St Nicholas' Home / Nursery, Lowestoft, Suffolk

The St Nicholas' Home was opened in 1929 by the Waifs and Strays Society at St Margaret's Road, Lowestoft. It was the successor to the Society's Church House home which had been forced to close in 1915. After its closure, the home's Honorary Secretary had purchased the new site and given the society its free use. However, progress was slow and it was only fourteen years later that the new home, to be known as St Nicholas', was ready. The Bishop of Norwich laid a memorial stone at the home on July 6th, 1929.

Initially the home accommodated 40 boys aged from 4 to 10 years of age. However, in 1931, it was decided that it should instead become a girls' home.

St Nicholas Home, Lowestoft, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1940, following the onset of the Second World War, the residents were evacuated to the St Nicholas' home in Torquay.

The girls never returned to Lowestoft and after the war, the home was re-opened as a residential nursery. In1970, a day nursery was also opened at the site which later became the Lowestoft Children's and Families' Centre.

In 1973, when the Society's St Mary's nursery at Felixstowe closed, its residents were transferred to the St Nicholas' home.

St Nicholas' closed in around 1979. The property has now been converted to residential use.


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.