victoria Home, Formby, Liverpool, Lancashire

In 1897, the Waifs and Strays Society established its Victoria Home for Infants at Andrew's Lane, Formby, near Liverpool. The purpose-built premises, which cost around £2,000, were designed by the Liverpool architect, Mr J Havelock Sutton. The location of the home is shown on the 1927 map below.

Victoria Home site, Liverpool, c.1927.

The official opening of the home, on April 24th, 1897, was performed by a local supporter of the Society, Mrs J.S. Beauford, standing in for the Countess of Lathom who had had a severe fall. The Bishop of Liverpool then performed a service of benediction, naming the home in honour of the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria, which also place in 1897. The home, described as a 'children's place', could accommodate 30 children aged from 2 to 7, although older children were occasionally admitted. The first matron was Miss Bratt.

Victoria Home, Formby, Liverpool, c.1925. © Peter Higginbotham

Victoria Home, Formby, Liverpool, c.1914. © Peter Higginbotham

As at other children's establishments, membership of local Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs groups was a popular activity with the Victoria Home boys.

Wolf Cubs at Victoria Home, Formby, Liverpool, c.1925. © Peter Higginbotham

From 1945 to 1947, the home operated as the Victoria Home For Toddlers. After the toddlers were transferred to the new Francis Pochin Nursery at Southport, the Victoria Home received the girls from former Galloway Home at Whalley Range. The home became mixed in 1960. In 1973, it became an Assisted Community Home.

The home finally closed in 1981. The building no longer survives and modern housing now occupies the site.


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.


  • 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.